Organic Runner Mom

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Motivation Monday: Focus and Discipline

This week is all about Focus, and discipline.  It is week 12 of my Boston Marathon training and Coach Denise (The Sustainable Athlete) has been loading up my training schedule with some amazing workouts. Having a coach has definitely helped me to achieve great success because I feel more accountable about my training (if I miss a workout I feel like I am going to be in trouble for playing hooky). Coach Denise also gives me my schedule on a week by week basis allowing for tweaking as needed (which was super helpful when my energy was zapped from my terrible sinus illness a few weeks back).

Right now the miles are high and my body feels strong. I am seeing improved muscle definition in my legs from all of my strength training, and mountain running and miles (which is amazing since I have string bean legs). I am feeling positive and want to work my tail off to be faster and to reach the next level of speed.  Thankfully I have a super support network of women to train with who challenge me and encourage me.

Who encourages you in your training?

Now I am working to make my mind strong. Yesterday I did not have a training partner for my long run. The workout was 1:45 at ~9:20 pace with the last 40 minutes at marathon pace~8:10-8:15. My legs were tired from racing #WinterWild at Mt. Sunapee yesterday but I knew I needed to get out and get the time on my feet.  I was actually glad for the solitude on my run yesterday. Running alone forces you to practice focus and discipline. Also, running solo allowed me to find my pace and stick to it and not allow the energy of a group to challenge or change the pace as can sometimes happen when running with others. I cranked out this workout with a strong 12 miles in 1:52! Not to bad the day after a 4 mile mountain quad burner at Winter Wild at Mt. Sunapee!

Do you prefer running by yourself or with others?

I also find my solo runs to be meditative. I love finding the rhythm of the run. When I run by myself I am able to listen to the rhythm of my body, the sound of my breathing, the sound of my foot hitting the pavement. I am able to tune into my pace by listening to how my breathing sounds and by feeling the energy in my legs. When I run alone I am able to focus on my strides, my foot-strikes and the way that my upper body is moving. Running in solitude I am able to visualize myself running on race day and to teach myself mental tricks to work through difficult parts of a run. Running alone can be much more difficult than running in a group because there are no distractions so you must work on strengthening your mind.

On Friday I am going to take another step towards strengthening my mind. A friend of mine used to do hypnotherapy at one point in his life. At the beginning of my truly finding my groove with running I had a long talk with him one day about my running . . . little did I know he tried a little conversational hypnosis to help give me some tools to work with during a tough point in a race or run. It may sound crazy but for me this was a key turning point towards building better mental toughness and confidence. I am going to visit my friend later this week and try out some official hypnotherapy . . . I will keep you posted as to how it goes!

Chase your dreams! #FitFluential Boston Marathon

Chase your dreams!

 Link Love:

Five Things Athletes Do To Create Success

A Snowshoe Experience to Remember!–DangerGirl

Marathon Monday Week 3–Happy Fit Mama

Monday Motivation–Little Fancy Nancy

The Hay is in the Barn–Miss Zippy

Sugarland Half Marathon Recap–Mommy Run Fast 

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7 responses

7 responses

    1. I used to coach rowing. It’s nice to have been on that side of coaching and then to see things from the athletes perspective. I am pretty psyched about my training. I’d love to hear how you are getting faster though too! It sounds like you have been having some phenomenal races. Congrats on your Half PR!

  1. Hi Sandra,
    I have been following your training and expect you are getting good coaching and doing very well. I have completed 17 marathons [ 3 Bostons] over the past 30+ years and still am learning what is best for my body and genetic makeup. We are all so very different and it is a huge challenge to learn what works best for “US” . I do much better at coaching others than I do myself as I tend to not be objective about myself yet very objective and “conservative” giving advice. I am a bit concerned that you had two very hard workouts back to back which is usually avoided at all costs. Your uphill mountain run and then your 152:00 the next day would be considered “back to back” hard workouts. Boston is not far out at this point so “Most” of your hard work should be about done and now is the time when most marathoners in training for Boston would be doing shorter , faster stuff so on race day your “marathon pace” will feel “slow and easy” . I don’t mean to second guess your coach or yourself but please think about gettin to the start line with “fresh legs” and injury free.Hard workouts at this point are very risky. The most difficult challenge I have had at Boston is “staying on schedule” early, as the first 17 or so miles are slightly downhill and very easy to get sucked out and go to fast.
    I use my “running with others time” for socializing and do not typically do anything to serious. Sometimes it is necessary to “Associate” with your running and at other times it is necessary to put your favorite music on or run with a slower friend and just “smell the roses”[disassociate] Good luck and stay smart and strong . My apologies if I have stepped on your coaches toes!!

    1. Hi Michael,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and share your thoughts about my training. I appreciate your concern. My coach has me doing these workouts because basically I am the crazy one who insisted that I complete this series. Having to do the long run a day following the race is a necessity of scheduling due to life being busy. My coach knows that this is not ideal and is very open to changing my training plan as needed to support my physical and mental health. This is definitely a tough training schedule but I have learned to become disciplined as an athlete to listen to my body and back things off as needed. This is actually my second year of completing this series with marathon training on top of it. There are two more races left in the winter wild series and some long runs. Thank you for your encouragement and for sharing your experiences. It is valuable advice from a true veteran of the sport. Thank you for following my blog and my progress. I appreciate it and hope you will continue to follow my journey!

  2. I like running by myself for the solitude and to be alone with my thoughts but running with a group is so energizing. I definitely need to work on not going too fast with a group – which I always do. It’s my own run and I need to respect that.

    Your training sounds like it is right on target. Keep going mama!

  3. I love your idea of seeing a hypnotherapist! I am such a huge believer in a strong mental stamina for endurance running. Good luck with your training over the next 6 weeks! It will be here before we know it!

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