Week 11-12(?) of training… the week I lost ALL of my confidence. I’ve had a pretty great training cycle the last 8 or so weeks- give or take a handful of bad runs, up until this week when my runs were just plain bad or non-existent. I no longer feel like I am capable of hitting my goals. Someone tell me this thought process is normal and I’m not totally crazy?! I’m just getting in my head again, right?
This week was a little bit of a cut-back week for me, due to A: being super tired and giving my body ample time to rest and B: being super busy with being on the staff for the Chicago Triathlon this weekend. I’ve run a total of 5miles since Saturday. This is so not like me. My heart wants it, but my body seems resistant. Is it just me or does lower mileage weeks sound great but then make you crazy instead? Should I run? Should I rest? Just stop thinking Mandie!!
Run often. Run long. But never outrun your joy of running.
I fell in love with this quote the second I read it for the first time and it has been stuck in my head ever since. So much so, that it has become my mantra during my training. “Never outrun your joy of running.”
I’m very pleased that I’ve had a couple of good weekly runs lately because it has been a real boost to my confidence, which was wavering somewhat over the past few weeks. The more I grow as a runner I find myself changing my focus. I never want to reach a point where running feels like work or isn't enjoyable anymore. Running is just putting one foot in front of the other, right? Yes, technically, but your wrong. Its just as much mental as it is physical, or at least it is for me on most days. I switched gears and began harnessing the power of my thoughts and Boom, it’s like the sky opened and everything started falling into place. Not only did I start achieving my running goals, but running became more fluid, more fun, and yes, even easier. The mind has an incredible power to energize us, push us past self-imposed limitations, grow our confidence, and persevere when the going gets tough. Focus and enjoy!
The real and pure joy I experience from running comes from being fully present, living in the moment and the new friendships forged with people in the running community.
The long run can be intimidating for first timers. Surprisingly, I am amazed how quickly I've adjusted to it. At first, working my way up to 16 miles felt like forever, but before I know it I'll be doing 20! I'm definitely in love with distance running, it’s still hard, It’s still overwhelming and It still requires a few tricks to make it really count as a quality run. I used to just go out with no intentions other than to hit a certain distance or try to hit a certain overall pace for the run. While those are both great things to focus on in the beginning, I really want to focus on what’s going to get me to that finish line. Lately I've been enjoying planning the route out, finding somewhere new to explore on my run and focusing on the overall quality. I've been focusing more and more on how I feel during and after a run and what I can change the next week to improve that feeling. I’m trying to focus less and less on pace for my first marathon, it's been a mental battle not to pay any attention to that data but I know long-term my body will appreciate it when I’m in tune with listening to it rather than my Garmin.
Trust the plan. Have faith in the plan. Just follow the plan. I've heard it all.
10 weeks of training down, 9 weeks to go! Its hard to believe I’ve reached the halfway point of marathon training already. It’s exciting, but not going to lie, terrifying to think that in 9 short weeks I’ll be able to call myself a marathoner (hopefully!).
But to be honest, I've had a lot of self doubt this week. I’m starting to learn that not all training plans are the same. I think I may never find the “perfect” training plan. Today my run was cut short due to my lack of energy and my legs feeling like bricks. I already knew I would use this week as a cut back week, but what do you do when you're too tired for even reduced mileage?
Thankfully, my friend Robin has sorta stepped in and "coached" me on my plan. He made a few minor adjustments and I'm hoping it will help for the remainder of my training. I lack the knowledge, and I feel that weighs heavily on why my body is so tired. Also, as my mileage gets higher, I find myself skipping things like strength training, stretching and foam rolling.... you know, all the important stuff. It’s not often that I ask for help. In fact I almost never do. It’s a personal thing. Lesson learned in this training—if I’m going to read into it, and let’s read into it—is that no great things are achieved alone. There are so many training methods out there, and trust me, I've read so many of them. I try to do what feels best, but one day that might be different from the days before. As I nurture my thirst for knowledge I find that each method varies on how experienced you are, how much you want to run each week, how long you want to train, etc, etc, etc. These sort of things don't mean anything if my body doesn't feel good. Where is a gal to turn to?
Dream Big. Work Hard. :)
Set goals for what you want out of life. Whether it's for fitness, personal relationships, family, finances, career, etc.
My current fitness goal (aside from running) is to be stronger. Every time I work out it's my 'me time', where I can relieve stress and just focus on myself. Sticking with an exercise routine can be a struggle for anyone. I, like everyone else, have days where I make excuses: I work full time, I'm training for a marathon, I have a young child that I raise on my own, he has sports, I'm shy and I’m stubborn. The bottom line is, I have never gotten 100% of the results I want on my own. I'll be the first to admit I work harder when I follow a plan optimized by someone else. Cue the angelic music because about two weeks ago I met Jenna from little green running shoes in one of my online fitness forums. It was absolute perfect timing as I was looking for something to change things up and lose a few more pounds so I could train harder on my long runs. Jenna, besides being a fellow fitness lover/blogger, is a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. I have been provided 4 weeks worth of workouts and videos with a schedule of how to follow them and had a chat session with Jenna to clear any questions and have her available shall I need her. I'm so excited to add this daily fitness regime to my 4day a week runs for marathon training.