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.