Yep, I'm still running my happy buns off. After six years of marathoning (whoa), I feel like I'm finally getting the hang of it. No, it's not easy, but yes, it's becoming more second nature.
I feel like I finally have a routine that doesn't make me feel INSANE, but keeps me fit and gets me prepared for a marathon.
I still remember when marathon training made me feel completely exhausted, my quads were wrecked all.the.time. and I couldn't do anything but work, run, eat and sleep.
What's my marathon training lacking? Mileage, stress, rigidity.
I'll be honest, when I read about other faaast runners' marathon training, I feel a little worried. What?! I'm not running 60 miles per week. Is that a problem? Will I be able to do this?
Sometimes, I answer the question, yeah, I should be running more miles. My body rarely feels "worn down" (which I realize is a good thing), but it could also mean I'm not pushing hard enough.
And then other times, I know that the mileage is right for me and it's awesome that I can train for a marathon, fit in cross training and yoga a few times a week and not feel overwhelmed OR injured!
As for no stress and flexibility in my training plans, those are both due to the fact that I just sort of decide that each weekend needs to be a "longer" run and that I do my speed workouts with coaches and a group. There's no worry about "what should I do today?" but rather I show up, run fast, feel exhausted, stretch and foam roll.
And, if I do have weekend plans when I need to do a long run, I try to figure it out by either doing an early Friday morning long run or switch my long run from Saturday to Sunday or vice versa.
For now, I'm happy with my running, mileage and frequency (5-6 runs per week/35-50 miles total), but I also know that if I want to take the next step (ahem - try to run a < 3:35 marathon), I may need to pile on the miles and run with friends who are a wee bit faster than myself.
But you know what? After Boston AND New York upped the ante on running their marathons, I gave a mental "screw you" to those races.
I felt like "Maybe I'm not meant to run those races? If I can't qualify with a strong race (for me) without killing myself over training, it might not be worth it." Note the might. I still hold on to a little hope that I will run these races, but NYC Marathon and Boston are no longer on my bucket list.
As far as I know I've come in the last few years with my running, there is a point where I just am not sure I want to push my body much further in a race.
My wish list marathons are now: Cincinnati Flying Pigs, Nike Women's, NYC (by lottery) and Big Sur.
How do you guys look at your racing and running? Are you aiming for a certain time in order to qualify or just pushing yourself to your personal best, or even your best at this moment?
I saw this on Teri's blog and it seems like a cute way to do the photo a day thing. Anyone else want to join in? I'm going to give it a shot (pun intended).
Final thoughts: As I was racing to hot yoga tonight, I made it there to find the door already locked. I was late and frustrated. But then it dawned on me that maybe I needed to just let it all go and be alone for a bit.
So I didn't let a long day and a missed yoga class get me down. I took some deep breaths, went home, lit a few candles and listened to Dave Farmar walk me through a series of yoga poses.
More and more, I'm trying to listen to what the universe is telling me. Do you feel like the universe is offering you advice sometimes?