Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Just Call Me G.I.Jane

I think I’m going to like this marathon training thing.

Knowing that I’m going to have to run 42.2 kilometers in October is turning out to be a fabulous motivator.

I suddenly have the equivalent of a drill sergeant on all of my runs now. Here’s how it goes.

Scene: a long long road leading off into the distance. The sun is beating down. There is no breeze.

Enter diabetic marathon hopeful.

“Wow, this is hard. I’m getting really tired. I think I’m going to slow down my pace a little bit.”

Enter drill sergeant.

“Are you freaking kidding me?? You’ve only run 8k. You think you’re tired now. How the hell are you going to survive 42k if you’re tired now? I’ll show you tired. MOVE YOUR ASS SOLDIER!”
“Holy crap – 14k is a long way. I’m just going to walk for ten seconds once I get to the top of the overpass. Just long enough to drink some water. ”

“Don’t you dare think about stopping. I will shoot your feet if you even slow down. If you're going to stop it better be because you're doing pushups.  Fourteen kilometers is exactly one third of a marathon. If you can’t handle that, you might as well drag your lazy ass home and not come back until you’re ready to be a marathoner.”

He's a bit of an ass but he does have a point. I think I know what tired feels like but I really have no idea.

I got a taste of tired during the last few kilometers of Around the Bay. I was so exhausted that it just felt easier to keep running than to debate with myself as to whether or not I should stop. My mind was too tired to think up reasons to stop or reasons to keep going. So I just kept running because it was the fastest way to get the darn thing over with.

That feeling is how I imagine the last 12k of Niagara Falls are going to be like.

So my friendly neighbourhood drill sergeant has become a standard part of my running paraphernalia. On every run I bring my water belt, snacks, Garmin, Shuffle and a voice in my head that yells at me.

It really does work though. Any excuse that I might have had to slack off during a run is easily reduced to mush with one simple sentence. If you slack off now, how the hell will you be able to push through when it really gets hard?

So I suck it up and keep moving forward.

The other trick that has been working really well is to pretend that, whatever distance I’m running, that is the distance to the finish line of the marathon. So, when I ran 14k on Saturday, I pretended I was running the last 14k. I imagined feeling exhausted and pushing through it. I imagined feeling nauseated and pushing through that. I used my music to motivate me rather than just keep the pace and I would not let myself slow below a certain pace no matter how I was feeling.

I don’t know if doing this stuff is crazy or a great way to get into the marathon mindset. The voice in my head says it’s good...


  1. Nice! I have a drill sergeant who berates me when I don't want to workout at all, but I had never considered that he could come along on the run/swim/bike/etc. with me. Hmm...

  2. Celine... this is amazing!! haha what a great idea!! I may have to find a Sergeant to come along with me on my runs..
    Thanks for the idea :)