Back on the Emotional Roller Coaster of Marathon Training

Those of you who have followed this blog for a while have heard about my training (and lackluster performance) for Marine Corps in 2014, and earlier this summer I had started up on my training blog again with the intention of running Marine Corps in 2015.  Then I allowed life to get in the way, and I had to defer to next year.  The focus on this blog switched over to things like safety, goal setting, motivation, and race recaps.  Today I am ready to admit that I officially am marathon training again.

Actually – tomorrow will be the beginning of week five of marathon training.  It has taken me these last four weeks to check in with myself and make sure I was really in it.  My husband and I picked a late winter race in a destination not so cold (Austin, Texas, to be exact), and will be headed out there for our race.  This will be the farthest I have ever traveled for a race, the first marathon I’ve done outside of the area I live, and hopefully will help me regain the confidence I lost after Marine Corps last year.

I’ve talked a lot on this blog about motivation – and my frequent lack of it.  Recently I’ve been working harder and harder to square in my mind the things that are important to me, the goals I have for myself, and the amount of effort and time I’m willing to put into them.  Today is the day I feel confident enough to publicly declare I am marathon training again, because today was a day it would have been easy to not run.

My weekend, like many weekends for busy parents, was FULL.  Yesterday I had to wake up early to take my cub scout son out “Scouting for Food”.  Next was a flurry of laundry and shopping to be ready for the housewarming party and baby shower we were also fitting into our Saturday.  I am a person who likes rest.  I like sleep.  I am also a teacher with two kids, which means sleep is not always a luxury I am afforded much of.  This morning I had great intentions of meeting up with the store training group to run my nine mile long run.  I begrudgingly set my alarm clock for 6:30, and after a 10pm single mile run (to keep up on my 100 day running streak – today was day 62!!), found myself in bed, exhausted.  Around 4am a car smacked into a street sign right outside my bedroom window, jarring me wide awake.  It was in that moment I thought to myself – I cannot wake up early EVERY SINGLE DAY.  When my 6:30 alarm went off I sent a message off to one of my running friends and went back to sleep, slightly sad to be missing the camaraderie of the group run, but resigned that I would never succeed in training if I always felt like I was missing out on having a solid night’s rest.

At 8:30 I woke up and started to go about my day.  The dog went out for a walk.  Laundry was started and folded.  Bathrooms were clean.  Refrigerators were cleaned and emptied in anticipation of this week’s groceries.  I eyed the clock, knowing that at 1pm we would need to leave to head to our running coach’s birthday party.  It was a few minutes before 11 when I realized I couldn’t let myself slip back into this.  Slip back into giving up all of my time, not devoting time to things I had hopes for, but then feeling frustrated and sad about not achieving those goals.  I let my husband know I was going out to run my nine miles solo, and out the door I ran.

Running alone always feels longer than running with the group.  There’s no one else to distract you, but lucky enough I had the chance to listen to MY music without gripes from the pre-teen that finds everything I enjoy so painfully uncool.  I had a route all mapped out, but had to make an unexpected detour when I headed home to drop back off my cell phone (I have recently lost about ten pounds and due to the slightly too large pants, my phone was literally trying to pull my pants off as I ran).  I didn’t think about how my altered route would change my total distance and I kept trotting along, feeling great, enjoying the sunshine, and dodging the two cars that nearly hit me (we MUST get better as drivers at checking crosswalks!!).  When I reached the point that I knew was exactly two miles from home I checked my watch and was slightly shocked – how was I already at 7.68???  I had totally forgotten about my detour and how it would add to my distance, but felt great and decided to make it a clean ten miles instead.  When all was said and done I finished my ten miles only a minute slower than I finished the Army 10 Miler last month – complete with hills and slowing down for traffic.

I am looking forward to training for my first destination race.  I’ve never been to Austin and am looking forward for the new sights, good food, bats, and a break from the winter weather.  I’ll be checking in again next Sunday to let you know about week five!  I’d love to hear from anyone that has ever run the Austin Marathon – I hear I am in for some hills!

Til next time!

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