A couple days ago, I posted this on the wall of one of my marathon training groups:
I received tons of helpful encouragement...which isn't surprising. This group is pretty awesome. Their responses also reminded me of something important: the race is the culmination of training...and it's important to trust in that training to get you over the finish line.
So, with 30 - yes THIRTY - days to go until my first full, and with my first 20-miler on Saturday, I've taken a moment to review the highs of this training cycle so far.
I've been running outside. Last year I gave in to the temptation of AC in the sweltering summer months and ran on the treadmill for every run...even my long runs. That meant my first 15-miler ever was done in the gym while watching The Fast and the Furious. (No wonder it seemed so quick and easy; I had lots of eye candy to distract me!) This year, I dropped my gym membership to avoid the 'mill and ran every single training run outside, which has made me mentally and physically stronger.
|I've been exploring new routes to keep myself interested; the golf course behind my house is a new favorite spot.
I've been cross-training. I know working on my core and upper body has made me a stronger runner.
|Deck of cards workout: done!
I've been dedicated to my speed work. I slipped for a couple weeks, but have been fairly consistent in running the bridge of doing 400s whenever my plan calls for them.
|...even if speed work means bridge repeats at 4:30am before work.
I've completed my long runs. Even if some were slower than planned, I got them done. And I've enjoyed them most of the time. Conquering long runs also means I've been finessing and perfecting my fueling on the run.
I've avoided injury and burnout. My plan only calls for three runs a week, and while this plays with my head sometimes, I do think it's the best kind of plan for me, at least right now. I can balance work and catch up on sleep more easily, I can fully recover from each run, and I haven't felt bored or hateful toward running like I have during other training cycles.
|My love affair continues.
Looking back at the last sixteen weeks, I know I've come a long way. I still have doubts about certain aspects of my training, but I'm really trying to focus on the positives. Once I have twenty miles under my belt, I think I'll really feel ready to tackle the Space Coast. (If someone can ever feel "ready" for a marathon!)
|And before you know it, race month is a weekend away!
And hopefully that "ready" feeling will last me through November, because the hardest part of training is right around the corner!
On race day, do you trust your training?
How do you get yourself psyched up for a milestone run?