Contact Us

Drop Joe a message if you would like to connect or learn more. Simply fill out the form at the right and we will see what we can do.

Grand Rapids, MI



A place where the average runner can learn and share

Series 3:59:59 The Phantom of Fatigue



Here I am at week Nine and Ten of training for the Detroit Marathon. For those who maybe coming to the blog for the first time, this series is about my quest to finish the Detroit Marathon in under four hours (check out the other chapters if you would like to catch up). This will probably be one of the more personal entries for this series, but maybe you can find some comparisons and/or commonalities that will relate to your training experience.

The miles are starting to pack on and I am feeling it. Two weeks ago I finished a 20 miler and I felt strong and confident, followed by an 18 miler last week that was not so good. Add the runs in between and now I am cooking with gas! At the same time fall is starting — so back to school for my son (waking him up, making lunches, school meetings etc.), for work it also means a fourth quarter push to end the year on a good note which possibly means more hours.

Later nights, earlier mornings and added mileage — great breading ground for fatigue and injuries. I noticed I am not sleeping as well as I was or worse not eating as well. Little by little these things are wearing me down. A Phantom of Fatigue!

[pullquote_left]Fatigue can linger and, if so, will follow you like a shadow.[/pullquote_left]

Fatigue can linger and, if so, will follow you like a shadow. It can create doubt where none existed, or worse, creep over the very motivation that jumped started the decision to run. I feel the nagging soreness, not injury per se just sore. I can hear that voice in the morning that says "oh you can run later!".

At the same time it is here that I take stock. It is my mirror to the marathon itself. During the course of the race I know I am going to feel the effects. I will either push on or quit. I will not quit. I heard Lance Armstrong say "pain is temporary but quitting is forever" and I feel that is true.

The next two weeks are really the hardest. Waking in the morning an putting on those shoes and hitting the road while it is still dark puts a big toll on me. I am a sun guy. But usually after about 10 minutes, the doubt goes away. The thoughts turn to finishing, or even how to solve certain issues. That old feeling comes back which gets me thinking about finishing in under four.

Another goofy thing that motivates me at this time is — new shoes! Yep I time when I get my new shoes around the marathon. I am four weeks out, I just finished putting about 400 miles on my last shoes and this gives me the time to break them in perfectly for the race. Something about opening that shoe box and slipping those bad boys on (Asics GT-2150's) that gets me excited about running.

The last part that really motivates me is the butterflies. They are already starting. The anticipation of the crowd, the decision on what to wear, praying for dry weather and of course finishing in under four hours.

See I keep saying it like a mantra. Four weeks to go, the last leg of the training. Enjoy the Run.

The next chapter — Tapering.