It is no secret that life seems to moves at a fast pace. I know that I’m not the only one who wishes for more hours in the day or has a To-Do list that never seems to end. Consequently, as runners we tend to sometimes run a little faster than we should so we can get to everything else that needs to be done. However, taking time to slow down and appreciate the moment will not only give you some mental clarity, but it will ultimately improve your running.
I am often guilty of having that oh so busy schedule and something I did not realize until my friend Robin looked over my training log and told me I need to slow down, that I was that I was rushing one or two of my easy runs per week. I was having increased tiredness because I was putting forth too much effort into my “easy” runs. I don’t know why it took someone looking at my logged miles for me to realize this, perhaps I was in denial? Who knows!
I am a nut for info. I sometimes research things for no reason. Except marathon prepping is a valid reason, right? Lately I’ve been searching what other runners do to prep for the big day. I still have not figured out how to fully prepare myself, I feel like I am going to forget something. I cant believe we are 3 weeks out, ahhh, how did we get here so fast?! How to properly taper, carb-load and rest have been the the things on my mind as of late.
One month from today: the fear, the doubt, the ups, the downs. The pain, the adrenaline, the failure, the success. The entire physical and mental mosaic will culminate with the most significant endeavor I’ve ever set myself up for …The Chicago Marathon.
In January, when I signed up for my first marathon, I couldn’t imagine how I’d survive. But sometimes these are the moments- moments of overwhelming impossibility… that are life changing. I couldn’t conceptualize how I would endure a 26.2 mile run…but now I know that I will, or at least give it my best. I will endure, it will be done, and I will be stronger for having fought past fear and persevered through the seemingly impossible.
Each week of training I gain more and more respect for my body and it’s abilities. Before running came into my life (and at times I still do), I struggled with body image issues; but I’ve come to appreciate this great vessel God has given me in a way I never have before. It carried and birthed a child and now it’s carried me through my longest run yet. I think I’m close to truly embodying one newly favorite quotes:
“It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.” ― George Sheehan
The butterflies are starting to set in as I enter my final peak week of training before starting to taper for the race, but one month from today it will all come to fruition…
Dream Big. Work Hard.
It was a week of milestones in my training. On Saturday I completed my first 20 mile long run and hit my highest mileage total for the week. I honestly wasn’t sure I would make it to this point. I made it through peak week! Man oh man was it a tough one. My first 20 miler done and done! I am so happy that run is complete. For weeks I had been dreading this run because the self doubt had me convinced that I needed someone to run alongside me if I wanted to complete it, especially after how terribly my 18 miler went. Saturday’s long run reminded me how much I enjoy running alone and that my mind has the power to push me. I am truly proud of myself for pushing through mentally and physically. I hoping I can maintain this for the next few weeks.
My main goal was just to push thru and finish because I’m still trying not to focus too much on time since this is my first marathon and I have no idea what to expect. Though somewhere in the back of my mind I know I what my goal is and I am really trying to get that thought out of my mind, but you runners understand my difficulty with that, right?
Strength training is essential for runners. It can help prevent injury, increase your metabolism, improve your running form, and make you a faster/better runner. A few weeks ago, I talked about how I had met Jenna from Little Green Running Shoes and was doing a 4 week long fitness regime with her. Jenna is a certified personal trainer and she put together this awesomely organized program. (Seriously organized, I will get into that in a bit) While I am not someone who needs a personal trainer to push or motivate me, I personally benefit from having someone else develop the program for me. I know exercise moves but I fail at putting them together nicely and focusing on a particular group of muscles. I was feeling like I was in a rut, I had just quit my kick boxing gym and life had gotten so busy I no longer had time to make it to any of my group fitness classes. Jenna came in at just the perfect time!