Here We Go Again!

Today marks the first day of a 15-week marathon training plan toward Twin Cities on October 6th. It will be my 2nd marathon. I’m going to force my head to sit straight on my shoulders and do the following starting today:

I’ve been playing games with myself since Memorial Day weekend when I didn’t run the race I was hoping to run at Bayshore. I missed my goal by 1:16. It was the first half marathon since last April that I didn’t run a personal record. I knew this day would come. Before each half marathon, I’d ask myself (and others), “what’s going to happen if I don’t run a personal record this time?” and “how am I going to feel?”.  Yes, I assumed I’d be disappointed and that the first post-race beer wouldn’t taste quite the same if I failed. Bottom line: I knew that I’d get down on myself despite knowing that every race is a different beast to conquer and you never really know how the race will turn out despite a consistent training plan and whole heck of a lot of determination.

These past few weeks, I threw an internal temper tantrum and the only person it affected was me. I was bummed. I ran but I wasn’t happy about it. I went through the motions but didn’t enjoy the miles. I rarely experienced a “runners high” and my disappointment carried over into my work. Easy runs seemed really difficult because of my bad attitude. I found reasons to be unhappy about other things because running wasn’t giving me the kick I needed anymore. I’ve learned a lot about myself since running Bayshore.

I know this post probably sounds dramatic. So what if I missed my goal by a minute?! I still ran a great race! Jenny (Version 2010) would have smacked me in the face for not celebrating my accomplishment. But we all go through these highs and lows. It was just the first time that I experienced a “low” that caused my motivation to waver. I allowed my disappointment to get the best of me, but  I always know that I’ll get myself out of the funky part of not performing well. I’m hardwired to get back into action and stop pitying myself.

It just took time and a pep talk to make sure I’m ready and willing to have fun again. So that’s what I’m going to do.

I’ll run my first speed session of the training cycle tonight and see what my legs (and heart) are made of. I’ll push myself because I know that I can. And I’ll celebrate those small victories because they are what make the big ones possible. I can be an extremely impatient person, but running makes me patient. I’m going to “exhale ‘can’t, inhale ‘can’, and LACE UP” because I’m happier when I do.

When was the last time you were in a funk? How did you get out of it?

-J

Kickin’ in Kinvaras

After a long awaited trip to Fleet Feet, I am finally sporting some new Saucony Kinvaras and I am head over heels happy with them. My ‘coach’ recommended them to me as a nice low profile, lightweight training shoe and he couldn’t have been more right about it. This was my first time buying shoes at Fleet Feet (I had only previously walked through their doors when picking up my race packets for other races I registered for), but I felt extremely confident in the fact that they would know what they’re talking about because of friends’ reviews. The last time I bought a new pair of running shoes was December of 2009 after returning from my study abroad trip to Belgium–I was determined to run my first half marathon the following May after being deprived of some sort of athletic culture and overindulging in Belgian fries and samurai sauce and delicious Belgian brews. My dad bought them for me as a Christmas present and I was all too happy to strap them on and hit the pavement. Since the Indy Mini Marathon last May I have continued to use the Brooks and probably should have bought a new pair months ago. [I’m not sure what their mileage count was but I can tell you from the shin and foot pain I was having, they had to have been long gone for plenty of miles now.] I walked out of Fleet Feet tonight after trying on some Mizunos, New Balance, Pumas, and finally the Saucony’s.

They felt so incredibly light that by the time I got on the treadmill I realized I was more motivated than I had originally planned to be. (Yes, some days I PLAN to be motivated. Others…not so much.) I was thinking that I would do an easy 5 mile at pace, but instead I did a tempo run with my fasted mile being at a 7:30 min/mile pace. I haven’t run that pace in an extremely long time. In fact, I probably can’t even tell you when that last time was! I had no tightness in my hips which is the first place to feel fatigue during an ambitious workout. I’m looking forward to more runs like this one–they’re the ones that keep you going. It’s funny how all of the struggle is relative; Mile 5 was at a 9:00 min/mile pace and it felt to drag on and on and on!

And when I got home I was happy to find my welcome packet to the ACS Team DetermiNATION with a nice training tank tucked inside. Nothing like some nice apparel to get you motivated, right? [Anyone else look forward to collecting race shirts as much as I do?]

I’ve found myself so distracted at work lately, just itching to lace up my shoes and go out there during the day when the sun shines through the office windows. One of these days maybe I’ll go for a run during lunch if time permits. It will sure be nice to run along the lake as the sun sets in a couple of months. 🙂

-J