I have had a bit of a lull after Boston. To be honest, I had some lingering disappointment.
I found myself happy with my performance for the day. Yet, still disappointed, I put so much time and effort into the race and fell short. The marathon can be a bit of a wild beast. Unlike shorter distances, so much can go right but if one tiny element (weather, fueling, hydration, pacing, ect.) is off it can cause your whole day to fall apart.
I have taken a few weeks for me time. I really focused on removing some toxic parts of my life or at least lowering the amount of exposure. I can feel such a huge difference to not have that negative noise constantly in the background. I have been purposeful in my thinking each day. I can choose to react positively or negatively to the events in my life, and I am choosing to stay positive. It’s been so refreshing. As far as training goes, I have kept my running around 40 miles per week. I haven’t really done any structured speed/quality running session, aside from chasing a few Strava segments. Mostly, I have added some fun back into my training. I have found my happy space, and I am so ready to jump back into training.
I started working with my coach again this week. (You can read more about my decision to work with a coach here.) I am super excited because I have some BIG goals, and I am encouraged, very much, by his confidence in my ability to reach one or more of them. I am going with a sort of tiered set of goals. My long term build up will focus on a fall half marathon. I haven’t quite narrowed it down to which one but I have a short list of favorites. As I progress to that goal, I have sprinkled in some 5ks along the way, and my favorite race of the year, Plaza 10k.
I am really looking forward to hitting some high intensity workouts. Before working with Coach Jeremy, I avoided “speed training” like the plague. I am a long tempo junkie, but I hated the faster stuff. I think it’s easy for runners to enjoy workouts that they are successful at. I would look at programs like Daniels and McMillan and the tempo style runs and paces always seemed the most attainable. I think the problem is it leaves deficits in your training. You may become better at that particular style of workout, but it doesn’t always translate into stronger racing. So with a bit of an attitude adjustment and some surprising successful track sessions, I have learned to embrace the difficult workouts as a way to better myself and grow as a runner.
Right now, my workouts have been moderate and the mileage has felt pretty light. I think that is a huge difference in how I traditionally approach a new training cycle. Usually I hit a training cycle hard but fizzle out. Like blasting the first mile of a marathon. I always have great intentions, and when I start a new program I want to hammer out workouts right away. Leading to soreness, or one injury after another. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I saw my first week of training and felt a little bummed that I wasn’t crushing some vomit inducing hard workouts right away or hammering out some crazy high miles. However, I know this is a much smarter approach and will, hopefully, lead to a longer much more productive training cycle.
When I originally began to draft this post, my intentions were to share my goals. I have read people who write down their goals and share them with others are more likely to achieve them. I don’t know why, but I am not ready. I have shared them with my coach and 1 or 2 of my training partners. It makes me feel vulnerable, so maybe as we get closer and I see the work paying off I will, maybe, be ready to put myself out there. Coming up first on my racing calendar will be the Stars and Stripes 5k. It will be a good chance to change things up from the marathon cycle and get some speed in. I’m honestly not sure what to expect, but it will give me (and coach) a good idea of my current fitness to help guide my training. Plus, it will give me a reason to eat way too much junk food after! HAHA
Being a teacher on summer break gives me a great training opportunity. Both my husband and I are off for the summer, so it’s very easy to find the balance between training and family time. I get most of my workouts in the morning currently and will easily add in some evening doubles as my mileage increases. My little princess will continue to go to preschool 2 days a week (4 hours each day) which gives me additional time to squeeze in more time to focus on strength training on Tuesday and Friday mornings. I am hoping at the end of the summer I will be able to reflect and see some great growth going into the fall racing season.
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