10 Weeks to NYC Marathon: Just a Little Stumble…

03/09/2010 § Leave a comment

Goal last week: 25 miles (5 miles, 17 miles, 3 miles tempo)

Actual mileage:  22 miles (3 miles, 19 miles)

Goal this week: 25 miles (3 miles, 19 miles, 3 miles)

This week was challenging for me.  Due to a business trip, I was out of town for a few days and for some reason I was unable to get back on track with my program after being taken out of it.  So I didn’t get in my second run in for the week, I missed my cross training and just felt kind of put out and loser-ish about the whole thing.  Compounding my slight funk about the week is the fact that summer is drawing to a close and opportunities to enjoy drinks al fresco or a stroll along Fifth Avenue are evaporating, so time spent after work in a gym or even running outside is not as fun as it was a few weeks ago.

As with anything that takes a lot of hard work, motivation during a training program can lag at times and it can strike at any moment.  I could try to blame it on the beautiful summer, but when I was training for the Miami half, I tried to blame it on the horrible winter (side note, I will take running in the heat any time over running in the cold — even though running in the snow does makes you seem like a badass to non-runners).  It takes work to pull yourself out of these doldrums, but you have to do it!

My long run was an adventure.  I started out intending to do 17 miles, but when I got to my turnaround point at 125th, I felt so good that I decided to keep going — so I went to 158th and did two extra miles.  Doing an out and back can be tricky.  When I get to the point where I am going to add mileage, I’m in the midpoint of my run — so of course I feel great and ready to keep on going.  Fast forward to the last two miles of my run, during which I am proud to say I did not slow down or stop, were extremely difficult.  My body was tired and the internal whining (When on earth are we going to stop?) was exceptionally loud but I kept at it.  I reminded myself that building endurance was an uphill battle and the tiredness I was feeling would make my body even stronger for the next run.

Tip #6:  Stay motivated, stay focused and forgive yourself.
When you stumble a bit with your program (and you will have a few) you have to forgive yourself.  Don’t focus on the fact that you missed a run, or 5 runs, or had a bad run, or didn’t pay attention to what you ate or how much water you drink.  Whatever.  Just keep it moving and tell yourself the next day is a new day.  Focusing on what you’ve messed up on is a slippery slope.  Just bypass all that by completely forgiving yourself and renewing your commitment the following day.

Tip #6.5: When all else fails, trick yourself into running.
Trying to make yourself get up and run in the morning?  Go to sleep with your sports bra on.  You won’t want to wake up and then take it off after doing absolutely nothing.  Not sure how well this works for men, though…

Happy running!

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