This week was interesting. I was traveling for work, so I was out of my routine–which is both good and bad. I didn’t stick to my training plan, I didn’t run or work out nearly as much as I should’ve. I had a really good solid 5k on the treadmill one day, and I stepped out of my comfort zone and met up with someone from the local running club in Milwaukee for a morning run while I was out there. Again, a nice solid run, I’m proud of it for a million reasons. But that said, returning to reality has been rough. I’ve been tired and trying to get everything together for my return to my real job. Being lax with my training and eating–not just for the past week, but really over the past month–has caught up to me, though and it’s time to buckle down and get serious if I want to reach my goals for this fall marathon.
I’ve debated this long and hard, but I’ve finally decided I’m going to do a modified round of Insanity for at least the next month until our vacation, which will mean twice a day workouts most days (1 day completely off in any given week) but the first part of the program the workouts are all 30-40 minutes essentially so that’s easy enough to work into my days. If I find it interferes with running too much, I’ll re-work my schedule and cut days out and what not, but I feel like I need to at least give this a try.
I also need to reign in my food. I’ve read Matt Fitzgerald’s The Endurance Diet and I like the focus on quality over calories–if you’re eating consciously to fuel your activity and choosing high quality foods you can be less beholden to hard and fast macro or calorie counts. I like this concept, it makes sense to me, though I’m also skeptical–but I got the Diet Quality Score app and we’re gonna give this a go. I’ve prepped a bunch of food for this week to keep myself on the straight and narrow. Now I just need to stay focused and keep my eyes on the prize.
Happy Monday, friends.
Didn’t post on Friday but man do I have a lot to talk about today…
Wednesday I did a group run with the SCRR East End group (unofficial) and it was great and EXACTLY what I needed to get me out of the slump I’d been in. I ran 4 straight miles at a decent pace–slower than I’d like, but considering the temps and time of day I was happy with it. Hung out with the group to BS and have a beer after and it was a much needed release. After that run my perspective started to shift.
My confidence had been lacking for the better part of June. I’d been feeling really good about myself since our vacation in April, but suddenly the magic started to wear off out of nowhere. Runs were lacking and just started feeling lousy about myself. There is a direct correlation in my life between how I feel about my training and athletic abilities and how I feel about my aesthetics–when I feel like my body won’t or can’t do what I want I get hyper critical of the way it looks. Looking ahead at marathon training was also intimidating me, and honestly kind of bumming me out because of all the races I’m turning down for the sake of building mileage. But after Wednesday, when I (admittedly) forced myself through that run, and proved that I CAN do it (which I had started to question) I felt a lot better about myself and I started viewing myself differently–I *felt* like an athlete again. I can do hard things and I can persevere when I want to give up. I felt renewed confidence in my body and it’s abilities.
So Saturday I set out for my “long” run–8 miles. My knee had acted up for my 6-mile long run the previous week so I was a little nervous going in, but I was going to do what I needed to and hopefully make it through the full 8 on my training plan. It was super humid when I set out at 6 AM, so I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular, I just wanted to get through the mileage. The first half of the run went pretty well. Had to walk a little bit, but forced my own hand and ran up all of the major uphill stretches instead of folding and walking like I normally would (side note: there is NO shame in walking, or in walking hills, I just know that I personally am capable of more so if I walk these particular hills I’m selling myself and my training short). The back half of the run was a different story. I took my gel too late, I ran out of water, I ended up walking more because I was depleted (though I still made myself run the uphill portions on principle). But my knee held up and I finished the run. Which also boosted my confidence–it was hard, it sucked, it didn’t go quite as planned, but I DID it.
I’m struggling with my training plan and may need to make some adjustments. That Wednesday night run was really good for me–and it’s a smaller group than the Saturday runs so its less intimidating and awkward for me. I haven’t been able to do the speedwork group yet as they’ve been on hiatus. A part of me wants to suck it up and do some speedwork on my own so I can stick with the Wednesday night run group. I know that I NEED to do speedwork to get the edge I want and need for my fall marathon goal, but I really like this particular group and I think they’ll push me in a different way. And this is why my training plan is in pencil and I ink it 2 weeks at a time when I get that far…I want to be flexible and open and take advantage of opportunities as they arise. Except for races, because they will interfere with my long runs. I WISH I could still race most every weekend. I LOVE racing, I love racing back to back days, and we’re in the prime season for me to do that. BUT…goals. I HAVE to get my mileage back up in order to run this fall marathon. I’ve carefully scheduled and balanced 2-3 races per month up to the marathon, but oh, man, is it hard for me to cut back so much. Another part of me REALLY wants to do another round of Insanity!…but I know that it will interfere with my running. I might see if I can sneak a couple of days a week into my schedule as 2-a-day workouts just sound super tempting right now, but I also know that I need my rest. So we’ll see. I’ll play with my schedule a bit and see what I can do. This week will be a shift anyway since I’m racing on Tuesday.
Happy Monday, friends.
I’m a little out of sorts at the moment. I’m scattered. All over the place. Nothing to explain why, I’m just having trouble getting and keeping it all together right now. The new position is good. I’m technically supposed to launch and be on my own as of today, but I started taking more of the responsibilities on at the end of last week to help when we were short handed and it seems to be going well. Outside of work, however, I’m having trouble focusing and maintaining forward momentum. Some of it is that I’m still not clear on what my plan is, and I need to spend some quality time with myself to figure some things out. My husband is on days this upcoming weekend, and while I have a few plans I should be able to carve out some much needed quiet time to figure myself out. Life has been a whirlwind for the past few weeks, between the promotion and training, our trip to visit my folks and best friend, the subsequent catch up from that, the holiday weekend, etc.
I recently read Living Forward by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy, which is a book about life-planning and goal-setting. I’m at the point where I’m really ready to sit down and hammer some stuff out. Probably not in exactly the way they intended, but I’m ready to get some focus and direction and figure out where my life needs to be headed. The brilliant part of their plan is that it requires and invites revision and updating so you aren’t stuck with something that may no longer fit your circumstances, but it is meant to keep you from drifting without purpose and to take concrete action towards your goals. And right now I desperately need that direction and a plan to follow, but I know it has to be self-guided.
Last week on the Jillian Michael’s Podcast (which I admittedly have a love-hate relationship with), one segment hit the nail on the head–sometimes you just have to take the chance and put yourself out there. And I think that’s where I’m at. I’m definitely at some kind of crossroads in my life, I’m just not sure what it is yet. I’ll keep you posted…
Friday check-in: this morning-writing thing is working for me. The post-work workouts work great when I have something concrete scheduled. So some tweaking is still needed there. I’m totally off my routine this weekend as I spending it with my parents, husband, and friends for a much needed escape.
Listened to another great podcast the other day–School of Greatness with Lewis Howes–as he was interviewing Stacey London (of What Not to Wear fame) and it was interesting and thought provoking as always. One comment in particular has really resonated with me–
“We teach what we need to learn.”
She heard that from a Tai Chi teacher at a time in her life when she needed to hear it. How powerful is that? Its not the superficial stuff, we’re not talking the facts and figures, but the deeper stuff. In her case it was teaching self-esteem, self-confidence, and the deeper things that come along with showing people a different side of themselves by styling them differently. But it’s true for all of us. It’s been rattling around my head for the past few days as I’ve tried to come up with what it is that I’m teaching that I need to learn, and honestly I’m not sure yet. The thought will be rattling around with my until I come to some kind of conclusion, and I’m sure when I do figure something out it will be time to reconsider. Whatever comes of it, I’ll keep you posted.