training check-in

With all my recent travels and work commitments running has become (believe it or not) more of a priority. The more stressed I am or busy my calendar gets, running always sticks up there on my top things to do. If I’m not running, I’m not thinking clearly and I definitely don’t feel like my normal self. So, more and more I realize how good training for another marathon has been for my physical and mental well being.

I cannot believe I’m already one 18 mile long run and three measly recovery miles away from sticking a fork in week eight. Time is flying and the seasons are changing. Yesterday I ran in a T-shirt and tights IN THE SNOW. The sun was out and so were the flurries.

But, let’s back it up a bit… Week seven was a struggle for me. It was the first time during this go at training that running felt hard again. I was in SF for week six and I felt the best I’ve ever felt. My 16 miler was like cake! I was way faster than race pace and at the end felt like I could have easily gone four or five more. I see a dramatic difference in my base mileage and I was running at race pace for even my recovery runs… but it felt so easy.

Maybe it was the flying and travel, maybe it was the tai chi and yoga sessions during an all day music/art residency at work, maybe it was my body’s first recognition of me going for back-to-back marathons, but I felt tired. My paces didn’t slow up much, but I just felt heavy and exausted.

Even now in week eight it has been a continuous reminder of one of my 2013 Running Goals: The Skill of the Easy Pace. This week has been about learning to slow down, avoid my watch, and run because I’m settling in to feel comfortable, not because I have to get miles in under a deadline. No one is running with me, no one is chasing me and Lewisburg is the most quiet place on earth… so I’ve been consciously making the effort to do what my body feels even if it means slowing up. They call them easy runs for a reason 🙂

So, my training lesson to take away from this point in my training has been listen to your body and enjoy the easy runs. You need re-bulding days. Believe it or not that’s been my biggest struggle… allowing myself to slow up. That’s a problem for me in life, too I suppose. I’m curious to all you runners out there… what lessons are you taking from your training? Running lessons or life lessons, it doesn’t matter… I’m all ears 🙂

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