I always knew that training for a big event like a half marathon would be hard work. I’m not afraid of hard work and I enjoy having a goal to work toward, so choosing to do a race like this makes a lot of sense for me. I’m also a fairly disciplined person so following a training plan and sticking to it isn’t a problem for me… Until it is.
I’m starting my 5th week of training, 5 days a week. Each week of this plan consists of 3 running days, 2 cross training days and 2 rest days. My plan has always been to follow this plan up to my 15K in the beginning of April, then maintain for a few weeks. At a certain week I’d finish following the plan up to the half marathon that’s scheduled for the beginning of June. It all seemed very doable when I was mapping it out in the beginning of January. The runs are based on time instead of distance which seems to be different than most other plans, but it works…. Until it doesn’t.
Over the course of these last 5 weeks I’ve realized that I’m so much more rigid than I thought I was as a person. I get stressed out if I miss a training day or if I feel too tired, too busy, too anything and I can’t do the prescribed amount of time on the plan. I am feeling the burn, the mental burn of trying to keep up with my guide. I’m tired… A lot… I want to do this so badly, but I don’t want to lose the fun! When the doubt settles in I wonder how I’m going to sustain this for the next few months. How am I going to keep going and be able to enjoy the process along the way? It’s starting to feel too much like work and less like a release. I think I get too focused on perfection and I lose sight of all the progress I’ve made so far. Yesterday’s wonderful 7 mile run is a perfect example; I felt so great, had a wonderful time outside in the fresh air, and had such confidence afterward. Then today I wake up and try to squeeze in 30 minutes of yoga on my 55 minute cross training day (which really should be a rest day but isn’t because I missed a cross training day earlier in the week- follow me?). I feel like I’m falling behind.
I know that this is all a part of the process, that mental endurance is just as important as physical endurance. Perhaps working through this anxiety, embracing it while still moving forward is more of the training than the rest of it…..well, for me at least. I’d love to hear your training struggles and joys too, please share them!
– Mama K
P.S. It doesn’t help that I fell of the clean eating wagon either. I never made the kale chips I posted about last week or whenever that was and I dream about deliciously warm French bread. I’ve held onto my small changes like swapping granola bars to a low glycemic choice, eating my Ezekiel bread, and doctoring up my Greek yogurt with flax seed and chia seeds. I even drink nasty protein shakes with unsweetened almond mild…. Blech. But…. I’ve also had pizza binges and potato chip love affairs. Aaaaahhhh!!!! PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION! I have to keep reminding myself of this.
P.P.S – This is one of my swaps and it is too good to keep it a secret. This all natural superfood nut butter is so delicious and I highly recommend it!