I am 10 weeks in and have 9 weeks to go until I attempt to run my first marathon. Up to this point, I have actually enjoyed training. However, this past Friday I had to run 16 miles and that my friends may have been my tipping point.

IMG 7950

I’m not smiling in the above picture because I took it after running by myself for 3 hours. The first hour I felt tired and bored knowing what was in store. I usually run around my little Cape Cod town but then I get to listen to people saying to me all weekend, “I saw you running.”  I love talking about running, but lately it feels like all I talk about is this marathon. I decided to go up to the Cape Cod Rail Trail for an out and back route – something I never do. I always opt for a loop. 

IMG 7951

I brought my little water bottle and was hoping to fill it along the way. I read that there were no water fountains but crossed my fingers I would find at least one. The Cape Cod Rail Trail is a bike path that goes from Dennis to Wellfleet. You can keep going to PTown but I think you end up sharing the road with cars after that point. It is a total of 22 miles. I started in Dennis and planned to run 8 to Brewster and then turn around.

IMG 7949

The path is shaded by trees so it is not too hot, passes by some beautiful lakes and feel very safe. Since I am doing my long runs on Fridays, it was not overly crowded when I began running at 8:30 am. I have friends that ride to various towns for lunch which I haven’t done since I’m a beach rat but if you are on the Cape for a week, it is a great active alternative. There are shops to rent bikes along the way as well if you don’t have your own.

Here was went through my head during my 3 hour run:

  • Mile 0-2: This sucks. I have to pee. Where are the water fountains. I have 6 people I need to email back this afternoon before hitting the beach.
  • Mile 2-4: Seriously, where is there a bathroom? Why did I change my route? Make that 12 people I need to email. 
  • Mile 4-6: Glad I peed. I feel better, and lighter. I can’t wait to eat my energy shots.
  • Mile 6-8: The energy shots have changed this game. Only 2 more miles until turnaround. I hope there is a convenience store to buy water!
  • Mile 8: Half way point and water! I can do this. 
  • Mile 8-12: I feel great. Life is good. I am excited to play with my nephews at the beach when I am done. What am I going to eat when I finish?
  • Mile 12: Ate 3 more energy shots. Love them. 
  • Mile 12-14: Immediately feeling energized. Should I be running this fast? I can’t believe I’m 30 years old. When do I realistically think I will be ready for kids… There are a lot of kids and families on this bike path. Pondering life and all the decisions that I’ve made.
  • Mile 14-15: I can’t believe I have just 2 miles to go! I can’t believe my body can do this. It’s crazy. My knees are starting to bother me. Should I get new shoes? Starts running like a barefoot gazelle. That was not effective… Block out the pain and finish. My lungs and legs feel good but my knees are the problem. I need to foam roll more often!
  • Mile 16: I need my jam to finish. Puts on Jetsetter by Morningwood. I want this sh*t to be over with so I’m going to run as fast as I can. 

Up until my 16 miler, I had only run 15 miles once, and 14 miles twice as part of my marathon training. I’ve actually only completed 3 half marathons as well. So 16, is intimidating! The first 60 minutes were tough. I felt tired despite following my usual breakfast routine. Maybe the fact that I woke up earlier than usual due to my nieces and nephews at 6:30 am or the fact that I probably went sugar overboard with an ice cream sundae from Smugglers the night before (hey, I was carboloading… don’t judge), but either way I wasn’t into the run and stopping wasn’t an option. I used my cause as a means for motivation. Thinking of my fellow Model of Courage Tracie Benjamin kept me going, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at 30 years old and is training with me is Portland, OR. I’ve mentioned before that Tracie will be running the marathon a year after her diagnosis. 

There were no water fountains during the first 8 miles of my run. There was a convenience store right at mile 8 where I bought a water to drink and use to fill my mini bottle that straps onto my running belt where I keep my keys, phone and gels. 

Half Way There

With just 9 weeks left of training and 10 weeks into it, I feel confident thanks to my coach Jess’s Marathon Training Plan.  I can’t believe I’m really doing it. I may need to start recruiting people to run with me during my long runs but I’m nervous that the talking will make me more tired and I will feel stressed about the pacing. Also, I have a lot of travel coming up so I’m not sure what days will be best for the long runs! 

Marathon Training Half Way Point

About The Author


    • Sarah

      hehe 🙂 To build up your stamina, you have to do it slowly. I have a run coach, Jess from RacePaceWellness.com that created a plan for me. I just slowly add on a mile or two each week to my long run and then do just 2 or 3 easy runs during the week that vary between 4 and 8 miles.

  • Holly @ Healthy Living Holly

    Way to get out there, Sarah! I love your positive attitude about marathon training. I have been “flirting” with the idea of running a marathon and hope to get there one day. I suppose after 9 half marathons it’s about damn time I just sign up! I love reading your recaps though as they provide insight and tips and tricks that I will be able to take away to my own training.

  • Gabriella

    I’m doing Chicago too! I usually do my long runs Tuesdays but would totally run part of a long run with you if you’re ever doing them on the Charles or in Boston. I did 14 miles with a friend last week it’s the first time I’ve ever run a long run with someone and i was very anxious about the talking and pacing but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. What energy shots are you taking? Gu doesn’t sit right with me at all so I’m testing out some other options while there’s still time to go!

  • Kristi Carlson

    You’re not alone! I’m training for my 8th, and every time I hit this part of training, I wonder, “Why the hell do I do this again?!” Take it day-by-day, run-by-run, and you’ll make it through. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts about the weird feelings when you hit the tapering stage -- it never feels right!

    Side note, Chicago was my favorite marathon. It’s massive in runners and spectators, and it’s flat (woot, woot!) and entertaining to run down the streets of the city. Hopefully the weather will be ideal!

  • Cassie

    I’ve run 15 miles by myself 4-5 times but never 16 (that last mile haha). I love listening to podcasts during my long runs… or I save music specifically for those runs!

  • jessica

    I thought you were in your mid twenties too! I am 33 and just like you am pondering life. No kids yet and no urge to start a family right now, is this normal?! Everyone I know has 10 year olds and I think well maybe I should’ve had kids younger, but at that time I was transitioning from college girl to career girl to homeowner to married girl…maybe in a few years I will feel ready.

  • Colleen

    I have a long (LONG) term goal of running the 2017 Boston Marathon for charity (I want to raise money in my brother’s name, and 2017 will be 15 years since his death, hence the date selection). I’m most nervous about trying to fit marathon training into an already crazy schedule! How do you keep it balanced?

  • Lauren @Wanderlust on the run

    I can relate to this in EVERY way! I too am running my first marathon in October and this past weekend was my 16 miler, my 2nd longest run ever (last weekend was 15). I’ve done 2 half marathons before this so now that I’m in the 2nd half of marathon training it’s really game time. I’m excited to be hitting these long distances but the paranoia is kicking in too. How do I psych myself up to run the same route every weekend, but then again it’s so comfortable I don’t want to change it. Should I start running with people to make it more enjoyable, but then I’m worried about pacing and if i have to stop. Am I fueling right? Am I sleeping enough? Should I throw in an extra strength training day? Is my husband going to be bummed I’ve killed half our Saturday running, etc… Anyways, I loved reading your post! It’s so comforting to know I’m not alone in this awesome, exhausting, roller coaster first marathon journey. 🙂

  • Maria

    Good job getting out there and pressing through! You’ve picked an awesome first marathon. I ran Chicago last year for the first time and it was a lot of fun. The crowd support is amazing. I’m running it again this year 🙂 I try to do my longer runs with a running group on Saturdays. I’ve found it a lot easier than running alone. The running group in Milwaukee is training for the Lakefront Marathon which is a week ahead of Chicago so it’s been pretty good!

  • Brooke@SweetnSweaty

    I am a few weeks behind you in training for my first marathon. I ran 13.1 yesterday and my 15 miler is coming soon. I have never ran further than 13.1 a handful of times, so I am getting nervous! I really enjoy these post so thanks for sharing. I also stopped to buy water at a convenience store around mile 9 this weekend. People watching me run right up to the door gave me a few odd looks but it was so nice to get some COLD water to add to my hydration belt that was empty at this point!

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.