I have less than a month until my first fall Half Marathon and I am trying desperately to focus more now on training smart, because hilly Atlanta HERE WE COME! One of the hardest things for me is to allow myself time to rest in between training runs. I often find myself feeling like I just need to get ALL THE MILES IN in a single week and never seem to mentally give myself permission to have rest days, which is a sure mixture for injury due to overuse. You now the drill, you see your fellow running buddies getting all the local training runs and races in and you feel like a big-ole-slacker on the sideline because if you are truly sticking to a training plan, several days of the week call for REST! THAT would be me.
Over the summer months, as I have posted before, I have struggled so much with getting my runs in with the severely humid Florida heat. Often scheduling my training runs for the butt-crack-of-dawn but still feeling like I am not enjoying them. Pushing to get long and short runs in without focusing on my regimented training plan as I should have been and the result was a calf strain and some upper hip pain that have now shown me that there is a reason for a training plan which includes training smart with rest days to make sure I have a quality run without injury. Realistically, most of us have about one good run out of five, but I was sick of feeling exhausted after mile 2 of my runs, so last week I decided to change that. I think maybe experiencing the happiness in running again at The Color Run last week made me open my eyes even more. Though this is a mental sport, sometimes that mental sport is what keeps you from continuing run for the reasons you started and for me it was healing my spirit and will to push past obstacles I face(d) each week.
Since I have six half marathons on the schedule for the Fall race season and I will begin training for my first full marathon that will be in February of 2014, it just clicked with me that I must buckle down and focus and shut out the voice in my head telling me that I am a slacker. I have big dreams with a lot of miles and the only thing that I see that will keep me from fulfilling those is me. I have buckled down on my nutrition, I am cutting out the alcohol again and focusing on making sure I stay as injury free as possible.
Now in the Race Simulation stage of my half marathon training I look forward to my distance runs scheduled each week of 3, 6.5 and 10. I never thought I would look forward to a 10 mile run that was not a scheduled race, but I really am getting excited about those now. Time to focus and get my mind race ready and never forget to enjoy the run and make today awesome! I love several options available for free training plans that I have at my fingertips and a couple which require purchase. The trainer push I get from the Integrated Intelligence Trainer from Pear Sports, the realistic approach to rest days that I get from My Asics training plans and I look forward to trying my first Hal Higdon Marathon Training Plan in the late fall.
Are you in the midst of race training? What do you find to be your most counter productive influences and how do you overcome those? I would love to hear from you and what big races you have coming up in the Fall! Never forget to just BE AWESOME and put forth the best foot you can and Run with all your Heart!