What does it take to tackle several months of training for a marathon?
. Lots of determination. Let me break it down for you....
Discipline to just do the runs. Oh yes. There were several training runs when I was exhausted, hot (and/or cold), and was frustrated with my efforts. Knowing I'd have to report back to my coach (and all of my runner pals) kept me moving forward.
Early morning miles. The bulk of my training runs have been in the wee dark hours, without the sunshine. I had been doing early morning runs throughout the summer,and simply kept up that routine as the days started getting shorter and the sunrise came later and later.
Tape. Lots of sports tape. I had a brief flare-up with Plantar Fasciitis back in the early summer. I acted quickly...scaling back my mileage and taping my arches, and the PF was quieted. I haven't had any recurrences and I think it's because I taped my feet for most of my long runs (as a precaution). You know, that "ounce of prevention" thing.
Evening rituals. My coach had me doing a myriad of PT exercises (almost daily). I did a lot of these in the mornings (prior to lacing up), but I also did them before bedtime.
Recovery time. You better believe I had recovery time. I learned many years ago that recovery is part of the training. Your body (and mind!) needs down tine. Your muscles actually strengthen as they "rebuild" while at rest...did you know that?
Mileage, CRAZY mileage! We're talking several weeks of increasing mileage PR's for this "moderate mileage" gal. Comfort zone violated, to the max.
Irrational behavior. Ummm, yeah. Getting up most mornings before 4:30AM (and convincing a friend to do it also). I don't necessarily call that "irrational," but most of my non-runner friends do.
New shoes. I got new shoes back in early August, just before my official 26.2 training began. I also acquired an additional pair of the same model (different color) a month ago.
Attitude...being able to shake off a challenging run, and treat it as a victory upon completion. Having a glass-half-full attitude was key for me.
Training runs. Lots of training runs. Ladder workouts. Hill repeats. Progression runs. Easy pace runs. Runs done at goal pace. Races run as "training runs."And everything in between.
I, myself, and me...this was my training. It was oh-so-tempting to compare what I was doing to others in similar time frames with their marathons. But, alas, we all had different goals, different coaches, different abilities, different lives. And, ultimately, we all had different races to run.
Opportunity-seeking. There were a few mornings when my body just didn't want to leave the confines of my bed. There were a token few times when I heard rain falling. And, there were some times when I'd need my watch to time my intervals (and didn't want to deal with constantly hitting the "light" button to read the display in the dark. So, I had to seek out other opportunities to get the training done...during my lunch break, mid-afternoon (following a short day at the office), or at the end of the day. And, one time, I succombed to the treadmill. One time. And it wasn't pretty.
-Never giving up. I have been very fortunate in this training cycle. Most of my training runs have gone great. But there have been a few that left me questioning my abilities. There were some when the wind felt like a constant headwind (no matter which direction I was going). There were some hill repeats (during hot, humid, and windy conditions) that left me completely tapped-out. And there were runs that took every ounce of mental mojo to keep my (already)exhausted body moving forward. But, I never bailed on any of these...and felt like a champion upon finishing them.
Have you ever had to dig deep down and find your own little reserve of determination? How would you define determination?
I'm linking up with Deb
for the Wednesday Word
, today's word? Determination!
I'm also linking up with Susie
for the Running Coaches' Corner.
I invite you to head over to these link-ups and see all the great blogs!
I think all runners, at least all runners that race, have to dig deep at some point. It's actually part of what makes racing great -- challenging yourself!ReplyDelete
I agree! The challenges are great...especially when we're able to overcome them.Delete
That's a great breakdown for what it means to be determined! I'd say that most of us runners are very determined.ReplyDelete
Thanks for linking up!
It tool me awhile to come up with my own twist on the word...but I'm glad how it worked out ;-)Delete
I love how we both chose to write about marathons! I'd say it takes a lot of determination to go that distance!ReplyDelete
I think any race takes determination....I'm more of a runner than a racer, so I really have to dig deep to push the pace...Delete
I'm so proud of you, and I hope that you are CRAZY proud of yourself. You have worked so hard, and I think that you have found another side of yourself that you didn't know about! You are one BA, determined, lady. And it has been an HONOR to have you as a client!ReplyDelete
Thanks! I have always been scared of high mileage...afraid I would over-do it with training and have nothing left at the start line on race day. I've been pleasantly surprised by my progress, and thankful for the journey ;-)Delete
I love this little poem! Sometimes when I think I just can't I can surprise myself. You are one of the most determined people I "know" and quite inspiringReplyDelete
Thanks!!!! I wished we lived a few states closer ;-)Delete
You defined Determination great! Those 4:30 am wake up calls were brutal I bet. That is some major determination right there!ReplyDelete
The early wake-ups were hard, but I also knew they were necessary. It (almost) always felt great to get the runs done early and THEN start my day. Often times, I'd be at work (later in the day) and momentarily panic, wondering when I'd be able to get my run done after work (ummm, yeah, forgetting I'd already run 12-hours prior).Delete
All of my training has been harder than the races themselves. I remember finishing my first marathon and thinking, "That's it?" It really wasn't that much harder than a half marathon (just twice as far LOL)ReplyDelete
You are the definition of determination! Crazy mileage, early mornings and planks! You are an inspiration in getting it done! WOO HOO!ReplyDelete
thanks!!! It's all about doing what needs to be done ;-)Delete
I love this! I laughed at the T = tape! You can't overlook all the essentials! And I = irrational, although that's easy to forget when you surround yourself with other bad ass runners!ReplyDelete
This post came together rather fast...there are so many different takes on determination, I was at a loss as to which way to go with it LOLDelete
I love, love, love this post! I think attitude and discipline and probably the two most important things. Running is NOT easy so you no doubt need those two things!ReplyDelete
As you know, marathon training ain't for sissies. A lot of those training runs are "do or die," and just need to to be done...discipline and a good attitude make them MUCH more manageable ;-)Delete
Very cute post. It does take a lot of determination to get ready for a marathon. Sometimes it's borderline obsession but a healthy and fun obsession.ReplyDelete
NO doubt, it's borderline obsession....it certainly requires a lot of focus on the end goalDelete
I'm not gonna lie. This post made me miss marathon training.ReplyDelete
WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!
ha ha ha....I've trained for five other marathons (two of which were ultras), but this cycle has been the most intense. It's weird to think that I'm almost done ;-)Delete
You are one of the most determined runners - your pf issues, your plank and push-up challenges, early morning runs and then running a full marathon! Whoa!ReplyDelete
ha! thanks ;-) I'm just doing what needs to get done LOLDelete
I love following your running journey, Kim! so many great takes on determination!ReplyDelete
thanks! My take on determination (hopefully) reflects what most others experience while in training.Delete
What a great breakdown of what determination is!!! I love it! I think most athletes have that determination inside - having a goal makes it come to the surface and really shows you what you're capable of!ReplyDelete
More so with this marathon cycle than previous ones, I have really had my eyes opened to what my body is capable of doing when pushed. I know I will not (most likely) BQ at Tulsa (and I have not been training to do so), but I'm confidant I will run a good race and finish strong. Here's hoping!Delete