Training for a full marathon is tough business. It is a huge time commitment, especially as your long runs increase in the later weeks. It is a major physical commitment, it’s hard enough to run just one mile. It is also a commitment to being mentally strong in that there are many (MANY) challenges to overcome along the way.
What I’ve learned in the last couple of years is that I absolutely love running. Running is my meditation. Running is when I don’t look at my phone for a few hours. Running is when I listen to that new album that I love, uninterrupted. Running pushes me to test my physical ability and prove that hard work actually pays off. Running makes me feel healthy. Running makes me feel accomplished.
What happens when something you love becomes something you’re completely frustrated with??? I am weeks behind in my training. My long runs should be 17 or 18 miles and I have been stuck hovering around the 13 mile mark. I’m experiencing some muscle tightness and knee pain. I’ve been going to yoga as much as possible and it’s helping with my physical ailments but the extra workout is leaving me a little drained and less than amped to head out on a run, even after a few days of rest.
Am I burned out? Plateaued? I’ve been thinking about this and battling this thought for weeks. Finally it hit me – – – Stop taking it so seriously! Seriously. This is my first marathon. I was *perfect* with my half marathon training schedule and I have strayed, quite a bit, with this full marathon training cycle. Of course I’m not performing where I could be, but my body is still giving me a lot and I’m grateful for it. At this juncture I really need to be mindful that I am not overtraining.
I want to get out there on November 4 and kick that marathon’s ass. I want to PR in my October 15th half. Most importantly, though, I want to keep running distance in the future. Now I’ve got to focus and make sure that I don’t burn out physically or psych myself out mentally.
Also, I have some really amazing things coming up this winter that revolve around shorter fun runs and running with other people. Things that I’ve admittedly neglected in this quest for distance. Things that make running about more than just yourself, they make running about a community.
What else is new?
I’ve been experimenting with diet and still – despite the fact that I just ate a handful of Brookside chocolate covered acai berries, have you had these?! – Paleoish is still working best for me, even with the added mileage. When I’ve tried to re-introduce grain based carbs, I have felt tired and sluggish on my next run. I just really need to get better at eating enough high quality food to support the energy that my body is expending. It’s not reasonable to think that a 14 mile run can be done in a fasted state. This is where a nutritionist and a better understanding of macros would come in quite handy.
The Bronx have a new album out that is my new running jam. Bonus, they are playing at Globe Hall the night of my half marathon and I am pumped to be coming off of a race and having that show to look forward to. The War on Drugs (also have a new album out, which I have not listened to) are playing at the Ogden the night before my half marathon <- this is where balance and priorities become so clear. If I don’t PR in the Rock ‘n Roll half because I was out at a concert the night before, so be it. I’ll be happy nonetheless.
Also – best for last – I’m finally starting my own kombucha brew at home! My fabulous co-worker brought me my very own big ol’ slimy SCOBY from her home brew and I’m way too excited about it. I found this website to be extremely helpful in getting everything set up. I’m starting with Black Tea and I’m on the hunt for some cool glass to store it in so I can infuse it when it’s ready. Ginger is my favorite.
I drink ACV and eat pickles pretty much every day so the vinegar smell doesn’t phase me one bit. I hope my loving hubby can adjust to the smell and the live culture that will now grace our counter tops 🙂