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This Week’s Mileage: 26.5 January 17, 2010

Posted by wanderinggrizzly in 20 Something, Life, Marathon Training, Quarter-Life Crisis, yoga.
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I’ve decided to dedicate this blog to my marathon training.  I started it because I was frustrated I could find no one to commiserate with about my quarter-life crisis.  Now I realize it’s kind of hard to blog about being 20-something and aimless without sounding… petulant?  self-absorbed?  melodramatic?  Besides what is a marathon but a metaphor for life?  Running is one of the best things in my life right now, one of the most reliable and most rewarding.  This is a time where I need to focus on the positive.  Training for this marathon isn’t about being able to complete 26.2 miles.  It’s about changing my life.  Not to say an entry on work or finances or any other aspect of my life won’t slip in, but just like my life this blog needs a focus and the finish line is as good a place as any.

This week I tried to start training for a marathon in more aspects than just the actually few hours a week spent running.  While I haven’t been doing as much as I could it’s a start.  Unfortunately I gained three pounds but I think part of that is I wasn’t properly hydrated when I weighed myself in previous weeks and I was PMSing this week.  What does PMSing mean for me?  All I think about is food, and I cannot stop myself from eating.  When I wake up I immediately head for the kitchen, after breakfast I start thinking about what I’ll have for lunch, any advertisement for food makes me hungry, any moment my brain isn’t active on something I think about food, when I’m one heartbeat a way from calling a psychiatrist my uterus releases and I feel much better about myself and my sanity.

The day before my long run I carbo-loaded.  A lot of pasta and vegetables, I tried to limit dairy and caffeine and was mindful of hydration.  The result?  Well the first three miles I felt pretty tight.  Perhaps the Reebok Easy-Tone sneakers I’ve been wearing to my waitressing job are having more of an impact than I thought.  However I was able to relax and the second and third 3-mile laps were probably the best.  There is one street that is almost entirely an incline and on my second run up it I passed three people who were walking it and that felt pretty good, especially since I knew I was going to run it two more times!  I passed my apt every three miles where I rehydrated as directed and picked up the dog for the last three miles.  She is good encouragement for ‘speed’ intervals as when her adolescent attention wanes I just run a little faster.  Running the same route a few times in a row really alerts you to inclines you didn’t realize were there before.  While my pace was really slow (11:30/mile including hydration and traffic breaks) I still feel pretty good about the run and am only feeling a little sore the next day.

On my shorter runs (two of 4.25 miles and one of 6 miles) I tried to up the pace.  While I was able to I still feel as I can do better.  What surprises me is that while I was able to do it, it is so mental.  I know I can go faster still but it takes a lot more concentration than I am used to.

So what have I learned from running this week?  Now instead of feeling guilty and discouraged that I could ‘do better’ after finishing something I am excited for future opportunities to improve.

For next week I will continue to be mindful of what and when I am eating.  I will utilize more mental techniques.  Also I want to increase my strength training.  I actually have my first yoga instructor training at the end of this month and I’ve designed a few routines already.  I’ll do my ‘running’ practices on my shorter distance days as it focuses on the building strength in the legs and I’ll do my core/upper body practices on my medium and longer days, as they focus on strengthening the core as well as stretching the legs.

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