This week has been one that I have looked forward to for many months: the week of my first marathon. I have A LOT of feelings right now, mostly excitement, but part of me also can’t believe that it’s almost May 18. I started training for this race on December 3. It’s been 23 weeks and 3 days, or 164 days. For five months straight, I have been in training mode. Growing up as an athlete, and spending five years as a college swimmer, spending five months training for one race doesn’t seem that crazy to me. I’ve put so much hard work and time into my marathon training, and the day is almost here where I get to see it all pay off.
Like any athlete who has ever trained for anything, I had days where I had doubts that I could do this. I had mornings where I pressed the snooze button one too many times and I had afternoons where I picked drinks with friends over a run. Bad workouts and dips in motivation happen, but I can honestly say that I’ve spent more time at the gym and outside training for this race than I ever thought I would. I started training for this race in winter, in Fargo, ND. If you’ve been following my journey at all, you’ll know that this was a harsh winter. Bitterly cold conditions, I’m talking wind chill values consistently in the -40°s, and multiple blizzards made getting outside for runs difficult. The treadmill became my best friend, but as many runners know, running anything above 6 miles on the treadmill feels like torture. I’m pretty impressed with myself for getting through those long miles on the treadmill, but also thankful for Fargo Running Company’s group runs for getting me outside during the winter when weather permitted. Most of my runs from April up until now have been done outside, and I am so happy that I got to finish out my marathon training in shorts and the sun.
During marathon training, I was promoted to a new job at my company. While I was excited for the new opportunity, it made training difficult some days. Long hours at work forced me to switch up my workout schedule for most of April. I found myself waking up at 4:30am most days so that I could get my runs in. I always said that I would never wake up early to work out again after college, but that kind of goes out the window once you have a goal set. I honestly didn’t mind waking up early to work out, it’s just kind of hard to have a social life when you need to be in bed by 8:30pm. 😜
The biggest thing I was worried about while training for my marathon was my blood sugar levels, especially on my 12+ mile runs. As a Type 1 Diabetic, I can no longer produce insulin and rely on myself, via my insulin pump, to deliver insulin. Running can be tricky as a diabetic. My blood sugar can crash during runs so I had to learn how to fuel myself while on longer runs, AND I had to learn how to keep my levels in range while running. A huge shout out goes to my continuous glucose monitor (CGM) for this. Without this little device attached to me and relaying blood sugar readings to my phone every five minutes, running would be much more difficult than it already was. My blood sugar doesn’t always play nice during runs, in fact, I’ve usually been spiking during my longer runs lately. Whenever I do find myself with blood sugars on the lower end, I either drink some low sugar Gatorade or snack on Honey Stinger Energy Gels every few miles. These bring my levels up quickly and help keep my feet pounding the pavement.
As Saturday gets closer and closer, I’m definitely still nervous. The weather forecast is cool, rainy, and windy which doesn’t help ease any of those nerves. More than anything though, I’m still excited. I’m excited to see my parents and older sister. I’m excited to see all my hard work pay off, and I’m just really excited to trust in my training and see how I’ll finish. While I’m hoping to finish my first marathon in about 4 hours and 30 minutes, I just want to finish.
Is it Saturday yet?