Working toward a fitness goal (or any goal for that matter) takes some serious dedication. As I get into week 7 of marathon training, I’m beginning to realize just how much dedication I am going to need in order to successfully run 26.2 miles in January.
I have missed a few cross training days here and there, but I refuse to let myself miss a run. I feel like every mile counts and in order to keep up with my training sans injury, I need to slowly build up the miles. I know missing one or two short runs throughout my entire training process probably won’t lead me to injury, but I want to be sure I don’t get into the habit of skipping short runs. After all, a huge part of Fitful Focus is keeping that focus! Focus means always finding a time to run and not allowing yourself to make excuses.
Over the past 7 weeks, I’ve experienced a lot of running firsts, like running in the rain. In the past, I always used rain as an excuse to take a day off. If I kept that up during this fall/winter training season, I’d miss too many runs to make it through my marathon injury free. So I’ve been sucking it up and running no matter the conditions. You know what? I actually enjoy running in the rain! When I’m huffing and puffing and getting hot and sweaty, a little rain goes a long way to cool me off. I may feel differently come December, but right now, bring it on clouds!
I’ve also started to experience super early morning runs. With my crazy schedule, I have to be flexible in order to get my runs in – and sometimes that means running before the sun is up. Yesterday, work started at 7am and didn’t finish until 10pm. Rather than trying to sleep in and skip my 4 mile run, I dragged myself out of bed at 5am and ran. I was expecting to crash in the early afternoon, but I actually felt pretty energized until about 9pm. And that’s without any caffeine! I think the workout powered me up for the day. I felt like this guy:
Another big change? Sunday’s have become Rundays. Each Sunday is planned around my long run. That may crazy to those that don’t like running or haven’t experienced training for a race, but it’s true. I have to map out a good route ahead of time (can’t run aimlessly for 2+ hours) and get all (or most of) my other chores done pre-run since I’ll most likely be too exhausted to function post-run. It makes it tricky to make plans on Sundays. Even football has taken a backseat to running (gasp!), but I know that to reach my goal, some other things will have to be de-prioritized – at least until January.
While I’ve definitely made some sacrifices (mostly in the realm of sleep), I don’t feel like marathon training has taken over my life. I’m still enjoying it and am excited at the thought that this coming run will be the longest run of my life! Here’s to 14 miles!
How do you stay focused during training periods? Have you ever felt like you sacrificed too much for your training?