Side Effects of Training

I didn’t intend on becoming a hermit, I swear.

In the past when I trained for half and full marathons, I adjusted my workout schedule accordingly. Friday nights were usually chill nights in – long run Saturday morning. Then, because I had behaved myself so well the night before…Saturday night turned into a runaway (after all…I earned all that booze, right??).  I drank lots of water during the week and spent lunch hours doing 6k loops. Pretty healthy, but life stayed the same.

Just like a bottle of prescription pills, ultra-marathon training should come with a Side Effects warning. The biggest? May cause a decline in social butterfly status. Adjust party schedule accordingly.

I’m finding if very difficult to explain to people why I can’t be out until 4am. I know my former self was usually the ringleader of those moments, but right now – even 10pm is a stretch for me. And I wouldn’t change it or compromise my training…but the amount of guilt-trips I’ve gotten recently (for doing something healthy!) makes me feel like a criminal.

I spend about 8-12 hours a week running right now. Which isn’t too much of a stretch. But the side-effect hours are significant. Transporting myself to the mountains for long runs, cooking myself healthy meals, recovering from runs (this is not laziness. This is legitimate recovery), and my favourite side-effect of all…the extra hours of glorious glorious sleep I require. Something along the way has to give, and I need to be more selective with my time. Dare I say, selfish with my time?

The one thing I keep saying as I progress in this training is it’s been a bigger lifestyle shift than I could have ever expected. And this is just the beginning. Just as much as I’ve shifted the time I spend training (and recovering)…I need to let go of the guilt-trips, be ok with saying no, and plow on with my routine.


In their defense, it has been an abrupt change of face. Even I’m shocked at the rate my schedule has had to change. But I’m looking forward to meeting more runners who can relate to my goal and are fully on board with calling it a night at 6pm, not 6am. Then I won’t need to give up the social butterfly status. Maybe I can shift it. Instead of gallivanting in heels at 4am, I’ll be gallivanting through the mountains in trail shoes and yak traks. Trail shoes don’t elongate my legs with the same ease as 3-inch heels but side effects of both styles are the same. Sore feet, sometimes a blue toenail. I won’t be a hermit, don’t you worry. I’ll be on the trails instead of in the bars, up early instead of out late, and blasting the tunes through earphones instead of club speakers. For the most part. Can’t say there won’t be a night out dancing sprinkled in after a long run. After all…once a social butterfly, always a social butterfly.


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