Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Let's Chat..........about Marathon Training.

SO this girl ^^^, she was something. She trained hard, she stayed focused and she crossed the finish line of her first 1/2 marathon and lived to go on to become a faster runner. (November 2012)

Have you seen her?? Because she is missing!!

2012 was the year I fell in love with running.
2013 might be the year we break up.

I'm about 1/2 way through week 9 of marathon training...........which means I'm closing in on the starting line of the biggest physical test I have yet to push myself. In some ways, it's no less important than anything I have yet accomplished- the first mile I ran without stopping, the full 60 seconds of burpees, push ups on my toes, etc..... Each time I push myself outside of my comfort zone to master something new, I'm one step closer to the best me I can be. That's the good news.

dirt roads are an amazing surface to run on. Like running on clouds.

Every marathoner is well familiar with the concept of "the wall". You're running, it's tough, you keep pushing, you're running, your mind is sharp, it's hot, the hill is growing instead of shrinking, your energy is fading...........and suddenly you find yourself willing to sell your left lung for the ability to get off the road and be done with the race. You're finished, beat, whipped.
For some, it comes at mile 8. Others- 10. Some 15, 18, 20, 22, and even 26.
(And I've heard that some don't even hit the wall during a marathon.......who are you and what do you put in your coffee-- I want some of it!!)
And others, like me, hit that wall before they even get to the starting line.

yep, that's me. I've hit the wall. Mentally and physically!! Everything in me wants to go- go- go- I've got this! This marathon is nothing, it's child's play. It's cake. (And let me tell you, I love cake.)
I say it- but I certainly don't feel it.

I know from my 1/2 marathon training that the most significant part of training is what is happening in your MIND. Your body can always, always do more than you think. It's your mind that gives out. My mental strength during training and during the race was superb, which is why my 1/2 was such a huge success for me. I knew- I KNEW I could run that race, and run it well. I missed training runs (including a long run), my mileage was off and I hit some not-so-happy bumps during training, but I was mentally on top of it all. It was tough, but I could do it.

Coming into marathon training, I was beyond psyched. The minute my 1/2 was over in November, my appetite for the full was born but I deliberately didn't rush it. I didn't want to go out and just run a marathon because I felt like it was the next step. I wanted to be ready. I wanted to be healthy and physically in good shape for the task.
They say it doesn't get easier, you just get stronger. During the past two months, it's definitely not been getting easier. If anything, it's getting harder. My miles have slowed back down (I gained a full minute of speed post- 1/2, but since beginning to train, I've lost it and am back to my pre 1/2 pace.), I actually have to take walk breaks (which is NOT typical for me) and my long runs have been a fight tooth and nail to finish.
The weather has made outside running difficult, so I've been running a significant portion of my runs on the treadmill. It's not my favorite.
I'm happy to say that I've been experiencing zero pain and my recovery is super speedy after my hard or long runs. This is a definite encouragement!
 While I'm not married to my training plan, I've tried to follow it as closely as possible. I run 4 days a week, including one long run, two days of cross training, two days of strength training and one day of rest. (Yes, that's 9 days, I do strength training on my running days with the lowest mileage.)
Thus far I've missed 2 long runs (both 12 miles) and a handful of the shorter weekly runs. My times have been slow, I've just felt off, and it's starting to get to my head.

Mentally, I'm starting to slightly panic. Can I do this?? At this point I should feel strong and confident and mostly ready to run this race. I feel anything but ready. While I'm definitely struggling physically, it's my mental insecurity that is really bothering me.

I won't quit, and I won't give up. Anything worth having is HARD work. I want to push myself. I want to embrace the rough road because it's good for me.

Marathoners-- did you experience this hiccup in your training? Did you hit a wall mentally before you even started?? How did you climb that wall?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hello February.

hello February.

hello little neglected blog.

hello readers, I hope your Tuesday is wonderful.

hello working out like a maniac. I'm on a 26 day streak. (rest much??)

hello monopoly night with the little siblings, and a creative use for my left over VD chocolates.

hello decisions, sometimes I hate making you.

hello mid-winter mini family vacation for 3 wonderful days. 25 people + waterpark + daily starbucks + hotel gym + late night Applebees + lots of gun and ammo shopping + trip down memory lane with the siblings + my family is the best and greatest!!

hello absolutely adorable nephew who has never been without a smile, but was sick for 1/2 of our family reunion.

hello spring/summer schedule and looking at plane tickets.

hello Ed Sheeran. Dominate my playlists- you won't hear me complain.

hello best friend/sister; I officially hate goodbyes.

hello 1 Corinthians 4:5 "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God."

hello pullups. Yes, I'll do you unassisted in 2013.

hello winter blizzards. 

hello snow tunnels and sledding and snow angels.

hello homemade kefir.

hello 1/2 way point in marathon training..........more on you later. 

hello beautiful purple flowers, I like having you in my kitchen.

hello busy, crazy, unpredictable life!

Tell me about the BEST thing you've done in February?!?!