The Discovery of a Different Me in This Marathon Training

Hello True Believers!!

I know it has been a while since I have blogged, but I am the type of person that blogs when I feel like I have something to say that is a little more substantial, not based on a schedule. And so much has been going on since I last blogged, finding time has been even more difficult.

So training for this Marathon (Kentucky Derby Marathon, April 28 th my second anniversary as a runner, and my second Marathon !) is vastly different than training for my first. For starters, I am using the book, “Run Less Run Faster” due to my rising CPK levels in my bloodwork. My doctor thinks a possible cause is the amount of miles I was putting on, so after some research and wonderful suggestions from friends, I found this book, and I have to admit, it is making me faster. Also, this time around, I am working 3 rd shift, and during the day, I am home with our 5 ½ month old, and get the girls ready/pick them up/drop them off to school, so sleep sometimes is much shorter than I would like, but I am not complaining…I am blessed to be a Father. Simple as that.

The one obstacle I am having is with Nutrition and Hydration. When I was training last year, I was working normal first shift hours, so I accommodating both proper Hydration and Nutrition were easy. But with working 3 rd shift, it becomes a bit of a challenge...ESPECIALLY considering I work in an E.R. I am noticing that almost, no matter how much water I make sure to drink, hydration is an issue (i.e. color of urine), because my body is used to being sleep and recharging/processing the day. Same with Nutrition, because I am no longer able to eat every couple of hours and know when to stop because I am going to sleep soon. Often I find myself headed to the gym (after getting the two/third of my wonderful daughters to school, and feeding our youngest, I immediately change clothes and we head to the Y for my workout) having not eaten since 3 AM earlier that morning (my “lunchtime”). So I have become accustomed to the sound of a rumbling tummy during my runs and workouts.

The oddest of these self-checked revelations is that, this time around, I have become more of a recluse when it comes to my Marathon Training. I tend to keep any and all of my wins (getting faster per mile, beating my goals almost daily, weight loss, etc) strictly to myself. And I FINALLY think I have figured out why…

I am a: Child of God; Husband to One Amazing Wife; Father to 3 Beautiful Daughters; Marathoner; ½ Marathoner; Runner Training for a Marathon; 3 rd Shift E.R. Worker. When I look around, virtually speaking, at my peers in anyone of these descriptive, I know NO ONE who fits the majority of these. I know people who are parents, Runners, and training fro a marathon, but they don’t have the 3 rd shift job complications that I feel like I can feel a sense of camaraderie with. The way I am built, if I don’t feel like we share too much in common, I am less likely to open myself fully up and be vulnerable. In this go ‘round of Marathon Training, I am noticing that I am REALLY alone in these combined statuses and instead of having to explain routine/random things to people, I just keep it all to myself.

I am not sure if it is healthy or not, but I have noticed, in my 4 th week of training, my “Training Persona” is drastically different than last year this time. To have the proper energy level, and sustain it after working overnight, I have to tap into my inner “Angry Corey”…angry at the people who call me crazy for doing all that I try to do; crazy for why I insist on beating my daily training goals; or constantly offer unsolicited advice on how to “do better” when they aren’t having to go through the things I do. Plus my training time is the only time in the course of an entire day (which usually spills out to the next day) which I have completely to myself (thankfully our Y is a GODSEND at children’s care and I have confidence in them with our youngest, while I am doing my workout).

I find myself on DailyMile reading everyone’s workouts (no, I don’t comment as much…did I mention I am home with a 5 ½ month old all day…not a lot of sit-in-front-of-the-computer time) and unlike before, I don’t feel apart of the community. The same thing happens when I look at my Facebook page. Seriously, more times than not, recently I have given heavy thought to deleting both my DailyMile and Facebook accounts. There is a reason why Superman is my favorite hero above others: Wonder Woman was the best among the Amazon people; Batman is the shining example of how great a Human Being can be, both mentally and physically; Superman is the last of his people (please don’t name-drop Supergirl, Zod, or Doomsday into this…I’m making a point) often saying nothing because he realizes that the people he is around think so much differently than him.

I sort of figure I am wasting people’s time having both of those accounts, so why keep them? No, this is not a fishing-for-ego-boosting-compliments expedition, SERIOUSLY. More than just feeling alone in this round of training, I feel heavily isolated. Even when I am at the gym, I feel isolated from the other people there. The ones who look at me and my Fila Skeletoes (“toe shoes”) and my non- typical runner’s body who actually take the time, after my run to say how shocked they are at how much stamina I have (yes, I have had random people say this to me after spending an hour or so on the treadmill) My FAVORITE comment? I went in for a procedure a couple of months ago, and as I was wheeled into the room, right before they gave me my anesthesia, the techs asked about a bracelet I was wearing…I told them it was a reward after I ran my first marathon….they responded by all looking surprised, and saying, “Wow, I guess anyone can run a marathon.”

I work hard at everything I do in my life…My Wife gets 100%, my Children get 100%, my job gets 100%, and my Training gets 100% and often that is all overlapping or extending beyond the 24 hours given in a single day. I am not gifted with speed, I am not gifted with being built like a Greek God, I am blessed with an indomitable will…ok, I’m stubborn, I just am sugar coating it J

I have no idea how this will play out come Race Day, or how this will affect my overall mentality come Race Day, or in other aspects of my life. I guess this is an open letter to those who have noticed, or wondered about the different side of me.

-Until the Wheels Fall Off
-Corey The Alpha Male Runner


  1. First, I will be on that line of "NO - DONT QUIT YOUR ACCOUNTS!!!!!!!" - I'd cry! We gotta be able to keep up with you. You inspire me. You cant abandon all that you give energy too!!! (OK - enough of that)

    Its funny - but life takes us through different stages - family, job, health. Running is just a way to handle it, but that too changes with the circumstances. That's the amazing thing with running - there's no right or wrong way to do it. Whether it be out in the middle with everyone, talking about it, running in groups - or keeping it personal, feeling different - its all the same - you're doing it for YOU!!!! Running, in the end, is a personal thing.

    Just know that it may feel different & "lonely" right now, but I guarantee you, you are learning some things that are going to round you out in all the other areas of your life.

    And I guarantee you - this time next year? You'll be in another place - in family, career, running... & it'll be just fine :)

    And BTW - Can I find the person who said that comment about "anyone can run a marathon" - because I want to punch them... hard!

  2. totally agree with rebecca here!!!took the words from my mouth!
    and that comment about "anyone can run a marathon",yeah that person needs to be kicked....or taken for a long training run to see how long they can last!lol!
    i know my husband about flipped on a very slender build guy during a 5k race. the man told my husband "dont you know this is a skinny mans sport?"
    proud to say that my 275lb husband ended up passing that "skinny" guy at the very end of the race!

    hang in there corey! as rebecca said,you are learning things now during this time,and this time next year will feel different. running IS a personal thing,and that alone will help carry you through!

  3. I love the video! :) You look SO STRONG at the end - no matter how you felt, you LOOKED it! :)

    Look how far you've come even from your last marathon. So inspiring! You make me want to entertain the idea of a full marathon. And that's just CRAZY! :) haha!

    BTW - my Runners world magazine came the day OF the race :) It was waiting for me when I got home. :)

    I love how you are inspiring your family too... your girls seeing you do these marathons & now, Damary planning for her first half. She's gonna KILL it too! How can she not with a great trainer? :) And with a pretty awesome headband too!

    Hope you are still resting & healing up buddy! I am so UBER-PROUD of you! And as always, honored to share the road with such an amazing athlete!!


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