Marathon Woes: What if?

In less than 24 hours, I will be exactly one week away from lining up at the starting line of my first full marathon. I’m anxious, excited and yes …afraid. Okay, afraid may be too harsh ….it’s more like worried. Yes, I’m worried.

I will readily confess that, by nature, I tend to be a worrier. Just ask Major Hubs. There’s a running joke between us in that every time I say something like …’but what if  _______  happens’, he always responds with ‘yeah, and a meteor could fall out of the sky and hit {you/me/or whoever else I may be worrying about at the time}. Are you going to worry about that too?’ Hmmmm ….It’s quite possible.

However, from my perspective, I don’t always see it as worrying per se ….I just like to prepare for the worst and be pleasantly surprised when it all turns out well. Regardless, I do think it is perfectly normal for most runners, especially a first time marathoner, to have some worries, concerns and maybe even a few fears when it comes to tackling their first marathon. I also believe that owning and admitting those feelings are just as important as facing them in order to conquer them! So, with that in mind, I give you …..

My Top 5 Marathon “What Ifs?”


1. What if it rains?

Yes, I know it’s still early. Yes, I know the weather forecasts are usually always wrong and yes, I know there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it anyway. But come on, doesn’t everyone weather stalk at least a week or more out from a race? Cold I can deal with, even a little warmer temps with some humidity ….but rain??? Ugh! Who wants to run 26.2 miles in the rain! My feet surely won’t like that and since my feet are already a tad bit on the unhappy side, I sure don’t want to piss them off even more. Every couple of days, the chance of rain goes down a little so here’s hoping that by race day it’ll be at zero ….or at least 20%. I’ll take that.



2. What if these hills kill me?

This is a hilly course and I knew that when I signed up. I love hills and hate flat …but I’ve never run 26.2 miles of hills either. What if they chew me up and spit me out? One thing is for sure, by the time I cross that finish line, I’ll either continue with my love affair with hills or I’ll kick them to the curb ….along with my running shoes!


What’s this 26.95 stuff?????


3. What if my foot says ‘hell no’?

If you’ve been following me, you know that my right foot has been contrary the last few weeks. I knew going in to this training plan that it was a very strong possibility that my ankle would not allow me to run this distance. Even running half marathons is not exactly pain-free so you can imagine my surprise and delight when I managed to get that 19 mile run in relatively pain free and still feeling like I could’ve run a little more! Then the wheels fell off. I hit my foot on a piece of furniture right after that run and every run since then has presented some degree of pain. I promptly made an appointment with my podiatrist to rule out anything that would cause more serious damage by running this marathon.  20180109_143454.jpgBased on my history, x-rays and the time frame related to me hitting my foot and a physical exam, she felt fairly certain the cause of pain was a bone bruise and while it may not feel great, it wouldn’t cause any serious or permanent damage by running the marathon. However, she did recommend that I run as little as possible leading up to the race. Rest, ice and compress ….so 19 miles would have to be my longest run leaving 7.2 miles to the unknown. Even my taper has had to taper. Heck, I went from 19 to almost nothing.  I did attempt 14 last Saturday and had to stop at 11.5 due to some PF pain which I suspect was caused by an altered gait from the bone bruise still bothering me. So there’s that. Who knows what this foot will feel like on race day. I’m sure hoping that all of this ‘rest’ is giving it time to heal completely and it will be feeling all spry and ready to fly on race day!

4. What if I don’t get my fueling right?

I know, I know …..I obviously got it right to get me through 19 miles, but there’s still another 7.2 miles that I didn’t practice fueling for and these are supposedly the toughest miles of the race! I mean seriously, that last Gu I ingested during that 19 miler went down about as smooth as a tablespoon of Castor Oil. Another 7 miles will surely require at least two more …or should I try gummies, pretzels, oreos or maybe a glass of wine perhaps!100-percent-sure

5. What if I can’t get past the ‘wall’?

Oh my gosh, the wall. That damn wall. I’ve heard so many horror stories about everyone’s first marathon completely falling apart at mile 20. I know it’s coming. I’ve experienced mini-walls during some of my training runs. I also experienced the euphoria of pushing through those ….but the wall, the marathon wall is an unknown. It sounds big and scary and so damn intimidating. Yes, I know I can always walk the last 6.2 miles if I have to …but who wants to do that? I know that I will still be a marathoner even if I have to walk the last 6.2 miles …but damnit, I want to at least shuffle the last 6.2 miles. I know, pride goeth before the fall. Heck, I’ll probably be so dang grateful if I’m actually able to walk the last 6.2 miles rather than being carried to the finish by the medical crew.Fun-Run-Screencaps-the-office-fun-run-legs-02092015--727x405

Okay, okay, I know that worrying doesn’t change anything ….but come on, doesn’t everyone have some anxiety and worries the days leading up to a big race? Tell me I’m not alone in this!

Here’s hoping that you’ll read a runfession soon about how all of this was worried about in vain!! Unless of course, that darn meteor falls out of the sky at mile 25 and keeps me from crossing that finish line!!

Until then, I’ll be laying awake at night stressing about possible race day disasters including and not limited to pooping, chafing, pain, bonking, crying, pain, finishing last and, of course, pain!crying

What is your biggest fear on race day? Any advice on how to conquer the wall? Tell me about your first marathon experience …I’m a sponge soaking it all up!

FriFive2I’m linking up with Running on Happy, Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 link-up!



Finding “Fabulous” at Fifty, one race at a time!


37 thoughts on “Marathon Woes: What if?

  1. Ugh, I’d say rain is probably one of the top race day “dreads.” I can muster through it, but YUCK. The first time I ran grandma’s Marathon (2015), we had rain for the first two hours (basically, the first 13.1). I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and found some comfort in knowing ALL of us racers were dealing with it and I wasn’t alone. Happy thoughts and best wishes! Let’s hope that foot cooperates for you.


  2. Major Hubs says:

    You should really worry about meteors. One DID hit the United States earlier this week. It could happen. I know I’ll be running with one eye toward the sky and one eye on the potholes…….which will probably really hurt my eyes.


  3. I can totally relate to this and I remember having so many similar feelings before my first marathon! You really cant do anything about the weather other than dress appropriately. 19 miles is plenty to get you prepared for this race! And I think this intense taper will only help you. Keep resting up and try not to worry too much!


  4. I agree with Major Hubs. After all, meteors were the theme of that book I reviewed yesterday. Yet they still ran…

    Anyhoo, what if none of these things happen and you finish unscathed? Think positive. The hay is in the barn. You’re going to do this! Even if you have to walk…


    • Yes, and Major Hubs reminded me that a meteor actually did hit Michigan the other day. Lol

      I do have plenty of positive thoughts going on as well ….I just have some anxiety floating all around them!! Thanks for all of your encouragement!! xoxo


  5. it’s totally normal how you feel. it’s your first marathon!! that’s AMAZING!

    it could rain. you’ll run anyway. the hills won’t kill you. your foot may not like it (I’ve run 5 marathons with a neuroma and 2 after surgery – my foot didn’t like it, some of the marathons I did end up having to walk a bit). If you have practised your fueling hopefully you will get it right. You WILL make it through the wall because even if you have to crawl YOU WILL DO IT. Try to remember that NOT getting through it is not an option! (My friend Glyn was pushed and fell hard at Chicago, dislocated his shoulder AND STILL FINISHED. In other words, you can make it!!).

    My first marathon was in Paris. It was an amazing day. I was so nervous I burst into tears when I said goodbye to my husband as he left for his corral. Then the friend I was running with burst into tears. I had all the same thoughts. I had pain in my foot. It was warm. My friend wasn’t feeling that great and eventually I had to leave her at 20 miles. Cue more tears. I ran the last 6 on my own. I felt at times I was running backwards! Yet, I still made it. That’s why I KNOW YOU WILL MAKE IT TOO.

    Can’t wait to hear what an amazing marathon you had!


  6. O gosh I’ve had all these thoughts too during one race or another. I guess Any of these things could happen ( but I hope they don’t ALL or ya know what, it could be a fabulous day. Even if it rains, don’t let that spoil your race. Good luck!


  7. I’ll say it again, the things you fret over most will NOT come to pass. Other things will crop up..and you’ll deal with it and keep moving. 😉 If it rains, slather those feet with trail toes. Do that even if it doesn’t rain, actually. You got this! In one week, we’ll all be calling you a MARATHONER. And take a pic of those happy tears.


  8. Darlene says:

    All your worries are normal. I feel the same way and I only run a half marathon. Rain is the worst and unfortunately, I have run quite a few in the rain —- NOT FUN! Fingers crossed for good weather. Everything else will fall into place.


    • Finally!!! Someone who thinks like me!!! I’m not being negative at all …just preparing myself for the things that could happen. And the things that I have no control over …well, at least I’ll be mentally prepared if they do. Thanks for the support Amy!! xoxo


  9. Obviously I can’t help with marathon advice. And I do believe that all your fears are legitimate. Here’s the thing, though: don’t worry about the things you can’t control — won’t change them and it won’t make you feel better.

    And don’t worry about the things you CAN control — do something about them!

    I always tell people to race like they trained. You know, nothing new on race day?

    I can also tell you I have observed that if the forecast is bad a week out, it’s often nice on race day — I hope that is exactly what happens for you! Now go have some wine. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. OK this post made me chuckle cause I can so hear myself in so much of this and I’m sure I’ll be way out on the ledge a week before my first.

    Hold on to the fact that you have trained well and done all you can to keep that foot happy. Mother Nature is an unpredictable shrew so I’ll be making offerings to the weather gods and hope you get clear skies.

    You are ready my friend! Go get ’em!


  11. You put your worries here, now let them be out of your system. They’re not going to happen, and if they do, you’ll find your strong and know how to deal. Just make the best of what the day brings you. I’m excited to have you in the club! You’ve so got this!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Your First full marathon is so exciting!! Somebody told me to think of the marathon as the victory lap for all the training, because all the work has been put in already. Enjoy it, the excitement of it will carry you through a lot of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. How exciting that you’ll be running your first marathon! All of those worries and concerns are normal. I remember during my first marathon I was very cold (why I wore shorts I cannot remember) but also my feet were hurting me A LOT. I had new shoes (3-4 weeks) and cried around mile 14 or 15 because I couldn’t keep going. There were two runners that trained with me during the summer that actually helped me to keep going. Painful but yet at the same time a wonderful experience!!

    Liked by 1 person

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