Marathon Training is like Pregnancy (and other taper-nutty musings)

18 weeks of training complete, it is down to just five days until race day! Even though it’s my second race, I can’t get over the build-up that goes into marathon training.

Looking for a last-minute pep-talk yesterday, I called up my girlfriend Tarah, who recently ran Chicago. Chatting about training, we came up with the perfect analogy for marathon training: pregnancy.

Think about it: You have an irrational and zealous burst of enthusiasm, with a runner’s high that climaxes in registering for a marathon. You then spend months preparing for the day – training, getting cravings and eating for two, and hoping that it all turns out healthy and happy. The day arrives and you go through a few hours of gleeful labor and pain, with an absolutely euphoric end result. Of course you have friends and family who have sympathy pains for you, but they don’t really know what it’s like, not unless they’ve been through a marathon. 26.2 miles later, once you’ve run it, your marathon becomes this part of you that you’re too proud of not to brag about. (That classic joke has some truth to it: How do you know someone is a marathoner? They’ll tell you.) Finally, like pregnancy, once you’ve done a marathon you usually want to take some time off, but there is usually another one to follow!

Ok ok, so all of that might be kind of a stretch, but you get the idea!

With five days to go, I am overfilling with butterflies. Excited, nervous, and just more excited, I absolutely cannot wait to get on that plane to D.C.

The original plan was that I was going to fly into D.C. leaving Phoenix at 10 p.m. Friday on the red eye and catch a flight back at 6 p.m. on Sunday, just hours after crossing the finish line. If that sounds crazy, that’s because it was. So this week I changed my flight and extended the trip by an extra day.

I’m elated that I was able to do this because one of my biggest concerns was rushing the weekend. I set my goal to do a race in all 50 states was so that I would actually get to SEE each state. Jetting in and out, I didn’t think I would get to really experience D.C. and this extra day will really make the weekend worth it.Now I’m not sure if I’m more excited for the race, or the weekend itself!

As it turns out, I might have a few fans along the way.

My mom, who seems to know people all over the world – no matter where she is – has friends in D.C. who said they’re going to cheer for me and make me a sign!
Beyond these kind strangers though, who I’ll hopefully be able to pick out of the masses, I might have another friendly face in the crowd. That’s the great part about runners – they are everywhere! If you need someone to support you, you can count on the running community to look out for you! It will be nice to have a recognizable face along the route and hopefully we will be able to do a warm-up run around the National Mall on Saturday.

As for the race, I’ll post another pre-race blog with a training recap and goals, but I’m really just looking to go out there, have fun, and finish. Most importantly, I want to make my dad proud. I’m doing the Marine Corps Marathon in his honor, for his service, and want to do right by him. Luckily, my dad is awesome, and I think he’ll be happy no matter how I do!

And with that, here is the official Kelly! t-shirt for this race:

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