The Marathon Chronicles: The Important Lessons Part 1

I was chatting with some other runners last week about just general running stuff: body glide, weekend plans, how the long run we all just did went. Sharing and hearing stories of experience, reading articles, along with personal experience have been things that have helped me in running a full marathon, 9 half marathons, and training for another full (currently) in the last 3 years.

But there are just so many things I have learned, in what I feel to be the hardest way. Things I didn’t always expect, things I found terrifying, things I found hilarious.

Despite not having children of my own- I see the appeal behind the books in which women chronicle the awkward/unexpected/silly/embarassing things that occur or can occur during pregnancy. I wish I would have had the runners version of that 2 years ago when I started running very seriously.

So this is my attempt to do that. But in two parts.

1) Everybody poops. Sometimes in the bathroom, sometimes on the trail…

Please see point #6 in the next post to hopefully avoid this.  But sometimes it happens – training run, race…. The best advice I can give you on this is:

If you’re in doubt

on what will come out… don’t push- or find a porta loo.

Do you want to PR?  Or poop your pants?


2) Chafing. It will happen to you, sooner or later. 

And it won’t be pleasant, it may be your thighs, your nips, butt crack, thighs, or sports bra line area.  Coconut oil and aloe will help with the healing.

Body glide, Tri Slide, and band aids (nips) will help prevent the actual chafing.

body glide

3) Listen to your body. Most times its telling you what you need to know. 

It sounds cliche but it’s not. See point #1.

But also this is important for injuries.  There is a different between aches and pains that come up during a run, and pain.


This is additionally important for fatigue.  There is a difference between being a little tired after work and wanting to not run, and being legitimately worn out, sore, and needing to either skip a run, cut your pace back, and/or decreasing your mileage a bit.

4) Be flexible. With your times, your training, and running in general.

Don’t pick a training plan that’s unyielding, and don’t be unyielding with your training plan.  Same thing with pace – especially if you’re training in the summer with the heat and humidity – which will make your normal splits creep up.  Just go with it .  Sometimes training runs get cut short – for one reason or another- try to not make a habit of it.

Marathon, and half marathon plans can extend for 8+ weeks many events can crop up in a training cycle: holidays, parties, events, vacations, etc.  Trying to stay on schedule is important, but so is enjoying life.

I was once told by someone who is a much more seasoned runner than me- to not try to “make up” or tack on more miles – but when my schedule get’s busy try to get in the tempo run, an easy run, and long run.  Personally this has helped me immensely with making training runs – better fit my schedule.

5.) Clip Your Toenails.  The ones you have left…

So you might lose a toenail or two.  It’s normal – it happens, best to just embrace it, although in most cases losing toenails can be prevented by shoes being properly fitted.  Typically by the time you lose a toenail, a fresh new nail is already working on growing in.  BUT back to my main point.  Clip your toenails, have them regularly pedi’d whatever.  My tiny talons are always sharp on the edges when they grow.  And If I do not cut them, I have issues like this:


This was the end result of a 10 miler in which one nail rubbed and dug into its neighboring toe.  I initially felt some scratching – minimal pain- until the finish, and I got my shoe off, and realized what had happened.

Remember this is part 1 of a 2 part series! I hope you all found this humorous enough to wait around for part 2. What are some of the crazy/humorous things you have picked up from running? 


  1. Yup! This is a great part I of the training chronicles. I’m currently training for marathon #2 (Chicago), and can relate to all of this. I think that season of life can make a difference, too. For instance, during my first marathon training I had no GI issues. This time around, it’s a different story. Which takes us back to #4 – be flexible 🙂 Looking forward to part II.

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