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Twelve Stages of Running a Marathon

July 30, 2019

Twelve Stages of Running a Marathon

Are you training for a marathon or planning to run one in the future?  Perhaps you’re a veteran marathoner, going after the 50 States Club.  No matter your level of experience, the following are the 12 stages of running a marathon that everyone experiences. 

Starting Line:  Am I really running a marathon?
As you stand on the starting line, you will wonder to yourself, “am I really doing this?”  You question whether there is time to run back to the car and eat pancakes at home instead.

Mile 1:  This pace feels easy, I’m going to run faster
When the gun goes off, you get off the line at what feels like snail’s pace.  This is marathon pace?  It feels so easy!  You decide to pick it up just a bit in order to bank some time. 

Mile 5:  Why is there a water stop here?  I don’t need water/gels yet.
As you pass the first water stop, you laugh at the people around you taking water and gels.  Don’t they realize hydration and calories aren’t necessary until the end? 

Mile 10:  Why did I start so fast and skip the first water stop?
Five miles later, when you still have 16 miles to go, reality sets in.  Now you realize why people were taking water and gels early, and that your pace may have been a little hot. 

Mile 13.1:  Hey!  Halfway!
At the halfway point, you will get a burst of energy.  The first half wasn’t so bad, so this next half should be easy!

Mile 14:  I still have TWELVE MILES?
Then, at mile 14 you realize you still have 12 miles to go, and, uh, that’s kind of a lot! 

Mile 16:  10 miles, I can do this!
But, you are again re-energized when you reach mile 16.  Only 10(.2) miles left!  Almost to the single digits!  

Mile 18:  Is there a bathroom around here?
After a few hours on your feet and the combination of sports drink and gels in your stomach, you might be hoping for a port-a-potty to appear sooner, rather than later.

Mile 19:  LOL, what’s this people say about a wall?  My legs feel fine.
Don’t be fooled, the wall is real, and it can show up real fast.

Once the wall hits, you’ll know it; just keeping pushing forward. 

Mile 22:  Four miles has never felt so long
You’re used to four mile runs, you probably do them (or something longer) all the time.  Why is this taking forever?

Mile 24:  TWO miles has never felt so long
No, you didn’t miss a mile marker along the way.  You still have 2(.2) miles to go. 

Mile 26:  0.2 miles has never felt so long
Almost there!  This will be the longest 400 m of your life. 

Mile 26.1:  I never want to run a marathon again.
Seriously.  Never again.

Mile 26.2:  Can I sign up for next year’s race?
The euphoria of crossing the finish line is unparalleled.  What’s the date for next year? 

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