Worries That Only Plague Runners


Last Friday, I got sick. Massively sick. The kind of sick that makes you hesitant about being more that 15 feet from the bathroom at any given time.

Aren’t you glad I just put the Mr. Yuck icon up there instead of an actual representation of what I was going through?

You’re welcome.

Come Saturday morning – time for my weekly long run – the massive sickness had not magically subsided. I had a 16 miler on my schedule, which would have been my longest run this year, since my injury, and in this marathon training program.

Would have been.

To be fair, I did consider actually doing the run. I figured that I needed emergency bathroom access roughly every 15 minutes. So I could run a mile and return home. Repeat. Sixteen times.

Instead, drinking ginger ale while groaning miserably on the couch happened.

Other stuff happened to. Please refer to the Mr. Yuck picture above.

And somewhere in between the groans came the worrying. This isn’t some puny 4-miler or even speedwork I was missing out on. This was a LONG RUN. This was one of the bigger long runs.

Up popped the thought that every marathoner is required to think at least once: “Ohmygosh, I missed a run. How will I ever be able to run a whole marathon now? I can’t. I’m going to die in a pool of drool, embarrassment, and lactic acid at mile 15.”

Then I rushed to the bathroom … again.

Here’s the thing, y’all. Running a marathon is a journey of roughly a gazillion steps, and missing a few – or a few hundred – is not going to be the end of the world. Even if it’s a super important run, it’s not as super important as your entire training program.

So I took a breath, recovered from my gastrointestinal disaster, and today, I’m getting back up on the marathon horse. I let my coach know, so we can make the necessary adjustments to my training program.

And that’s it. On with the journey. Because that’s what running a marathon is really about.

Have you ever missed a major run while training for a marathon? How did you adjust your training program?

In other news, my brother has officially entered the blogosphere! It’s called Very Sound Pizza, and it will be all about making yummy pizza and listening to great music. So maybe head over there after your long run…


  1. So not cool! I’m glad you’ve recovered and are back at it as usual. Also, great to hear a balanced perspective on marathon training and a smart decision to skip a long run. Although I would’ve loved to hear about trying 16 miles with a potty stop every mile!

  2. Um yes….I worry about these things as well, but you’re so right. Missing one long run isn’t gonna break your training. I’m glad you’re felling a bit better though, being sick is no fun, long run missed or not :(

  3. You did the right thing, running while sick would have not helped you anyway You probably would have felt even worse and recovered would have taken longer. Don’t look back, just focus on your next long run and you will be back on track sooner than you think.