Back at it. But Better.

This week I, belatedly it feels like, started my third marathon training cycle.  I bought the clothes I said I would, and made my foot doctor appointment, too.  I wrote my training plan meticulously in my training journal {then immediately bought a new one when I realized that this currently one would run out before the marathon happened – the horror!!} and then, I started training.


thank GOD my bestie was on the scene

I had that same drop in my stomach that I always have right before a big training plan is about to go down.  Especially for a marathon because those 25, 31, 35 miles week right up front are legit intimidating.  To power through, and not feel burnt out and gross like I did at the beginning of Marine Corps, I made some changes to the way I approach training that, for the first week at least, seem to be playing to my strengths instead of finding my weaknesses and causing me to give up, defeated.

  1. Start the week with cross training – I found body pump again at a gym near my office and it is absolutely the best thing for me.  The class that works best for my schedule happens to be on  Monday, which is perfect.  I have 2 cross training days suggested in my schedule so body pump plus a bike ride at home fit in nicely.  Plus, I have the added benefit of never really breaking my number one rule – never skip a Monday.  Body pump is challenging enough to totally count in my training but not so hard that there’s a high propensity that I’ll skip it.  Plus it’s the only form of training I pay out of pocket for ahead of time which also encourages me to go.
  2. Be gentle – It’s a lesson I learned hard after WDW half early this year. Being gentle with myself after a big race let down is important but being gentle with myself during training is even more important.  I was doing a lot of mileage shaming during MCM training – counting off the miles that I hadn’t actually run, comparing my mileage with other people running races in that same time frame.  What I should have been focusing on – and what I’m focusing on this time – is what I actually do.  Yes, it’s important to get the speed, and the recovery and the long runs in.  But if I’m short 3 miles {like I was this first week} it’s literally not the end of the world.  Like at all.
  3. Eat better – I had a come to Jesus with myself about fuel and just eating in general right before this cycle started. Food is tough for me because it’s an emotional and not just physical need.  I went back to a program that has worked for me before and NOT focusing on weight loss {which would be nice} but treating food like the fuel it is and treating my emotional needs in more appropriate, less damaging ways.  Two weeks of this, plus being gentle with myself for week one has left me feeling pretty good about my choices.
  4. Dream accordingly – there are so many things to target for this marathon but my main targets are going to be Hilary and my other friends. Marathon weekend will be a pure celebration of running and bestiness.  It will also be a weekend of extreme relaxation with MB followed by a DREAM vacation.  So, each week, I’m setting my running sights on one of the things I literally cannot wait for.  This week I dreamt about Hilary crossing the finish line of her first marathon.  It made the miles tick by and I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t shed a happy tear or two in the process.

I have never felt this confident starting a training cycle.  I’m excited to work up to the race with this momentum – especially since I have my first higher mileage week in almost 6 months starting right now.

How do you reset after a few tough cycles?

6 thoughts on “Back at it. But Better.

  1. hcook says:

    I’m elated to read your plan going in to this. It means the world to me that you’ll be with me at the race. I’m so intimidated by this goal but when I get down or discouraged when my running group picks up the pace at mile 16 and I can’t hang, I think about how awesome it will be to have you by my side and that in the end – my goal is time with you and crossing the marathon finish line and getting that glorious medal. It’s not our race time. This is about incredibly awesome memories. Thank you for being my support system through this!

    • lnrbailey says:

      Hilary you are so amazing! I love you and I literally cannot wait for the marathon. It’s literally going to be the best weekend ever!!

  2. BakeNBurn says:

    That’s so exciting! I am right there with you hitting the reset button. I’m telling myself that it will help me get stronger and faster for the races that I’m goaling myself for in the future. Do you use a specific notebook/journal for training?

    • lnrbailey says:

      Hooray! Right now I use a blank target monthly/daily journal. I can’t wait to get my Lauren Fleshman believe training journal next month 🙂

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