Aside from the actual running, though, marathon training affects my daily life a lot. For example, eating. If I'm not running and I'm not sleeping (more on that in a bit), chances are I'm eating. Kelsy even told me that she thought my favorite thing to do is to stand in the kitchen and eat. She's right. It takes a lot of fuel to sustain long weekend runs or 8 mile tempo runs.
There's also laundry. I read somewhere that it's good for the material in sports bras to not wash them too frequently. It was even recommended to wear them a couple of times between washing a to preserve the elasticity. Whoever wrote that has obviously never smelled me after a good run. They get washed after one run. I think more than half of my laundry is running clothes - that's a lot of extra laundry!
Then there's sleep. Because Melanie and I like to get our runs done early, it means I also like to go to bed at a decent time the night before (read: early). And aside from regular sleep, during a good marathon training cycle, I find myself napping, which is something I honestly hate to do. But I can tell my body needs it, so I do. I definitely sleep a lot better during training. I also tend to feel much more refreshed when I wake up.
Oh and planning. Derek and I are taking a trip next week and my biggest concern was how I was going to get my long run in while we are gone. I googled it and have a plan (I'm very excited about that run too - I love running in new places!). I have no idea what else we will do on our little trip, but my runs are planned! Last weekend we went for a hike and I put a lot of effort into planning what I thought would be a good, fun hike, but one that would leave me with enough left in the tank for the next day's long run. I feel like so much that I do revolves around how I will fit in that day's run or how I will schedule other things around my runs to make sure I'm creating a balance that works for my family, my runs, and for me.
I think that had I known how much running would affect the non-running aspects of my life, I would have been very hesitant to train for a marathon. I already worry about making sure that my family and work lives don't suffer from my training schedule, but I would have worried that this was just too much. But now that I'm experiencing it first-hand, I love it. I enjoy training even though it's so much more than just running. I love how much more soundly I sleep at night. I love eating all day long. I don't love the extra laundry, but it's worth it.
I think people tend to think of marathon training as a decent amount of running during the week plus a lot of running on the weekend. And it is. But it's so much more than that. And it's awesome.
Today was rest day. So I ate, caught up on laundry, and even had a little nap with my little cutie. I had to prepare my body (and clothes) for tempo day tomorrow!