January – Check.
Under 100 days – Check.
Injury free still – Check.
Reflecting on this day last year I was 50 days away from my first marathon. Today I am 82 days out from my second marathon. I can tell you that both today, and this day last year, I am SO FREAKING NERVOUS. I had an o-kay-ish-coulda-slept-more-shoulda-ran-more-woulda-felt-better week this last week. It is my dip in training where the miles are picking up and the legs are feeling heavier. It is the time when I want to eat everything in sight and I have to focus on keeping the weight that I’ve lost off. Seriously it is so hard to burn all these calories and not just splurge! I’ve been staying at right above 30 miles a week thus far but definitely starting to pick up in hill workouts, fartleks, and of course my Saturday long runs are getting longer. So before I head out for my long run today I needed a little sanity. List making. And a little motivation. C’mon, you’ve worked this hard, stay in this!!
- Consistent running: this is SO important yet for some reason I didn’t do this last marathon. I ran when it was convenient and I was just making sure I did my long runs on the weekend. This marathon season I have been running almost every day with needed rest days.
- Built a base- experienced runners can just slap me now… I know, I should know this after running for how long? This goes along with consistent running but this time I was able to build a solid base for myself.
- Strength training – I did do a little last year for the marathon but this year I have a program I am following built in with the days of the week. It has made such a difference in my posture, my form, and my over all strength and body.
- Speed training – last marathon I did not include ANY speed, intervals, fartleks, or hills. I thought living in East Tennessee I was getting enough hills for the normal person’s week in one run. Hills for days. This time around I am doing different workouts through the week and really paying attention to the way my body responds and works.
- Training partners – since college I have not had any one to run with. This time around my sister was biking with me, I have been meeting up with friends, and I went to a running group. These have all changed my running in more ways than one. It makes the time and miles fly by and you learn so much about someone in the time you spend with them. It is a different kind of bond you make with these people. I can’t wait for another run through these avenues.
- Early morning runs – I never thought I would see the day I would get up before 6 am again after college. 4:45am comes SO early just so everyone knows! What do they say, “a day I am too busy to run is a day I really am too busy”. I am trying to get my runs in… no. matter. what.
- Diet – I have really become in tune with my calorie intake vs calorie burn. This is so hard when, like I mentioned before, you are just SO hungry. Keeping my iron up and putting better food in my body. Less eating out and more about what will benefit my run that day and the next day.
- No treadmill – This is my favorite one yet!! I HATE/loathe/despise/etc the “dreadmill” and to say I have run on it only ONCE this year is AH-Mazing!!! Makes me feel like a badass running out on the roads when people drive by thinking about how crazy dumb I look running in negative degree weather and it’s snowing, yet I feel great that I’m not staring at a wall going no where in my basement. Bonus that I’m getting better miles in and not sacrificing mileage and form from the treadmill.