It’s That Time

by Joanne on October 28, 2011

It’s that time in training when self doubt starts.  I begin to doubt my training. I review the miles I’ve run in the last four months, how many long runs over 17, how much speed work, training pace times, and begin to wonder whether I’ve done enough.

I look at my past training plans for the first marathon, then the second marathon. Negative thoughts come to mind: I haven’t run as many miles. I haven’t run as fast. Those marathons were net downhill.  Then Ted says to me “The confidence will come with experience. This is only your third marathon.” Ah! Reassuring words of wisdom.  It makes sense to me as I compare two marathons to the countless number of 5K’s, 10K’s, even Half Marathons I’ve accomplished. And so my thoughts change…


I’m tired, I acknowledge. I’m ready to be done with this training and going out for a run because I’m on a schedule. I want to run for however many miles my body wants to run for and I might even want to skip a run and just walk for 7 miles. But for now, for the next three weeks, I will do what I have to do to get me to the finish line on Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia on November 20th.

When I signed up for the marathon, I simply read “flat and fast”. Now I’m reading things such as it’s not as easy as one might assume, or We’re among the top ten in the country, recognized for our not-too-difficult terrain…” Ummm, “not-too-difficult” means something different to me than “flat and fast”. Oh well. I’m in it now!  I’ll get it done.

It’s that time of year…

when the weather turns against the runner unless you’re the type who enjoys running in the rain and the cold ….and the wind.

The morning drive to work began with a misting and light fog.


The rain began to fall.


By the time I was minutes from work, the day was darker, the roads were wetter.


And so the day went, dark and dreary. 

The ride home was even more interesting as the weather progressed from simple rain in the Village


to darker skies and larger rain splatter.


Finally, at the top of the hill, there it was, the dreaded white stuff. 


I’m not ready for the wintery mix yet.  I’m trying to log outside miles and there is nothing inviting about running in wet, cold weather.  I’ll get used to it as we progress into the colder months but this transition from Fall into Winter is tough, especially when logging high running miles.

The best part about October snow in upstate New York is that it rarely sticks.  It will come and it will go.  I’ll face it since I can’t do anything about it.  I’ll run in it and think to myself “because you don’t want to run today, in this nasty weather, this is mental training and you’ll get through it.”

This week in miles:

Monday: 7.2 (easy run) Tuesday: 10 miles (Yasso’s)  Wednesday: 4.8 (easy run) Thursday:  10.35 (mid range)  Friday: 3.41 It was slippery out there!  

Saturday’s plan is another 20.  The forecast doesn’t look too bad.  It will be cold but that makes it easy to decide what to wear.


What is the hardest part of training for you? Is it getting started on your program or is it the end of your training program?

What do you like LEAST about the changing seasons? What do you like MOST about the changing seasons?

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  • At 2011.10.28 07:37, Beth said:

    Snow! Can you believe it?

    I ran Philly 2 years ago, and I honestly don’t remember any big hills. The worst part was the hairpin turn around at 19 or 20. It’s pretty flat. Good luck!!

    • At 2011.10.28 10:32, Joanne said:

      I heard there were a couple of hairpins to watch out for. Thanks. 🙂

      • At 2011.10.28 08:41, Lori said:

        You will do fine. It’s not like you aren’t trained or anything LOL!

        I find it hard at the end because I don’t always like to feel I *have* to do a certain type of workout or for x amount of time/miles. Sometimes you want to get out there and just do, know what I mean? I start to chafe at the structure.

        • At 2011.10.28 10:33, Joanne said:

          The end is the hardest for me as well. The excitement fades and the body is tired.

          • At 2011.10.28 08:42, Heather said:

            Our husbands are both smarty pants, aren’t they? 😉

            I keep hearing of snow in different cities and I’m PRAYING we don’t get it for awhile yet! I need to move somewhere warm…..

            • At 2011.10.28 10:33, Joanne said:

              Light snow fall come December is enjoyable. Somehow it gives a calming affect when I run. But right now, October, it’s just too early.

              • At 2011.10.28 10:21, Nancy Jean said:

                Moments of self-doubt are completely natural, Joanne. Yeah, listen to me .. I sound like Dr. Joyce Brothers, hah! But seriously, when you’re as committed as you are you obviously want to do your best — even beyond that, you strive to do better each time — of course there are gonna be times when you’re thinking, “am i preparing enough? Should I be doing more? Will this type of training be successful for me?” And you know the answer because you know yourself … YOU WILL GET IT DONE! And more often than not, you’re pleased with the result.

                We’re all behind you, proud as punch! And I hope Bob and I can still join in the fun in Philly! 🙂

                p.s. ENJOY THIS GLORIOUS DAY!

                • At 2011.10.28 10:35, Joanne said:

                  Thank you so much for your never ending support. Like I said above, I’m tired and this time in training emotions take over. I’ll get through the run because I’ll think of all the wonderful Thanksgiving food 🙂 If that’s not motivation, nothing is.

                  • At 2011.10.29 08:20, Tina@GottaRunNow said:

                    When I’m anxious, I look through my running journal to remind myself of all of the hard work I’ve done already. I compare my recent training with my past training, too. Looking forward to cooler days!

                    • At 2011.10.29 13:36, Bela said:

                      You will do fabulously on your third marathon. But I feel your pain. The end of the schedule is always the worst and the white stuff needs to get a calendar, it’s WAY TOO early!

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