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Compiled by #RunChi member Supriya Doshi

Just as it starts to warm up in Chicago, the festivals begin and sidewalk patios open, serving up your favorite chilled beverage on Friday night. And then … fall marathon training begins. How’s that for timing?

We’re in full swing on the Lakefront Path. And with that comes lots of highs and lows, crammed into one very short Chicago summer. Talk about a love/hate relationship. Here are some of our favorite—and least favorite—things about training season:

The highs:

  • Best=Eating —Heather
  • Post-long run brunch! —Sara
  • Post-run feel laying on the couch with the legs up and watching TV, and feeling completely justified not doing anything the rest of the day. —Kate
  • The feeling you get after running double-digit mileage and being at home, ice-bathed and eating brunch by 9 a.m. Hello, afternoon nap! —Autumn
  • Using races leading up to the marathon as “practice” and “training” runs. —Miguel
  • Feeling of accomplishment after a good (or not-so-good) long run. —Supriya
  • Rediscovering the discipline to get in shape and make healthy choices. — Vicky
  • Consistency in my training miles, not a 3/4- mile run here or there. —Shawna

The lows:

  • When you don’t have an in-unit washer and dryer—all the sweaty and smelly clothing is not fun. —Nina
  • Staying in on Friday nights to get extra sleep before the long run. —Sara
  • The dreaded 4 a.m. wakeup call every Saturday for four months, but also having to focus more attention on weeknight training over weeknight patio drinks all summer. —Autumn
  • Being extra cautious and self-aware with and about everything the last two weeks before the marathon where you try to avoid the unknown. … And still picking up food poisoning three days before the race! —Miguel
  • Going to bed early on Friday night—even if that’s what I’d normally be doing (unlike five years ago, when I’d *only* have a few drinks and set my bedtime at a reasonable time of midnight). —Supriya
  • I hate marathon training season when you haven’t signed up for one, but then after hearing about everyone starting to train … you start to look for one. —Joanna
  • Being ultra-aware of every little ache of pain, especially toward the end of the training cycle, and worrying that they might be an injury in the making. —Vicky
  • Run-ger: The feeling of wanting to eat so much because you ran so far, but know you have to be disciplined about not overdoing it in order to progress. And the fear of getting injured because of the higher miles. —Shawna

What highs and lows have you experienced during marathon training?

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