The Five Stages of a Bad Marathon Run


  1. Denial – You went past the first couple of mile markers, and you’re not anywhere near where you need to be in terms of time. Your legs may not feel like they’re going too easy, but your brain is making up excuses, such as start line crowds, slow turns, and misplaced mile markers.
  2. Anger – You’re half-way through the marathon, and you’re coming to the stark realizing that you’re off today.  You begin to blame the chef from last night, the beer you had last week, the fit of your shoes, and having the wrong flavor gels.
  3. Bargaining – At mile 15-16 you begin to realize that it’s going to be a stretch to come up with a “respectable” time.  You may have been shooting for a 3:20, but now you’re bargaining with yourself for a 3:30, then a 3:40, then 4 hours.  No one seems to be hearing your pleas.
  4. Depression – You decide that you’re going to miss your goal time by more than an hour, despite [conservatively] being about 15-20 minutes off track. You wonder if someone will scoop you off the pavement if you collapse right where you are. You can’t really tell if you’re crying or sweating, but you feel like bawling your eyes out, regardless.  You still have 6-8 miles to go, and you’re close enough to not really need transport to the finish line, but too far to walk it in.
  5. Acceptance – At about mile 22-24, the pain and humiliation plateaus, and you feel oddly serene and peaceful about your fate.  All that’s left is a weekday recovery run.  You will finish.

Elevation chart of one of my bad marathons:

Hatfield McCoy Elevation Chart

Be Sociable, Share!
Blog Traffic Exchange Related Posts
  • Switching focus away from the marathon for a little while I've had a combination of really good marathon experiences and really bad marathon experiences at this point. The race day experience doesn't bother me too much. The marathon is a challenging distance to run well, because little problems early on (and even 24 hours before) multiply over the 26 mile......
  • 40 days in a row #twit2fit I'm still able to run today after running my 3x800 intervals yesterday @ 6:53 pace. I dropped down to 172 pounds from an average of well over 175, mainly from both lack of food and liquids yesterday. I wouldn't recommend it. Today's run was a 3.2 mile hill run at......
  • Chicago Megathon, er... Marathon Race Report Let's get the gory details out of the way.  My time was a 4:24:50. I was hoping for a sub-4. The Chicago Marathon was on my list of marathons that I wanted to do.  While New York has the five boroughs and the Boston Marathon has the prestige, Chicago is......
  • Iroquois is for Runners, or How to Ruin the Best Half Marathon in the Country The Course In Question Go to the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon/miniMarathon page for the course map. Where I'm Coming From I'm a runner with modest ability.  I never ran track or cross country in high school.  I barely finished the mile fitness test my freshman year in high school. Those......
  • 10,000 miles running. [/caption] 千里之行﹐始於足下。 A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step -- Lao Zi It's been a long time coming. 65 days worth of running time coming. Over 5 years since I ran my first continuous mile. 35 of those initial miles had no running at all--those in April......
  • Help... I'm working on a 70-mile week, with a goal marathon on 11/8... #running Ok, clarification...  the help I seek is with my plan, not with my sanity. Working on a 70-mile week, goal marathon 11/8. [Training log summary] Should I push through to 80 miles over the next 4 weeks or down to the 50-60 mile range and work on pacing?  Currently, my......
Blog Traffic Exchange Blog Traffic Exchange
This entry was posted in marathon and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.