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Beware the Crazy Marathoner

I would like to have been able to title this post “How to Stay Calm the Week of Your Marathon.” Or at least “How to act like a rational adult when under pressure.” Instead, I need to confess that I’ve done neither of those things this week. Despite the hours I’ve spent trying to convince myself that this marathon is a no-pressure, “just go out there and see what you can do” situation, I’ve been hit with the pre-marathon nerves. And hit hard.

You’d think that after 5 marathons and 27 years of life, I’d be a little more collected. But nope – I’m embarrassed to admit that all it takes is a large, out of town race to reduce me to a 5 year old. I’m sure I’ve been such a joy to be around this week.

So in the spirit of “do as I say, not as I do,” here is how this week in {ontherun} land went.


Wake up and am immediately hit by the fact that in less than a week’s time, I’ll be running the 36th MCM. Heart rate soars. Go to work. Have a mild, public freak-out about my training and the taper. Almost convince myself that the sane and smart thing to do at this point in my training is to go out and run 9 miles that afternoon. You know, because everyone knows you should do one last semi-long run duringmarathon week.

I need somebody to remind me that less is more during marathon week. But I feel like I messed up last wk & am tempted to make that up today

Talk to Twitter and my always wise Father (yep, I still call my dad to calm me before races), and am finally brought to my senses about the stupidity of my plan.

After work, see that the shoes that I finally got around to ordering last week (oops) have been delivered. Take them out for a test run. Decide that’s a good enough test to declare the shoes marathon worthy.


Wear my brand new running shoes to work in an effort to break them in as quickly as possible. Notice that my quads seem to be experiencing mysterious muscle aches. And that dang knee pain hasn’t gone away. Take the day off running and ice instead.

After work, head to the store because I’ve managed to convince myself that I absolutely need a pair of green shorts for the race. Find myself slightly disappointed in the store’s small selection of shorts (I guess winter is coming or something), but settle on a pair of Nike tempos.

They’re not green and pink, but they will do.


Proceed to have a minor meltdown that night because of a bad stomachache. As if stomach pains are the first sign that everything is falling apart.


Wake up congested. Convince myself that I am suddenly coming down with some horrible disease whose impacts are far more serious than those of seasonal allergies. Proceed to drink enough water and nuun during the day to warrant a trip to the bathroom every half hour.

After work, go for a short, easy run to test out the new shorts. They hold up great for 4 miles – decide this must mean that they’re marathon worthy. Meet Lizzy and Beckyfor a carb-filled pizza dinner. Go to bed feeling calm.


Wake up congested again. Apparently that rare disease I’ve just contracted hasn’t gone away over night. Take an allergy pill on the off-chance that I’m actually just suffering from seasonal allergies, and not a condition that is likely to result in severe injury or death.

Head to work. Proceed to tell everyone that I won’t be in on Friday because I’m running a marathon. To which they reply, “Again?!” Not quite the response I was going for… Manage to make it through the day feeling relatively calm.

After work, go for a really easy 3 mile run in the cold rain. It’s like a 25 minute ice bath for my legs and I love it. Until the last half mile when I suddenly feel an odd, yet painful tweak in my left quad. Stop to walk and rub it out. Try to rationalize it’s just a cold muscle…and not a pulled one.

Get home from the run and head out to complete a few last minute errands. Suddenly all the calm I had been feeling during the day melts away and everything seems to be going wrong all at once. Proceed to have the biggest meltdown yet. By this point, EC is looking for the nearest escape route – and beginning to have serious doubts about being stuck on a plane with me the next morning.

Finally talk to my parents and get an awesome MCM email from Dorothy. All is right with the world again. Set my alarm for a super early wake up call.

Friday (today)

Wake up as soon as the alarm goes off feeling groggy but excited. I’m going to DC today!! Gather up a few remaining things and my carry-on suitcase (not taking any chances this time). Head out to the car and am shocked to find it coated in layer of ice (in October!!). Despite that minor setback, everything goes smoothly. I get to the airport with EC in plenty of time, board the flight, and get myself to DC.

Now I’m hanging out with my wonderful sister, who greeted me with a huge gift bag filled with pre-marathon goodies (dark chocolate, granola, and bananas – what else could I girl want?). We’ll be heading to the expo in a little bit, and I’m surprised that I feel calmer now than I have all week. Maybe I just had to get all the freak-outs out of the way early…

Good luck to everyone running this weekend!

There’s still time to enter my Team Sparkle Skirt Giveaway! Entries are accepted until November 1st!

26 Responses to Beware the Crazy Marathoner

  1. Hope you have an awesome marathon Lauren!

  2. Good luck Lauren! You will do great!
    Jamie @ couchtoironwoman´s last post ..Seven Things Tuesday: Bloggers I Admire

  3. after 9 marathons, i still have a meltdown the week before each one. it’s crazy. look what happens when we run less, eat more carbs, and have more time on our hands?!?! we go nuts. runners are a rare breed!

    GOOD LUCK!!!!!
    Kristy@RunTheLongRoad´s last post ..Thankful

  4. This sounds like some of my marathon weeks, too!
    Have a great race!

  5. Gotta love the taper crazies! Sounds like you’re right on track. Good luck this weekend, and safe travels!
    Lauren´s last post ..Twitchy Thursday

  6. Good luck this weekend!
    Evan Thomas´s last post ..Chili Lime Butternut Squash

  7. SO sad to be missing this year’s MCM! Stupid cross country move. Please wave to my favorite running city as you blow by!!

    Have fun. You’ll be awesome. hard work is done, now it’s race time!!

  8. I’m so glad you seem healed from that rare disease. 😉 Good luck this weekend, Lauren! I’ll be cheering for you- and stalking twitter!
    Jen´s last post ..It’s only temporary

  9. haha I can completely relate to this…all I can say is, things will come together on the morning of the race! Try to stay (relatively) sane, but hey we all go a little crazy before marathons :) It’s just the way it goes.
    I can’t wait to hear about it — I know you will do awesome and exceed your expectations!
    I’m bummed I’ve been so out of touch with you guys lately. I hope we can see each other soon after your race!

  10. i love this post!! I’m freaking out both for you and myself, and my race isn’t for another 9 days. I think going nuts before mararathons is just part of the game, even though I thought I’d be totally calm this year, seeing as I have done ONE. hehe. Not so at all.

    GOOD LUCK! Can’t wait for the live tweets, etc. :)
    Kelly´s last post ..Race Day Tricks

  11. I wish I could say I know what you’re going through, but I’ve only ran halfs so far in my life. I hear it’s normal to freak out before marathons so you are totally justified. :)

    Good luck! And have fun in DC.
    Rena @ milehogger.blogspot.com´s last post ..Rain Run

  12. Glad to see I am not the only one who still freaks out! Good luck on Sunday! :)
    Celia´s last post ..confidence

  13. This all sounds totally normal :)

    Go kick some butt!
    XLMIC´s last post ..Nobody Puts Emu in the Corner

  14. Your week reminded me a little of my own (but I am just doing a Half). You are gonna do AWESOME!! I’ll be following you on Twitter! 😉 Go Team Pink/ Green!!

  15. I actually have an 8-mile run on Sunday (6 days before the marathon), so you doing 9 made me a feel a little better. AND I have an awesome cold right now. Why now???

    Good luck!! (oh, and thanks for the DVD – got it on Monday!)
    Michelle @ Crazy*Running*Legs´s last post ..Five for Friday: Halloween

  16. Hahah this was totally me this week. I know aaron wanted to jump out the window. You are going to be amazing lady!!! Have fun, relax. I know you will rock it!
    Stephanie´s last post ..Motivational Mantras & Mensches for Marine Corps Marathon!

  17. Sounds pretty similar to my life right now! :) I know you’re going to do great. Good luck. Trust in your training and experience!!!
    Meggie´s last post ..Hitting the Reset Button

  18. Sounds so similar to my race week! What a great gift bag from your sister. Hope you enjoyed the expo. I love the excitement and energy while walking around the expos!

    Good luck! You’re ready for this race!
    jill conyers´s last post ..Fitness Friday || Running, Support, Encouragement and A Giveaway

  19. I love that you’ve run so many marathons by now and you still get the pre-marathon crazies. I giggled my way through this entire post. You are going to kick ass this weekend, just like you always do. A stressy week = a stellar race. You got all the insanity out of the way and hopefully by now you’re relaxing in DC, ready to show Marine Corps who’s boss (you, in case that was unclear).

    GOOD LUCK tomorrow! Can’t wait to hear all about it IN PERSON!!!
    Ali´s last post ..“But First I Have To Run”

  20. Love the craziness!

    Good luck on Sunday!

  21. Ha, I loved this post. It’s totally natural to be a bit crazy and stressed before the race. We get nervous because we care! No matter how many times we’ve raced before! Just believe that everything will come together tomorrow morning. Cannot wait to hear how you do!
    Lindsay´s last post ..Exactly What I Needed

  22. Hope you’re feeling better & that your nerves make for a speedy race tomorrow! Though craziness or not, you are going to rock it. GOOD LUCK!!!
    Mary´s last post ..Almost There

  23. Yayyyyyy!!! I am so happy you end this post by feeling calmer than you did at the beginning of the week. I still wish I was there with you!!! Good luck tomorrow!
    Lizzy´s last post ..Butternut Squash Lasagna

  24. And then you KILLED it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Jocelyn @ Enthusiastic Runner´s last post ..12 Things I Learned from the Marine Corps Marathon Weekend

    Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel´s last post ..Halloween Decorations and My Costume

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