Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Three Things I've Learned From Marathon Training-July Running Log

Training for a FULL marathon (26.2 miles) has always been a goal that seemed a little out of reach. Not that I thought I couldn't do it, but I knew I had to have the desire and drive to make training for all those miles and weeks happen. Now it's time to make that lofty, out of reach goal, a reality.

I have been pleased with my training cycle so far. I've really challenged myself with my training plan and am proud that I've made every run happen (that's huge)! I haven't missed one yet. These first weeks of training have already taught me three things.  

One. You can do hard things. When I decided I wanted to run a marathon I didn't just put a goal of finishing it, but finishing it with a certain time. Some in the running world would say that's a little crazy for a first time marathoner, but I love a good challenge! I started researching plans and when I decided on one I began to pencil each days training workout in my planner. As I sat back and looked at the months and miles I would be running pile up, my initial thoughts were, "NO WAY!" It was unbelievable to look at the plan as a whole, see all the mileage planned out, and think I could do it. However, I remember having those same thoughts all those years ago when I saw my first half marathon training plan in a SHAPE Magazine and got the crazy idea I would try to run a half marathon. Now, thirteen half marathon races under my belt, I can't believe I ever thought it seemed out of reach. You can do hard things!  

As the weeks went by before training began, I even thought about changing to a less ambitious plan, but the start day on the calendar quickly arrived, and training began. Of course when I saw Day 1 was scheduled on the day we were on vacation in Death Valley National Park, California (known as the hottest place in North America 😅🌡), I laughed but wasn't deterred. I started.  Plain and simple, I put one foot in front of the other and focused on the first days run, got it done, and have been doing that every day since! You can do hard things!

Two. You have to want it. You won't be successful if you don't have the desire and drive to make it happen.  You can't set a goal and forget about it. It's the day in and day out commitment that will get you to the finish line. Never have I been so dedicated to a training cycle more than this one. Maybe it's the fact that I've never run a marathon before. Or possibly, that at the half marathon races that I've run I'm so ready to be done at 13.1 miles and had the thought, "I can't believe those full marathoners have to do what I just did twice!" 😜 

I know I need to be trained up and prepared to not feel like I'm dying come race day. I've not skipped a workout yet, running while out of town and on vacation (in two different states), moved long runs to mid week when I knew I would be gone on a Saturday, and persevered in hot and humid temperatures. July is not an easy running month, but summer miles equals a fast fall! If you want it, you can make it happen.

Three. The only one standing in your way is you. The last long run of July was 14 miles and the training plan had me set to complete it in 2 hours and 15 minutes (9:39 min/mile pace). It's easy to be intimidated when seeing numbers that you need to hit during a workout. In the past, I've not followed training plans so closely, or I've only followed plans to give me a distance guideline, not a pace goal. At first I thought that pace seemed overzealous to hold over 14 miles this early in training (6 weeks in). However, I didn't let my thoughts discourage me, I decided to trust my training and see what I could do. I finished in 2 hours and 14 minutes (9:34 min/mile pace)! Coming in 5 seconds per mile faster, and one minute to spare. If I would have given in to the fear of failure and not tried, I would have missed out on seeing that I could do it! The only one standing in your way is you. Hard work pays!

144.5 miles for July, an all time high mileage running month for me, which is only the beginning! Onward and upward, in miles that is 😂! You can make your goals happen. Just simply start. Put one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. This applies not only to running, but any goal you have set for yourself. What goals are you currently working toward? I would love to hear.