Sometimes I Wonder

Sometimes I wonder why I signed up for a marathon. I ran a half marathon a few weeks ago and nearly threw up on the finish line. I'm not kidding. Why do I want to run twice that distance when that was already hard enough? The following week I was particularly struggling with the motivation because it was the week after the Unplugged Half Marathon and my brain was like "hey, I already ran the race. It's time to relax." But no, that wasn't THE race that this training is all about! It was also a cut back week and I struggle so much with cut back weeks...

Sometimes I wonder why I signed up for a marathon my last semester of graduate school. This week I am supposed to be building up my mileage and I am actually almost at my peak training. While that's exciting on some level, it's also a bit daunting because this is also peak job application and peak assignment time (there is only 1 week of school left!). My schedule has never been so busy! The next two weeks are crazy. But the past few weeks have been too.

Some days I wonder if my body can do it. I went into training naive and stupid. I rarely stretched. Now I probably have IT band issues so I'm icing and rolling whenever I can. My quads are super sore. My claves while they are rock solid are so so so tight. It hurts to roll and I'm hoping they start to feel better soon.

I constantly have to remind myself that running is about so much more than just checking the boxes for marathon training. Sure I want to do the training because I love the feeling of crossing the finishing line with utter pride! I love setting goals for myself and crushing them. I also want to be my sister's prodigal trainee. But whenever I tell her this she says I am going to PR. Well, duh, Julie. That's because I have never ran a marathon before!

I need to constantly remind myself that

  • Running relieves stress
  • Running improves concentration
  • Running is social
  • Running is fun (now that the weather has improved!)

Running has also improved my confidence and helped me to see my potential. I never thought I could run tempos or speed workouts. And now it's just another workout. I never thought I could run a sub 1:45 half marathon. But I did it! I never imagined myself running 5-6 days a week and not hating every minute of it (especially after my poor exercise habits during my internship).

Every run is a new opportunity to see new potential or to push myself just a little bit more. And I see this confidence spreading to other areas of my life as well.

I worry about cutting back to listen to my body and prevent further injury. I want to be perfect and get all of my training in. Last week was hard because it was my biggest loss of miles yet (5 miles). And then I missed another 5 this week. I'm working through the mental challenges.

So in that sense, yes I am very busy and marathon training makes it a wee bit more stressful than it has to be. BUT on the other hand, marathon training has given me so much confidence and pride in myself that I feel better equipped to tackle my schoolwork, professional work, applications, interview, you name it. It's teaching me about balance and listening to your body and the flow of your life.  Bring it on.

Dealing with Change

Graduation is in less than a month. I move in a little over a month (don't ask me where. If you ask my parents they would probably say, "hopefully not home.") This equates to goodbyes and endings. But it also means there are new beginnings to look forward to. Last Thursday and Friday I drove down to Boston and back. Then I worked the whole weekend. Then Monday after an all day conference I drove down to Portsmouth. Tuesday I drove to Portland and back. Wednesday I drove back to Vermont.

All of the money that I have (and then some) has gone towards gas, tolls (holy toll charges!), coffee, more coffee, food, and wine. Right now in my refrigerator there is a yogurt, 1/2 a can of pinto beans, half a bag of baby carrots (my hands are orange) and some shredded cheese...I'm pretty sure the milk is bad. Luckily I have seven jars of nut butter...three of which are open....but no bread...

My eating schedule has been so off. And although I've tried to be in tune with my body, some days are harder than others for any number of reasons.

I am exhausted. This makes it more challenging to tune into my hunger and fullness cues. I'm also more likely to choose foods for comfort or emotional reasons (wine and chocolate anyone?!)

I am living at other peoples' homes. This equates to eating out a lot or eating what is available. Sometimes you have to eat foods you would not normally eat or eat when you aren't hungry because you have to eat. I always bring breakfast and snacks with me so that helps.

I am constantly driving. I don't know about you but I get bored while I'm driving. I like driving in the morning because I can bring my coffee on the road. In the afternoon or evening I am a snack monster. Especially after driving the same boring route four times in six days.

Everything combined leads to a bit more emotional eating than I care to admit and a few extra glasses of wine on the more challenging days. But I made those decisions being aware of why I was making them. I ate overnight oatmeal and Cadbury eggs for dinner when I drove to Portsmouth.

I spent a lot simply to get some delicious vegetables, whole grains and tofu from Whole Foods. Was craving vegetables hard!

I didn't get a donut from the Holy Donut because I felt all donut-ed out.

I made two dinners. One was my peannutty noodle bowl for Julie and Greg. I really wanted pizza but they had pizza a few nights ago so I made pizza for me and the former for them.

I ate half my pizza for dinner and the other half for lunch. I had been craving it for a while. My body wanted it.

I took Tuesday off from running even though I had 5 miles planned. My knee wasn't bothering me too much, but I was truly drained.

I had toast with almond cashew butter and jam for breakfast even though I didn't want toast. But it's what I brought for breakfast.

After cleaning my apartment I fell asleep...I was so tired. I guess my long run wasn't going to happen. I ended up doing 5 slow miles instead. It worries me that this injury thing is happening during my peak training weeks. Julie told me to listen to my body and cut back when I need to because it takes longer than I think to lose fitness. I don't want to get more injured but I also want to be able to finish the race. So intuitive exercise it is. Well, semi-intuitive. I still have a training plan to follow, I just rearrange the days. I'm going to try for a long run. It was supposed to be a tempo but I'm cutting back the speed.

I had yogurt with cereal and peanut butter with a side of grapes for dinner. Later on I had an apple for a snack. Holy fruit!

Change throws everything for a loop. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and realize that things are not going as planned. I am working on this now and let me tell you it's not easy. Julie just had a great post about listening to your body when training (head on over to her blog!). It's hard, but for now you can catch me watching Netflix while I bike at the gym (and semi enjoying it) and trying to survive the last few weeks of the semester!

BIG Goals!

Today after sleeping in after my 6am alarm to go running because I am sick and then working 8 hours I had to bribe myself to go to the gym. I really didn't want to go but Julie's evil voice was in my head saying, "Every mile counts." I told myself to run one mile, but to aim for two miles. I knew three wasn't in the cards. Mentally I wasn't there. And physically. Especially with a ten mile tempo tomorrow. I listened to the 20 minutes that I had left of the latest Ali on the Run podcast (I started it yesterday). It's the best podcast. I wish there were more episodes because I'm all caught up. She asks great questions and is always laughing. Today she asked her guest about her goals in life, in work, and in running. It made me think. What are my goals? 

  • To graduate. Graduation is May 20th. Today is April 15th. You do the math. It's so close and it feels so surreal. I have my cap and gown in my closet just staring back at me.

  • To get a job that I love. I have finally accepted that I may not have a job lined up before graduation. While I don't want to move home because I feel like that is a step back, maybe I will move to my family's summer house in Maine to study for the RD exam. Sun and studying?! I can do that. To love my job it needs to be challenging and stimulating. I want to learn every day. I want to interact with people every day.
  • To run a sub-4 hour marathon. This is one running goal because I am not obsessed with running. Julie is the one obsessed with running. Check out her most recent post. I prefer to sleep in and I have trouble waking up and running because I feel zapped of energy without food. The only time I can get up at 6am and run right away is at Julie's because I know that is the only time I can run with her. I just want to have fun running the marathon with Julie, but also make her proud. I will cry when I cross the finish line because I'll be proud, but also because it's my last weekend in Vermont...

  • To visit Olivia in Scotland. I haven't been on a plane in forever...almost two years to be exact. The last trip was to Martinique and then I had mono for two months... I would go back to Turks and Caicos in a heartbeat, but Olivia is in Scotland and that's on my bucket list.

  • To visit Sophie and Walker in San Francisco and go to Napa. Julie should come too so the triplets can be united again. And so I don't have to fly alone.

  • To get a CSA again. I MISS my CSA so much! It fostered my creativity and increased my fiber intake (not that that is struggling at all!) I also love supporting local farms. I truly hope wherever I move to has a strong local farming community.
  • To get back into doing yoga. No words are needed, just watch me try to touch my toes...
  • To spend more time with my parents. For five years I've lived over four hours away. If you know me, you know I love my family to pieces. When Julie moved back to the coast and she got to see them more I was very jealous. Now is my chance.

  • To be truly happy.

Goals are dynamic, ever changing. And these are just my long term goals. I have short term goals to accomplish these and if I don't I need to make some...because I want to reach these goals.