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!
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