So, you’re running a marathon…

So, you’re running a marathon.

It’s inevitable that you are currently experiencing a multitude of emotions. You’re excited. You’re proud. You’re terrified. And you’re pretty darn sure there’s a good chance you will die before crossing the finish line.

It’s official, you’ve gone mad. Marathon mad.

Marathon Emotions, Part I…

Stage 1 – Initial elation. Period of euphoric excitement. Or as I like to call it, “the tell EVERYONE you cross paths with of your upcoming 26.2 mile adventure” stage! You’re excited. You’re amazed. You’re proud. YOU are a freakin’ rock star! You are going to be running 26.2 miles in a few, short months and you CANNOT wait to let everyone know. You’re certain your training team is going to be the best team EVER and you’re going to rock those early Saturday mornings. And the finish line? You know that crossing it is going to be the best feeling ever!


Stage 2 – An excuse to spend ALL the monies. New shoes x2 – check. Monthly massages and facials (gotta keep the muscles happy and repair the skin from sun damage!) – check. New running gear – socks, shorts, sports bras – check, check, check! Beer (those carbs might come in handy) – check. You have allllll of the excuses in the book to spend money and if something doesn’t fall into these categories? You WILL be able to find a way to relate it back to the marathon. “Oh honey, I needed that extra makeup. I have to cover up my tired eyes from my 5am running wake-up calls” or “My new purse? I needed another one to carry my marathon sneaks. They’re precious cargo and can’t be smashed” or “Babe. I need those weekly pedicures. My feet require extra treatment for the next 18 weeks. You’re the one encouraging me to run.” This is where you feel sorry for Kyle. #blesshisheart

photo 3

Stage 3 – Yes, I can! Your first training run happens. It went well and you think, I only have to multiple that times 5 and I have a full marathon – easy peasy! This, my friends, this is what they call a runner’s high. You feel great and encouraged and ready to take on the world, or at least a marathon… You are a freakin’ ROCK. STAR. and aren’t afraid to admit it! Just remember (and as a future note to self…) they’re called “highs” for a reason, and what goes up must eventually come down…

Stage 4 – Shiiiiiizzzzzzzzzzz, what did I get myself into?! 26.2 miles? Training runs EVERY Saturday morning at 6am? Articles discussing bodily issues related to distance running including inner thigh chaffage, nipple chaffage (lovely…), puking, and pooping… seem to pop up in every single one of your Google searches. And you start to think that death doesn’t sound so bad any longer…

Stage 5 – OMG I am going to die. I am going to $&*#@ die. The realization after your first long (and semi-painful) run that those 26.2 miles aren’t going to be as easy as you initially anticipated. Scenes from the Hunger Games play through your head, and you think that you might rather take over for Katniss than lace up on race day… “Maybe,” you think, “maybe I’ll die before any of those unsightly, embarrassing bodily functions happen to me during the race. Now, that wouldn’t be so bad,” thinks your (already) delirious self. Unfortunately, you’re already committed, financially and mentally, so – death or dismemberment, there’s no getting out now!

Marathon ecards

Stage 6 – Fear of abandonment. You’ve already accepted imminent death come race day, but what if no one is there to watch you slowly die cheer you on? Have you been too annoying with your obsessive marathon talk the past few months? Will you have to WALK home after running 26.2 miles… surely there will be cabs near the finish line…? Will there be no one there to take photos of you crossing the finish line? On a positive note, you realize you have Ugly Runner Syndrome, so a lack of photo evidence is probably a good thing…

There ends Part I, but stay tuned… Marathon Emotions, Part II coming to a blog near you soon…

Have you ever run a distance race? What stages of emotions did you encounter while preparing for race day?


  1. Haha this is like the stages to acceptance but a runners take- love it. I know your going to rock it with style- there is just no other way.

    I ran an 8 k last year and didn’t really put tooo much thought to it…but had I been doing a marathon, I probably would have called in sick…to signing up. ;)
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…Sea Salt Dark Chocolate WafflesMy Profile

  2. Haha, this is awesome! 26.2 miles (and yes, it’s totally necessary to add that .2, because by that point in the run, every step counts) is definitely a commitment. I have no doubt you are going to rock it out after working through all these stages ;) And that last one can be total elation and empowerment for achieving such an amazing goal!!
    Kate @ Baking in yoga pants recently posted…My Fitness Advice – Smell Like DirtMy Profile

  3. I love this post and needed to read it :)
    Amy @ THE Little Honey bee recently posted…Chicken BitesMy Profile

  4. This is hilarious, you’re gonna do great Becky!
    Jackie recently posted…Workouts from the weekMy Profile

  5. Haha oh marathon running. When I hit the first 20+ miler in training, I always thing “should I have told anyone I was running a marathon? This is embarrassing!”

    When do you start your training plan? I’m thinking I’ll start mid-July and just focus speed work until then. I dread distance in the summer :P
    Hannah @ SprinTs & scones recently posted…5 on Friday: last week of class!My Profile

  6. Ha, these are awesome!! I trained for a marathon last summer (but never ran it due to injuries) and def experienced all these emotions! :)
    Julie @ Coastal Runner Girl recently posted…Spring/Summer Running Essentials!My Profile

  7. I’m not much of a distance runner and never ran long distances before, but if any madness possessed me to sign up for a marathon (or even a half), I’m pretty sure I’d skip right over to Stage 4 :lol: You’re going to rock the cute sport socks off this race though :D
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. thinking out loud #74 .My Profile

  8. I have done the marathon twice and I have 2 so far on the docket this year.. and I am feeling all of this! :) Love the one about just multiplying it by 5 times and you have a marathon, I have said that to myself so many times!
    Elizabeth {Positively Healthy} recently posted…Workout Class Specific for RunnersMy Profile

  9. And this is why I’ve never even thought about doing a marathon. I might have the physical stamina but I don’t have the mental stamina. At all.
    Laura Dembowski recently posted…Panettone French ToastMy Profile

  10. While I would love to run a half one day…I think I’d need a lot of convincing to do a full marathon :-p You’re going to own this race, nipple chaffage or not! ;-)
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted…Five Things Friday 04/18/14.My Profile

  11. Hahaha oh my gosh I absolutely love this!! Since I just went through the whole “marathon process” I feel like I can relate to everything you said. I must say though, that the feeling I got when I crossed the finish line made that roller coaster of emotions worth it. :)
    Becky@thesavedrunner recently posted…Things I’m Enjoying/Looking Forward to 4/18My Profile

  12. I have run a few marathons and an Ultra 50K and I have to say the amount of emotions that go into training and day of are crazy and amazing. Excitement one moment then absolute dread and panic at what I had signed up for the next. And it never goes away. Just bit the bullet and registered for Chicago Marathon and yet again am having the holy crap can I run a marathon what have I just done (because forget that I have done it before, that whole train and do it again thing seems impossible)! But seriously, enjoy it and embrace it all good and bad – because there will be some great highs and low!
    Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat recently posted…NYC Half: Race RecapMy Profile

  13. Welp, you nailed that list! Don’t worry about the nipple chaffing, as long as you wear a good bra, you’ll be just fine!
    kATIE recently posted…Fast Friday: Funk CityMy Profile

  14. Hahahaa, LOVE THIS! I’ve never run a full, but I can only imagine all of these things going through my head exactly as you described them. Too funny!

  15. LOL! I love this! Shared on the twitter machine :)
    Marissa @ Barefoot Colorado recently posted…20 QuestionsMy Profile

  16. Haha this is hilarious! I love how real you keep everything girl. I run halfs all the time and it’s no big deal for me. Even as I’ve been recovering from my foot injury, I’ve been doing 9 milers this week and no big deal. But a full marathon? Um, yeah thinking not ever will I want to put my body or mind though that. You will do fine! It’s more mental than physical.
    MegaN @ the skinny-life recently posted…Comment on Some Reflection by The Skinny-LifeMy Profile

  17. Ha this is too funny. Mostly because of how scared I was that I would puke or poo myself while training for my half last spring. Thankfully none of that happened!
    Nicole @ Fruit’n’fitness recently posted…Wildcats, School and CostcoMy Profile

  18. Hah, love this. Maybe someday I will be brave (or crazy) enough to run one! You are going to ROCK yours! Hope you’re in one of the runner’s high stages right now :) I am so opposite on the pedicures when I’m training, though – I’m like, don’t scrape those callouses off, I need them! #superattractive
    Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} recently posted…Brunch Recipes For Your Easter Sweet ToothMy Profile

  19. This was highly entertaining to me and perfectly describes my sentiment! Hahaha! Cheers to Marathon Training! Mine is in November! I’m coming to Chicago for the Zooma Half thanks to your discount code:) lots of running going down this summer/fall!
    Brooke@SweeTnSweaty recently posted…Some “things” you can Over Do and Some you Can’t……My Profile

  20. Lol! I went through every single one of these stages with my half marathon! Just remember the last stage is “COMPLETE AND UTTER ELATION AND PRIDE” when you finish :)
    Katie @ Blonde Ambition recently posted…Weekend in PhotosMy Profile

  21. Good news – you probably don’t even have to worry about nipple chafing thanks to your sports bra! And Body Glide is a lifesaver for all the *ahem* other parts :P

    I have a 50k race (umm, like 32 miles, I think?) in 42 days. If I think about it too much I’ll curl up into a ball and start rocking back and forth. Haha. Your stages are so spot on!!
    Ange @ Cowgirl Runs recently posted…Ways in which living with a cat is similar to living with a toddlerMy Profile

  22. This is hilarious, you’re gonna do great Becky!

  23. This is hilarious! Even though I don’t plan on running a marathon (never say never, though?!) I definitely got a good laugh! Best of luck to you convincing Kyle you need to spend all the monies. I, for one, totally think you’re 110% justified in needing all you listed + some. ;-)
    Sarah @ Sarah Sincerely recently posted…Plans, Pins, and Posts–Round 2My Profile

  24. I have no desire to ever run a marathon, probably not even a half, but I thought this was so entertaining! Definitely keep these posts coming. :)
    Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) recently posted…Brew Review: Dust Bowl Brewing Hops of WrathMy Profile

  25. Hahaha, I read this entire post and all I could hear over and over was NIPPLE CHAFING. Oh my gosh, that sounds like the most painful thing ever. DEFINITELY invest in a good bra, even if it’s $1000.
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey recently posted…Things That Scare MeMy Profile

  26. Step 2 is my favorite :) Spend all the money! haha I am really excited to hear your journey and see how things go with training! You are going to rock the marathon, I know it!
    Heather @fitncookies recently posted…Happy Easter!My Profile

  27. You are so funny!!!!! But a rock star for signing up for a marathon!!! My mom ran Chicago I’ll see if she has any advise :)
    Alex @ alex runs for food recently posted…Treat Yourself Tuesday 9My Profile

  28. You’re my hero :-*.
    carly @ snack therapy recently posted…Inner Bitch vs. Inner NarcissistMy Profile

  29. This pretty much sums up the full marathon emotions to a T! haha! I ran my first last year in Chicago and it was awesome. At the end I felt like my body had been hit by a truck, but I want to do it again :-) Good luck with your training!! I found your blog via Zooma. I’m thinking of running it again this year!

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