My running swag is back..

10:59 AM

Well I’m not Kanye confident, but my confidence and my happiness has been restored in running. After the 17 miler, I was just experiencing a low, a very low, low – but I’m out of it. 

This quote from Kara Goucher always resonates in my mind:

No explanation needed :)

Training is about doing the work, then analyzing the work – BUT, I cannot forget to feel the run. Enjoy the sun beaming down on me, enjoy the nature around me. I also must incorporate my running mantra’s so that I don’t become discouraged.
 

For my 20 miler here were a few of the mantras that I kept repeating to myself:

1.       Believe in the run.

2.       Smile

3.       There are people less fortunate who cannot run, run for them.
 
FF Sac Pick-ups!


Training your gut: Gut approved :)

As my body becomes more accustomed to these long distances, I’m learning how to cope mentally and physically. I’m the only one who knows my body, so I need to focus on what makes me work at peak efficiency. This is why I purchased a larger water bottle this week. I need water, maybe more than other runners but my body reacts well to being hydrated. I thought the 21oz-er would be too cumbersome, so I went with the 16oz. That and I sweat a decent amount, so I need to put it back in my body. Also, my body reacts well to calories when running. So this week, I really focused on “training my gut” for this run. I ate a Hammer  at 5.5 mi, 10.5 mi, and 15.5 mi. The new flavor “raspberry” was gut approved. However, I’m not sure how much my body needed the third one. I felt fairly full, but I knew I should take in calories for the rest of the run. It was a little harder to eat, since I felt “full,” but I ate half or so.
 
Almost a month out for #runCIM

I also realize I cannot kill myself the week prior to these long runs any more. I still can take my strength and conditioning classes, I can still cross train on off days, but I need to make better choices for my body. No more additional races, and by races I mean full out racing mode, before long runs. I don’t foresee any in my future, besides Run to Feed the Hungry, and it’s almost impossible to run that one at full speed, race mode. So I’ll just use that one as my Friday run – since I’m sure the annual tradition of Black Friday shopping will be in full force the day after Thanksgiving!

I also had an running epiphany. As I was driving around 9AM on Saturday morning I saw tons of people running. A few months ago I would have had thought: “Why do people run so early in the AM, they are crazy!” However, my current thought was: “Get it!! I wish I could get in a run, but it’s my rest day!” I now appreciate early AM runs and look forward to them. I hope this mindset continues after the CIM. I’m sure it will, because I keep signing up for more races, but I actually like this feeling. Instead of envying them or thinking they are crazy, I am happy for them. What a change over a few months!

By no means was my 20 miler easy. I felt a lot stronger during this run, but I still dealt with the mental aspects of running. I was getting exhausted, lungs and legs. I had my highs and my lows. I experienced calf cramps for the first time (during marathon training), the rolling hills at the end of the course were no help. I used running mantras to get me through the tough moments. I separated the later miles into chunks to feel as if I was checking things off a list. I switched my watch to show the current time (no pace times) right before mile 18. I wanted to feel my run and run at what felt good at the time, not be stressed out by a pace.

The biggest ah-ha came to me this weekend. I will stop hoping to break 4 hours on race day. I will be happy if I am able to run the entire race, without walking, in addition to finishing with a smile and feeling strong. That’s all that matters. Yes, the time clock is always important to me, but this race I need to diminish this feeling. It’s my first marathon, I need to remember that. I’m doing this for myself, not to prove that I can run 26.2 miles in 4 hours, but to prove that I can run the distance and be happy after. So, with that being said – I’m going to enjoy the run, run hard, but run HAPPY!
 
I still love the saying “running sucks,” but in all honesty I choose to “run happy”!!

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