Friday, March 6, 2015
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Thursday, January 29, 2015
I spend a lot of time thinking on my commute and I’ve been thinking about the power words and thoughts have on our success. While much of this is in regards to my running successes and failures, it definitely applies to other areas of life. I still can’t help but think of my last marathon as a failure and I know I need to shift that thinking. I strongly believe that this thinking is going to sabotage my future efforts. I am committing to changing my thinking from “maybe, I can” to “I will” going forward
The words “I don’t know if I can do this” came out of my mouth more times than I can count in the days leading up to my marathon. This wasn’t my first marathon and I had a lot of people in my corner. My husband is my biggest fan and hasn’t stopped believing in me. He reassured me countless times. My kids tell anyone that will listen that their mom runs marathons. Clearly they think I am awesome. My parents continue to be amazed at what I am capable of. I had multiple messages from my running coach telling me I was ready and that I was going to do amazing. So, with all that support, why did I doubt my abilities? Was I afraid to succeed? Was I too afraid to fail that I played it too safe?
As I look back on my marathon experience at Disney, I realized that I sabotaged my experience to some extent. When my right leg started acting up and I realized there was no possible way I could come sub 6 hours, I didn’t try as hard. I still had a chance at a PR but I stopped pushing. Yes, I was in pain but nothing so terrible that I couldn’t push through. I let negative thoughts creep in. I let doubt get the best of me. I let myself walk when running felt better. Even though the running pace wasn’t significantly faster, continuing to run the rest of the race may have changed my attitude.
I have said many times that I ran a slow race. I have thought to myself this race was a failure. Even when I called myself slow, my youngest daughter said to me, “but mom, you finished and
isn’t that what matters? I have trouble running a mile but you did 26.2. That’s pretty amazing.” How could I think I was a failure when my kids saw me as a success? What they saw was their mom taking on a huge challenge, pushing through even though it got tough and showing them that hard work matters. I was setting an example for my children. Calling myself slow and a failure was not the attitude or approach to take. Sure, it didn’t go the way I expected, but it was still a finish.
I have said this many times since that day. I am not finished with the marathon. I have a lot to learn and prove to myself. I am capable of more than I let myself think. My next marathon is June 14th and two weeks later I am going to take on my first ultra. I am challenging myself to stop with the negative talk and believe in myself. There may be hiccups along the way but I will treat these as opportunities to learn rather than a sign that I will not meet my goal. I challenge all of you to start looking at challenges as opportunities rather than failures. The mind is a powerful muscle, train it like you would your body.
Sunday, January 18, 2015
Friday, January 16, 2015
Sunday, December 28, 2014
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
I am a little more than 2 weeks out from my second marathon. This round of training has been much different than my first round of marathon training. I am by no means an expert in running or marathoning, but I have learned some valuable lessons in these last two rounds of training.
Lesson 1: injuries happen
Injuries are not just reserved for elite runners cranking out mile after mile each week. They happen to all of us at some point in our running lives. This round has been much easier on my body than the last round but I did have some bumps in the road along the way. Listen to your body, don’t try to cram in missed training, and let yourself heal. It can be hard when an injury takes you out for a few days but don’t rush back into it or you could do more damage to your body.
Lesson 2: Stop comparing
I spent much of 2014 comparing my times to others and letting myself be discouraged that I wasn’t faster. In reality, I should have been celebrating the PR’s I was nailing, the distances I was covering, and the miles my legs were taking me. I couldn’t see those as victories because I wasn’t what most people consider “fast”. I am now embracing my times and recognizing them for what they are: strength, improvement, and growth.
Lesson 3: Understand the struggles
Fueling has always been an issue for me. I struggle with when to fuel, what to fuel with, and how much I really need. Some of it has to do with things other runners have told me. That goes back to lesson 2. Stop worrying about others and do what works for you. I struggled in Chicago because I lost some of my gel packs along the course. I became desperate at the end and took every scrap of food I could find along the course from the bananas volunteers were handing out to pretzels being handed out by spectators. I also resorted to drinking Gatorade which I stay away from in races because it causes major bloating. I should have learned this as I went into last Friday’s 20 miler but I was stubborn. I have one more long run before the marathon and this will be focused on covering the distance with the proper fueling. I will fuel even if I am feeling good because if I push too far without it, there is no recovering from that and the last part of the run will suffer.
Lesson 4: Carbs are my friend
I am a runner that needs carbs. I have tried restricting but realized my long runs suffered. Some people have told me it isn’t necessary for running but I have found that for me they are. I now fuel up on healthy carbs leading up to my long runs and it has made the difference. What works for me may not work for others and that’s ok but I need to perfect my strategy to get results.
Lesson 5: Ask for help
When training for a marathon, it can be easy to be overwhelmed with training, work and family. I found this was happening to me as I headed into peak training weeks. Finally I had to ask for help and give myself permission to forget about things that didn’t really matter. So, this year my hubby wrapped ALL the Christmas presents, I shopped online and I skipped the Christmas cards. I started to feel guilty but I realized that it’s ok not to get to everything and Christmas will still happen as planned.
Lesson 6: Use the right training plan
It is super easy to find a plan in a book or on the internet and use it to run a race. It can lead you to a successful finish in many cases. In my case, a one size fits all approach didn’t work for me. I tried a plan and it was geared at someone faster than I was. I became burned out, tired and by the time I reached the start line I was over trained which led to a finish but one I fought hard for. This time around I hired a running coach who developed a plan just for me based on my capabilities and paces. It has made all the difference in the world for me. I have found myself running distances more easily and being able to hold a more consistent pace. I am hoping this is an indicator of a positive outcome for marathon number 2.
Lesson 7: Running is mental
The body is capable of amazing things. It is often your head telling you to give up not your body. Once I finished that first marathon, I find it easier to push through my training runs. In fact, most of the time when running outdoors, I leave the music and running apps behind. I run based on feel and have found that approach has allowed me to push myself when necessary and also when to hold back.
I am sure this list will evolve as I continue to run more marathons because my love for distance running isn’t ending anytime soon. I am a lifelong runner and am looking forward to my next adventures.