Marathon Goggles

Runners High, it’s a beautiful thing. But, what if it leads you to make decisions that might, under normal, non-runners high situations be considered, straight up crazy?

This past Saturday I dragged myself out of bed and hopped in Foxy’s car and made the trek out to Newton. As I drove, the GPS took me on the craziest route, but I finally arrived in the Hilliest place in all the land, NEWTON. As I drove the infamous Newton hills my heart beat with the excitement of the run on the horizon. Is this normal? Hmm, not so much. I parked, stretched quickly and then I was off on my way. In order to get in 12 of the hilliest miles possible, I had to do a quick down and back to Newton-Wellesley Hospital (right around roughly mile 16-17 of the marathon.) I was happy to just space out and take in the beautiful day. I did a quick 3 miles and then I was back near Foxy’s car. I anticipated passing my starting point would result in huge mental battle, but it was quite the contrary, it motivated and catapulted me towards an awesome additional 9 miles. As I ran on the carriage road I kept on imaging what it might be like if the Boston Marathon was happening at that exact second. What if Kara Goucher were here RIGHT NOW? I thought about everyone I knew who ran, and how much determination and will they proved on those trying Newton Hills.

Then, I thought about last year’s Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon. I was ill prepared for this race and absolutely hated my life, but somehow in this beautiful day on the last day of April, I felt as if each hill empowered me. Instead of feeling defeated, I felt strong. When I might have felt exhaustion I felt POWER. When I realized that I was conquering the hills with ease I actually thought to myself, wow, maybe I really am a runner after all!

In addition to being a runner, maybe I could actually RUN HILLS, and not die. Wow, what a thought. I’m going to hold onto this huge victory, and never let go.

For the rest of the run it was more of the same, daydreaming of great races and what my future might hold. What if I decided to sign up for a marathon in the fall…just for fun? Hmmm, what about Disney in January? Running with characters sounds like fun to me…and it was more and more of the same.

As my heart and mind were racing at the prospect of signing up for multiple half and full marathons, I thought to myself, hmm maybe I should ease up a bit? Then I realized I was experiencing the running equivalent of BEER GOOGLES. Yes folks, I had Marathon Goggles.

What are Marathon Goggles? It’s when you have such a great run that your endorphins are a flown’, perhaps more than the average, recommended dose for a functioning human being. This excess in endorphins, which is similar to over imbibing mistakes we all may have made in college, leads to making decisions which appear to make perfect sense in our clouded minds. Sure, Marathon goggles are a little safer than thinking a creepy guy is cute and giving him a kiss, but signing up for marathons in the heat of the moment can definitely lead to some post endorphin remorse.

Original Beer Goggles, circa 2006

So there I was, about 8 miles into my long run, racing down the streets of Brighton and Newton with a huge pair of Marathon Goggles strapped to my face. If there was an inkling or thought to complete a run on the horizon, you bet it raced through my head.

Somewhere around Cleveland Circle I came to the realization: I’m having a fantastic run, but to be honest, they’re not all this great.  So why push it? Just enjoy the run!

My major goal for running the San Francisco Marathon is to enjoy the entire race and get back to LOVING marathons. My other goal? Staying injury free. So, as I talked myself out of signing up for other races, I also told myself to savor and enjoy this moment. Great runs only come around every once and awhile, I wasn’t going to let this one get away from me.

12.0 Miles 1:52:27 9:22 Average Pace.

Have you ever had an unbelievable run or race that lead you to signing up for challenging races? Did it pay off with another good run or race?


  1. says

    Go Kimmy!!!! I am so excited to run with you on Saturday! It’ll be just as awesome as this Newton hills run – I know it!!! Keep it up – you’re going to be SO ready for SF!!!

  2. says

    Awesome post! Great job with those hills (I have never ran in Newton before…). But I agree with you, don’t push yourself to hard. Enjoy the run!

    P.S. I can’t make it Thursday. My grad school graduation is on Friday and my cohort is going out Thursday night to celebrate!!!

  3. says

    So many congrats in order. You tore this up. I wish i could have been there, but I would have slowed you down! Congrats. I did the Disney half, fun but it snowed when i did it! Hoping that you will do Hyannis in a couple of weeks 🙂

  4. says

    Oh swimmy..I adore this post. Adore it! And is that a butterfly sparkly half top in that picture I ask? Hehe. What a great run for you on a hilly course. wish I could have joined but I’m not at that level. Marathon goggles and marathon highs are aaamazing things and it’s great you enjoyed such a hard run!

  5. Gena says

    I’ve only been running consistently since January. In that time, I’ve done my first two 5Ks and my first 10K. We’d been slowly upping the mileage of our Saturday long, slow runs. A month or so ago, I ran 8 miles for the first time. Three weeks ago, I ran TEN miles!! It felt GREAT! It was probably the BEST I’d ever felt while running! I actually ENJOYED the actual running part – and usually I hate the running part! When I got home later that morning, I did the unthinkable…I signed up for my first half-marathon: Rock n Roll L.A. at the end of October!

    And then I promptly dislocated my kneecap at mile 7 of the next week’s 8-mile run. Lovely. I start physical therapy tomorrow, will be fitted with a Donjoy Tru-Pull brace to stabilize my patella and I should be back to…jogging in about a month. 🙂

  6. says

    This is fantastic! I love marathon goggles. Life is so much better when I’m wearing ’em. I’ve been known to sign up for crazy races while wearing my googles. Sometimes I regret that decision, but most times, everything works out. I’m so glad you had a great run! You are definitely going to be well-trained for SF.

  7. says

    Such a true phenomenon!! I think marathon goggles are awesome – they make you believe in yourself and get the boost to do something you might otherwise hesitate to do. I loved how you describe your thoughts over the course of that long run…so awesome 🙂 I should try the “what if kara goucher were here right now?!” trick!

  8. says

    haha I love this!! I am guilty of having marathon goggles far too often! Whenever I’m having a great run, I stop thinking rationally and start gushing about how running is the best thing ever created and all I want to do is run every race there ever was, etc etc etc. But it’s good to be able to come down to earth and I love how you describe your thought process. Yes, not every run is so amazing, but it’s those few that are that keep me addicted to this sport 🙂

  9. says

    Oh man, I think I’m wearing marathon goggles right NOW! However, I think that wearing marathon goggles is what helps us reach those goals b/c it’s only in those “highs” that we register and believe that anything is possible!

  10. says

    Great job Kimmy! I think I always have marathon goggles on! haha!
    After my first marathon I was hooked.
    I hope you get back into your marathon goggles and love the race! Just have fun!!! 🙂

  11. says

    I have never heard of marathon goggles, and I just signed up for my first marathon. I can honestly say that all my halfs were rough, maybe I should get a pair of these goggles to make the marathon more doable?

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