DAY | PLAN | ACTUAL
MON | REST | REST
TUE | 3M/STRENGTH | 3.1M (8:52/MI)/STRENGTH
WED | 7M | 7.1M (9:40/MI)
THU | 4M/STRENGTH | 4.3M HILL INT (9:35/MI)/STRENGTH
FRI | REST | REST
SAT | YOGA | BIKRAM90
SUN | 15M | 15M (10:45/MI)
TOTAL |29 MILES | 29.5 MILES
I’m starting to wonder if the secret of the marathon or any other big goal is that the prize is less in the big finish and more in all the getting to know yourself that’s done along the way. I surprised myself this week. Usually I have a pretty persistent voice of doubt that lingers and has to be squashed, especially when I’m facing a long or challenging run. This week, that voice got shut up before it even got a chance to get started. I knew I had 15 on the schedule for Sunday and I knew I was going to do 15, that was that. So I guess two of the highlights of this week can be summed up by this unartistic photo I took with sweaty hands after my run:
Solid 15 + New Hoka Clayton 2’s
I finally figured out my shoe situation, which is a huge relief. As a lot of you know I ordered 5 different pairs from Hoka. They arrived Wednesday night and on Thursday morning, I took the 3 pairs that felt like contenders to the gym and ran a little more than a mile on the treadmill with each of them. I left feeling a bit confused. All the shoes were so drastically different. When I would switch and begin running in them I honestly felt like I was going to fall for the first few steps. I decided to take my own test results and get to Super Runner’s Shop in Brooklyn on Saturday for an assessment and second opinion, just to be sure. I’m so glad I did this because it gave me such peace of mind. The experts there were so patient with me and examined my stride in all three of the shoes. Turns out I really could trust my intuition and one of the pairs did not work at all. The other two were different, but equally optimal for the way I run, so I took them both based on my gut feeling and encouragement from my guy at the store. The Clayton 2 is super lightweight but with an ample amount of cushion, which is what I like. I will use them for my long runs and most likely for race day. I also picked up the Tracer 2, which is a bit different from any of the shoes I’ve run in lately, but I’m pretty excited about it. It’s also extremely light weight but lower to the ground. When I first put then on I thought, “Are these flat? Is it Supposed to feel like this?” But once I started running I felt free and light while still feeling like I had enough support. I can’t wait to use them for my shorter speed workouts. The guy at the shop kept on laughing at me when I had them on cause I bounced around and told him I felt like Speedy Gonzalez!
Back to what I learned about myself this week…being able to quiet my doubtful voice so quickly was something that really surprised me. I honestly think the other half of my brain said, Yeah, nobody has time for that, let’s just go get it done. It made me realize that my mental capacity is expanding right along side the physical. What’s exciting is, that’s the side I get to keep. My physical fitness will ebb and flow and whether I like it or not, will eventually begin to erode with age. But the mental muscles and fortitude I am building are going to be of use to me long after these legs stop logging long distance mileage.
Speaking of long distance mileage…walking the 2 1/2 miles home after the 15 on Sunday was the first time in months I felt sure that marathons are not going to be something I run all the time. I may be a one and done. Or I may be a once every few years for really special races. It’s a lot. Much respect to people who run marathons on the regular and even compete in Ultras. It’s just not for me. I guess the cool thing was, on that walk home- I simultaneously held two sort of different but equally true thoughts in my mind:
- I’m not a marathoner–this isn’t going to be my “thing”.
- I love running so much–I love it more than I ever have before and my appreciation for it is growing more and more everyday.
I actually love training. But what I wasn’t prepared for is how much it takes from you–mentally, physically, and emotionally. When I looked at a training log before, not only did I not consider the time it would take to prepare for long runs, but I also paid little mind to the recovery I require after–the walking, the stretching, the long hot showers, the eating, the re-hydrating. I didn’t consider how necessary it sometimes is for me to just sit on my ass and do nothing for a while after a long run. And this is just the physical. This process has taught me that there are so many other things in my life that really require me to be strong mentally and emotionally. I feel like I know now what’s really important, and what I really need and want to show up for. My energy is not unlimited–I am very human. Training makes that so clear to me. I couldn’t be a regular marathoner because there is just no way I could give running this type of focus and energy day in and day out year round–or even yearly. Other things that I care about would lose, and I’m not willing to let that happen.
Rather than getting me down though these thoughts have actually been really eye-opening and uplifting. I love running so much, and this whole experience is really one of the thrills of my life. I feel so lucky to be able to get to do this–to have the privilege and the luxury to be able to focus on running this intensively. How many people in the world get to have one of their stressors be what $150 shoe to run in? Seriously. I’ve got it pretty good. I also feel so fortunate to be getting to know myself so much better. Like I said, I think that might be the real win in all of this. This training forces me to give so much of myself to running. When I’m done with it, I’m going to go back to a place where running is giving more to me. I definitely have a balance, a sweet spot where the effort I put into running yields inspiration and productivity and passion in other important areas of my life. I’ve got to find that place again–where running is giving more to me than it’s taking. I know that I’ll find it, and it’ll be even sweeter with a marathon medal behind it.
Are you a lifer marathoner or ultra runner? Tell me, what was it that made you go, “this is my thing”? How did you know that this type of physical challenge is something you always or frequently want to have in your life? Anyone else out there have ZERO desire to ever run a marathon? I want to hear from you too…what does running give you–what does it NOT give you?
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