Burning the candle at both ends!

Or, in other words, “Trying to have a life while also training for a marathon”.

Marathon training is hard and requires quite a level of commitment and dedication. It can be quite challenging to fit all the training in around work and social activities, especially the long run, which in my case is anything from 21k to 36k depending on the stage of the programme. (Other people follow different programmes and some may in fact run the full 42.2k distance in training).

This year has been particularly challenging, because the most intense phase of the programme, ie where the overall mileage and the long run distance are the highest, has happened to fall during Mad March.

Mad March is a magical time in Adelaide. It is pretty much when EVERYTHING happens. And then, for the next 11 months, it goes back to this:

Well, not quite. Stuff still happens. But the bulk of it – the Fringe festival, the Adelaide Festival, Womadelaide, Clipsal, and, um, that horse race I’d prefer not to talk about –  all happens within that 1 month period.

I love Fringe. Last year I went to 28 shows. This year, I think, only 7. Partly for financial reasons, with a big overseas trip coming up very soon – even when I manage to get a lot of the tickets for half price, you generally still have at least a drink or something to eat. The city is buzzing even on a school night. The weather is generally good. My birthday falls slap bang in the middle of it (this year I celebrated my birthday at the Fringe which was pretty cool!)

But probably more importantly, it was the marathon training that limited how many shows I got to this year. Last year I’d go to a lot of midweek late night shows and still roll up to work the next day, but I may have missed one or two of the morning runs. That was fine, because last year, at this time, I was only just starting my marathon training (for Gold Coast) but this year I’m hitting the peak phase, so want to avoid missing too many runs!

Then there’s the long runs. 2 weekends ago I did a 36k long run on Sunday, but that was a long weekend, so I had an extra day to fit in other activities (plus, I’d taken the Friday off for my birthday, so it was in fact a 4 day weekend!) This weekend just gone, I was supposed to do another 36, but with a lunch on Saturday that pretty much lasted all day, volunteering at a trail race all Sunday morning and a birthday party in the afternoon, there wasn’t any way I was going to find 3.5 hours to run 36k, so I ended up running 21k straight after work, just to get it done. It wasn’t a pleasant run, all on main roads, but it was kind of a nice feeling to be running faster than the traffic (it being peak hour)

And then I got to go celebrate St Patrick’s Day in style at Adelaide Oval, knowing that I didn’t need to get up at arse o’clock in the morning to squeeze a long run in!

Not to mention, getting to celebrate the 3rd birthday of the wonderful Mount Barker parkrun AND run my fastest parkrun for the year so far (still well off PB pace but I’ll take it!)

Although I didn’t run on Sunday, I volunteered at a trail race which was a 90 minute drive from Adelaide and I needed to be there at 8. So, as much as I was really enjoying the late night show I went to (and by all accounts it only got better after I left) I reluctantly had to leave at 1am to ensure I got a few hours sleep in! The things we do! 
I guess there’s never really a good time to be training for a marathon. You’re going to have to train in either cold weather or hot weather (and often rain), and in some cases all three! There are always going to be sacrifices to be made but you just have to keep your eyes on the prize, which in my case looks a little like this:

(That’s not my medal, but I will have one very much like it in 4 weeks!)