Thursday, May 26, 2011

Secret Marathoning

After my first marathon last fall, within five minutes of finishing, I decided I could do better. I would run another marathon. The question became when.

I started this year with the goal of competing in the Twin Cities Marathon this fall. A lot has happened, however, to keep my running train a little off track. It's now a couple of weeks from when I'd like to start training, and I don't have my base mileage back up to a place where that training plan is even a good possibility. Reluctantly, I decided that this race would have to wait.

Five minutes after I decided not to run it this year, I suddenly found boundless motivation to run. What the heck, right? But it still doesn't add up to a good base. Then I had an idea.

Maybe the problem wasn't that I was not where I wanted to be fitness-wise (which I am not), but that I was not adapting my training plan to match where I actually am. AHA!! I immediately found a plan that was a lot more realistic, but would still allow me to improve my time from last year. It's not too much of a jump from the mileage I am currently running. And there is room for rest, so if it begins to feel overwhelming I can recover.

And voila! I will be running the marathon this fall. But I still feel hesitant about my current fitness. So rather than training for "A Marathon," I will suggest to myself that I run a certain distance on a certain day, as a part of my normal fitness regimen. I think after a week or two of this, I will have convinced myself that I can do it. So keep quiet and don't remind me what's going on, you.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

What kind of coach are you?

There must be a hundred tricks I play on myself to stay motivated to run. There are the ones that get me out the door, the ones that keep me from quitting, the ones that make me maintain that awful pace. Once in a while, while reviewing my tricks, I notice that they're all pretty harsh. I'm a mean coach.

I don't go for that sunshine and flowers stuff. I rather like a boot camp get your ass out there dirtbag approach. But sometimes I get to feeling bad for being so hard on myself, instead of enjoying the process. That's when I come up with tricks like "Run Happy" and "Have a good run, me!"

But eventually I snap out of that. Today I snapped out of that. I read a friend's post entitled "Get Stronger Damnit!" and it's got me giggling. I can think of all kinds of ways to use this. Get faster damnit! Run longer damnit! Stop crying damnit!

I feel so motivated I may go run again!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Attitude Adjustment

I don't mind telling you I have a perfectionist complex. This gets in my way a lot.

It's a real challenge for me with regards to running. I have these inflated expectations of myself, based on what I've achieved in the past and on where I'd like to be. I wish I were running 40-50 miles a week, I wish my long runs were 20s instead of 8s, I wish my pace was 7:30 instead of sometimes 9:30. I know you wish these things too. I mean you have your own goals for you (although maybe you do wish this for me too, and in that case thank you you're the best).

But I'm a driven, busy gal, and I frequently fall short of these goals. For instance last week I ran a little over 13 miles. Pffft.

I know that's wrong and bad. But so what I want more. I guess I'm beginning to think it's okay to want more, but I have to stop disregarding everything that I consider as falling short. I'm a mean person. Today I worked on being happy.

Yes that's right, today's mantra was "Run Happy." There was a time when I really enjoyed running and it wasn't such a chore. So I checked my attitude at the door and spent much of the next seventy minutes reminding myself to lighten up and enjoy the ride.

And I did.

Monday, May 2, 2011


I've been rattling something around the tin can for a while now: will I be a marathoner, or will I be someone who ran a marathon once.

My first marathon was an unequivocal event for me. It was a can-do statement to myself about the value of my sobriety, self-worth, and determination. I deserved to run the marathon after all I'd been through, and nothing was going to stop me. I cried some as I ran it, it was such a powerful place to be.

Of course, I want to feel that again. I loved the training and the everyday sense of accomplishment as I licked one more piece of the goal. I loved how fit I got, and I couldn't believe the things my body was able to do. I loved having such a massive goal, and I loved attaining it.

It wasn't all love of course. Life got in the way of too much of my training. There was a lot of pain involved. I did not spend as much time with the Hub as either of us would have liked.

But as time passes and I try to think this out with a level head, I realize that the reason I'm coming back to it again and again has to do with passion. There is calm and calculation, but the thing I love about the marathon -- from the 4am runs to the ice baths, the epic runs and the finish line -- is you cannot compete or complete it without passion.

And so it is without a level head and on a very strong whim that I've decided to be a marathoner. Yay!! Next up, Twin Cities Marathon 10-02-11.