One thing I've learned from going through the marathon training cycle a few times is you have to have conviction in your priorities.
I suppose this is true in life as well, but when you have fewer hours of free time during the week because of training, it becomes even more obvious. I try not to become a complete hermit when I train, because I enjoy being social and doing fun things outside of running. But when I commit to something, I am super committed. I am taking marathon training seriously, especially because as the weeks go on, I am finding it to be one the more successful training cycles I’ve had. So what does this mean? I have to let some things go. But there are things I've learned along the way that are both good and bad. Do you want to hear about them? Okay then.
I’ve trained my body to wake up before work and run, specifically for the purpose of being able to meet up with friends in the evening, or just lay on my couch and catch up on Project Runway. This has proved helpful so far, and I find on the days when I train in the morning I have a TON of energy the rest of the day. I make both my runs and my evening plans a priority, and everybody wins.
|A photo of a happy, well-balanced runner.|
Last year when I was training for the Philly marathon, I had a hard time balancing everything. I was burnt out from running all year, and my original training plan was pretty aggressive. Between running and work, I was stress city. Even when I was training for the tri in the spring, fitting in workouts 6 days a week was no easy task. I pushed a lot to the side, and focused on my training. Too much of one thing made me super stressed. But this time around? I feel great. It is the first time since last November that I’ve been able to devote all of my active time to my love for running, and I couldn’t be happier. I really try to use my time when I run to sort out my worries and let go of negative emotions, instead of letting it bring any added stress into my life (MOM ARE YOU READING THIS).
The Negatives (wah-wahh)
The reality of marathon training is that you will not be able to do everything. You can’t get drunk Friday night AND nail that 18 miler on Saturday morning. At least I can’t. It’s either a Harry Potter DVD and the 18 miler, OR getting drunk Friday and laying in bed Saturday morning while chugging Gatorade. During marathon season, I choose the former because that’s what I’m committed to. I’m very lucky to have a boyfriend and a family who support my training, because I know that my long training runs can be selfish.
While I know that my long runs can cut into weekend time, I try to adjust my schedule so training doesn't take over my life. For example: I’m going away to Keith’s house this weekend, where his mom, Keith and I are going to the Brimfield Antiques Market to scavenge for cool old knick knacks. I know we usually leave EARLY on Saturday morning to get good parking, so I chose to do my long training run last night so I didn’t have to worry about it over the weekend. Running 2 ½ hours on a Thursday night is not exactly my idea of fun, but now I don’t have to stress about when I’m going to fit it in over the weekend. Sacrifices, people.
Anywho! Let’s get down to how last week’s training went.
Monday : 6M, 3M @ Marathon Pace (kind of)
Tuesday: 5M easy
Thursday: Rest (and drive up to Portland for Labor Day!)
Friday: 13 Miles in Portland
AWESOME run. Well, awesome first half, when Keith joined me. Keith and I got to the apartment we were staying at around lunch, and strapped on our sneakers to enjoy the fresh air. Keith’s plan was to join me for the first half, and I would do the last 6 ½ on my own. We had a bit of fun.
|Kind of showing-off.|
The first half I felt really strong, despite the heat and humidity. I also didn’t fuel properly before the run. I had an egg sandwich at about 10, and half of a banana right before the run. So by the time I turned around for the second half of my run, I was HUNGRY. My clif shots and blocks weren’t doing the trick. The last few miles I could feel how drained and dehydrated I was. Plus, being by myself was not fun. I was ready for a weekend of drinking and playing.
I turned on my iPod, and kicked it into high gear for the last two miles. A little Miley Cyrus got me to do my last mile at 9:19, which I was really happy with. Then it was beer time.
|Fall beer is LITERALLY my favorite thing.|
And beach time.
And casual biking time.
Sunday: 4.25 Miles
Keith and I did another run on Sunday, and I was not really up for it. After a weekend of beer and fried food, I just wanted to nap. But we plotted our route so that we would end at a bar on the water. As I said before, it’s all about priorities.
Total Miles: 28.25
Here's to another week of being balanced and stress-free. And drinking all the fall beer I can get my hands on.