we’re getting warmer…

took this morning’s 8 mile run to the beach with an out and back run down ocean ave.  there are so few things better than a morning run along the beach.  even if my legs felt like lead after an hour and a half of spinning last night.

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….not to mention it was 72 degrees at 7am this morning!  the weekend forecast is calling for some warm temps and i couldn’t be more excited.  i intend on spending every minute i’m not working this weekend OUTSIDE, breaking out the paddleboard, getting some long runs in with the sun shining and maybe doing some patio drinking!

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my mood instantly improves when the weather changes around here, i hate being stuck inside because of the snow, rain or just cold temps.  during my marathon training i tried to run outside as much as possible, but couldn’t bring myself to train in 20 degree weather or 30 mph gusting wind.  once spring rolls around i spend 90% of my time running outside.  which means i need to find some new trails to check out!

some of my current favorites are:

  • thompson park ~ lincroft, nj
  • fair haven fields ~ fair haven, nj
  • sandy hook
  • hartshorne woods ~ highlands, nj
  • deal test site ~ oakhurst, nj

 

what are some of your favorite running routes when the weather breaks?  

any trails in the northeast i should check out – i’m always up for a weekend road trip!?  

competition: me vs. me

IMG_3220i signed up for the asbury half as a training run to use as a much needed break from my pretty boring solo long training runs that i had been doing.  i’ve also run this race for the last two years and could probably run the course with my eyes closed.

i initially signed up with no intention of running for time (PR or otherwise).  but in the days leading up to the race i knew that wasn’t going to be the case.

this is the hardest part of running for me — i am the worst at pacing myself, running slow and controlled runs and i have a tendency to constantly be competing with myself.  in some respects this attribute of mine is not necessarily a bad thing, but i think it definitely becomes stressful and detrimental for me to constantly be putting this kind of pressure on myself.

so i figured i needed to come up with a realistic plan for this race.  i had been training for the past 12+ weeks so i definitely had the mileage down, but i was seriously lacking in the speed work department.  i have a hard time increasing my turnover rate and haven’t really put much effort into correcting that.  (whoops).  i wrote out the mile splits that i would need to hit a 1:42:00 1/2 marathon time, i had finished last year in 1:44:30 and hoped that (1) being healthy and (2) nearing the end of a harder, more rigid training cycle would put me in a good place to PR by 2 minutes.

i’d need to run at a 7:47 mile pace for the whole race, as i mentioned i suck at speed work and pacing myself during training runs, so i had no idea if this was really achievable, but i was going to try anyway.  because i’m a very rational and relaxed human being, i start to panic and psyche myself out in the 48 hours leading up to the race.  i worry about the weather, the direction of the wind that day, if my shoes need to be replaced, what im going to eat that morning, if my legs are going to feel like lead, etc.

before i know it, it’s race day and everything turns out fine – made up crisis averted!  so why the heck do i stress myself out so much?!

new race goal:  sign up for and run a race for FUN!  maybe in a new city or with a group of new running partners (bueller? anyone?).  

anyone game?  any races that i should check out for fun?  how do you stop competing with yourself and learn to enjoy the run?

what motivates you?

i’m 14 weeks into training for my first marathon. i’m no stranger to running or competing.  i played competitive soccer for most of my life, i’ve run two half marathons and a handful of shorter races over the last two years.  devoting time and energy to training is not a foreign concept for me, and it’s not in my nature to do things half-assed.

so i was a little worried a few weeks back when my weekly mileage peaked to 48-52 miles and i just wasn’t feeling it.  life had gotten a bit chaotic, the weather on the jersey shore really sucked and i was having a hard time finding something to get excited about in the morning.  after a couple training runs that felt like i was basically forcing my legs to move through quick sand i started freaking out (because that’s the kind of calm, reasonable person i am).

why did i think i could finish a marathon?  i’m not in running shape.  who knows if my body can even handle this kind of physical stress?  what if i can’t finish and i have to DTF?  that would be so embarrassing, maybe i shouldn’t even do this.  i’ve only told a few people i’m doing this and they aren’t really even invested in it so it wouldn’t be a big deal, they aren’t even excited about it anyway.

i kept going with my training anyway, keeping that safety net in the back of my mind – i could always quit.  then i saw this video: UNBROKEN on Janae’s page (after days of stalking her previous posts).

Accept where you are and the responsibility that you’re going to take yourself where you want to go.

that one video forced me to remember what exactly it is that i’m working for (thanks Mateusz M). and reminded me that i didn’t sign up for this race to win my first damn marathon, just to finish.  to finish even if i am crawling over the finish line in front of a bunch of strangers.  and be proud as hell of myself for doing it.  i worked my ass off for the last 14 weeks to bring myself to the starting line on may 1st with 600+ miles under my belt, 15 long runs and a shit load of useless knowledge on marathon training.

my motivation from the start was to challenge myself.  prove that i could do hard things.  just try something different that i wasn’t confident i could do.  and i’m doing all that already.

so bring it on 26.2 – let’s do the damn thing.