Hello, happy Monday! I am ready to get all over this new week ahead. Let’s recap training weeks four and five and talk about confidence.
One of my favorite features of Kara Goucher’s half marathon plan is that she encourages you to keep a “Confidence Journal.”
CONFIDENCE JOURNAL: I keep a log of my runs and workouts. But I also keep a small “confidence journal” and I keep it with me. I write down workouts or runs that have gone particularly well. Or workouts that were hard, but I was able get through. Flipping through the journal when you start to doubt yourself is a good way to confirm you’ve done the work. In many ways, you’re just asking your body to do what you’ve already done.
I have for a long time been tracking my food and miles and along the way paying attention to how different habits make me feel, both physically and mentally; but often this becomes a critical inner dialog about how things could be better. How it’s never good enough, you know?
More miles, faster miles, cleaner eating, stronger core, better stretching, everything. Nothing wrong with that exactly. We all are trying to get better at stuff. But focusing only on room for improvement can erode the long view and stall progress.
I don’t know about you, but my inner voice can be pretty discouraging. I should be using it to motivate myself. Positivity matters. You guys know that gratitude is a big deal to me, being actively thankful for the gifts and blessings we are given. Now I am just tacking on some active confidence. Just noting the things that are going well, small accomplishments that make me feel closer to my goals. I groove it. My goal right now is to run a half marathon in well under two hours, without dieting. Ha. Yeah, I need to build up my confidence.
Anyway! Confidence Journal. I urge you to keep one. It feels silly at first, kinda like Stuart Smalley talking to himself in the mirror, but on the days you need a little boost, it’s great. So much healthier than scanning social media and slipping into the comparison trap.
Week Four Recap: 35.8 miles total, plus barre twice, some abs and yoga, and one really short but really fun day of “hiking.”
Highlights: On Wednesday that week the prescribed workout was called “Ice Cream Sandwich!” LOL. It is basically speed work book-ended by tempo miles. Friends, that was so much fun. The first 2-mile tempo (8:25) was easy and fresh feeling. The speed work in the middle was truly exhilarating! It felt like flying uphill! (400x repeats at a 6:45 pace!) And although I had trouble on the second tempo getting up to speed, I felt so happy. It’s true that you get a completely unique physical sensation from running “fast” (whatever that means to you) than you do from running long and slow. Both feel great. Total that day was 7 miles exactly.
“Most of training is just teaching your body to be okay with working hard – and setting the bar a bit higher. A workout will make you sore, but that’s okay. It just means you’ll be that much more ready when race day comes.” – Kara
Week Five Recap: 41.9 miles plus barre once, a tender knee, a sky-rocketing metabolism, and lots of mental clarity. Last week I needed running to smooth out the extremes of life, and it worked like a charm.
Week Five Highlights: I was happy to get my mileage up a tiny bit in the midst of stress and noticed that “easy” paces are gradually improving, all while my heart rate is nice and low. I also liked making running more of a scheduled priority than I had the past few weeks. This past week l felt better mentally and physically, despite some tough family news, which of course oozed good vibes into the rest of my days.
Another highlight from week 5 was grabbing a Saturday morning run with my friend Robin. I don’t run with other people very often, and every time I do, I wonder why I don’t make more of an effort. It was so lovely. The miles (3 alone then 8 with her, average pace of 10:01) clicked by like nothing. Runners are fun people.
Side story: The day after our easy run, Robin ran a spontaneous half marathon and PR’d! She hit the time I have set as my next goal, running just by feel, which gave me the best little thrill of encouragement. She is also quickly approaching the Boston Marathon, so send her all your good vibes. She is currently one of my favorite running inspirations.
In the midst of so many great workout days, week five did present some eating challenges. Ha. Hello life stress and a really fun social outing. Thank goodness for a cranked up metabolism!
Thursday evening we attended Oklahoma City’s 30th annual Chefs Feast benefiting the Regional Food Bank. The food was amazing and plentiful. I ate like a… Well… I did not go home hungry.
Then on Sunday I let some negative household vibes and funky weather get me down and made less than stellar food choices, on top of not running. No biggie. I woke up Monday morning with some tummy regret but am thankful to know exactly how to deal with it all:
RUN. Run and focus on the positive stuff.
Over and out.