Monday, September 26, 2016

Sep 19-25 training week recap, running challenges

My calendar has been a fun but crazy mess over the last week. This is how I'm feeling right now:
What's been on the calendar? Last Tuesday night I went to the Buen Provecho Taste of Pilsen event. On Wednesday night, I went to a preview party for a new boutique called Mashallah. On Thursday night, I went to an Artistry in Motion event hosted by lululemon, then flew to Pittsburgh for the weekend to celebrate my stepfather-in-law's 70th birthday. The weekend was packed with gatherings. And somewhere in the midst of all that, I am working with my team to prepare for quarter-end close at work.

It's been a blast but I am happy to be have some downtime now. Piles of laundry, cleaning, and errands await!
Yee-haw!
Here are my workouts from last week:
MONDAY - 10 minutes stationary cycling, 45 minutes lifting
TUESDAY - Run 3 miles on treadmill, yoga class
WEDNESDAY - Strength training workshop, Mobility 101 class
THURSDAY - Run 3 miles on treadmill, Strength Max class
FRIDAY - Rest
SATURDAY - Rest
SUNDAY - Rest

As you can see, the workouts took an enormous hit when I was in Pittsburgh. I did bring along both running gear and swimming gear, but didn't touch any of it. Didn't even come close. Last night I considered going on the stationary bike after getting home from the airport, but ended up being too tired.

I did, however, take advantage of the no-sales-tax-on-clothing in Pennsylvania to buy some more workout gear at an outlet mall. I know that doesn't count, but it's an investment for the future, yes? =D
You tax-free folks have no idea how good you have it!!!
My momentum has gone stagnant after three consecutive rest days. I'm not feeling the motivation, but I definitely need to get back on track today. This leads perfectly into this week's Tuesdays on the Run topic, which is, "The most challenging aspect of running right now is..."

I can answer this one easily. My biggest running struggle these days is GETTING STARTED.

It often takes a lot of mental effort for me to get into the right frame of mind to tackle a run. Especially a long run. Often I am balking inwardly as I change into my running gear and then head out to begin. The first mile or two always sucks, too. I know it will always suck, so I am often remembering the discomfort that running brings, and dreading having to get through it.

Once I find my rhythm, it's much easier to keep going. But getting started is always the hardest part for me, by far.
How have I tried to deal with this? I use the incremental approach. E.g.:

"Just get out there and do one mile. Then if you really want to, you can stop."

"You've been wanting to check out the new scenery on X street. That's just a little further down."

"At this point, you might as well go down to the next major intersection so it'll be easier to track the distance."

"Once you get to X miles, you can turn on your favorite song!"

On and on and on. It's not magic. But usually it gets me over that initial hump, which is often the toughest obstacle. Momentum is a big deal.

Your turn. What is your biggest running challenge right now? Do you also play the "incremental" game? How do you handle getting through those awful first few miles?

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I'm linking up with HoHo and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap, and will be linking up with MarciaPatti, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.

28 comments:

  1. It has been a busy week of traveling for you! I hope you are getting good rest in between your wonderful adventures!

    Last year, when I was working towards my first half marathon, I used to run as far as possible as I could from my car, so that I had no option but to run back. Once I ran 5 miles away from my car, and completed my first ever 10 mile run.

    But now, I practice the route on my head over and over and visualize myself at different points, and imagine myself finishing the long run. So for example, if I'm struggling at mile 5, i'll imagine where i'll be at mile 7 and it feels more bearable. The thing with visualizing it, is that I have to stick to the route I planned in my head. Yesterday I was supposed to run 10 miles, but ended up having to come back to my car for water, but my head wouldn't let me quit until I ran to where I had planned originally. It's weird, I know.

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    1. Thank you, Ana! Rest is a good thing for all of us! Likewise - I hope you are getting rest, too, after all of your running adventures.

      I like the out-and-back strategy. I've used that at races, too, especially the ones where I was thinking about quitting. I would tell myself, "by the time you get to this point, the fastest way to get to the finish is to complete the course!"

      Great idea to visualize a long run route! I like the idea of visualizing yourself at different points plus the finish line. There's a lot of psychology behind visualization and I think I need to start using that practice more. And I don't think it's weird at all that you needed to complete the original plan, I would do the same thing!

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  2. The most challenging aspect of running right now is trying to have confidence I can hold pace for 26.2 miles. I guess that is the mental hurdle most marathoners have since we usually train at a pace much slower than our marathon pace - so to run 26.2 miles at such a fast clip seems daunting. I love all of the endorphins that running gives me that I pretty much never struggle to get motivated to run. I know I will always feel better post-run that pre-run. On the one day a week I don't run at all (rest day), I sometimes have a headache - I feel sluggish and can hardly wait until the next morning to hit the pavement again! That said, I do have days when I'm tired but have a certain mileage in mind that I need to complete. I tell myself that I'll do one or two miles less than planned, but invariably, once I'm outside I just continue on running and complete my planned mileage!

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    1. YES on the pacing challenge. It's always felt so counterintuitive to me to do the long runs at such a slow pace. I know there's a lot of strategy behind speedwork and pace runs, but I'm a big believer in practicing everything the way you want to execute. So it feels like a big leap of faith to just attack those paces on race day. It was daunting for me to consider going from the 20-miler to 26.2 miles three weeks later. That seemed like a huge jump!

      I know what you mean about the mini-taper issues. I try to do something active 7 days a week - and one days that I take complete rest, I feel sluggish, too. Also counterintuitive, right? The trick of telling yourself you'll do a little less, but then just keeping rolling, has worked very well for me. Running is such a mental game!

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  3. I think getting started is the hardest part as well. Once I get going I start getting in a groove and feel good. Weather I think plays a big part in it too.

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    1. Once I get into my rhythm, it's all good! The hardest part is clearing out the cobwebs to get to that point. Weather plays a HUGE factor. It is much easier for me to get out when we've got beautiful fall conditions versus the dead of winter or the dog days of summer!

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  4. I don't have trouble getting started, it's trouble continuing through the miles I have planned. I do a lot of self talk to push through. I'm not a quitter but sometimes it's hard to keep going.

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    1. What mantras do you use for your self talk? I am pretty stubborn about not quitting, too, and sometimes I will drag myself to the end more just because I didn't want to quit versus I wanted to finish. Does that make sense?

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  5. I can totally relate. Having a race on the calendar that completely excites me helps me get going. That said, there are few races left on the planet that can spur me into action at this point. I get the negative momentum thing too. If I string some inactive days together, it's so hard to shake out of that.

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    1. I can completely relate to having very few races left in the planet that can spur me into action at this point, too. I like the idea of a lot of these races more than the actual race. E.g. I wish I could join you all in Florida this December, but more so because I want to hang out with everyone versus actually running the race! LOL

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  6. Yes to the incremental game. it really does help. We don't have a sales tax in Montana, which means landowners pay all the taxes, boo. I am all for spreading out the pain a bit, but I do like not having a sales tax too.

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    1. Ah yes, I remember when I visited Montana a few years ago, I took major advantage of the no sales tax out there, too!!! But alas, the conundrum of where to spread out the taxpayer funding!!! I've thought a lot about how residents end up paying in other ways, as you mentioned. In the end it pretty much evens out, I bet. Although, in Illinois, we've got high payments on EVERYTHING. At least it's consistent, right? Heh heh.

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  7. I do that when I don't want to run. I know I'll feel better after a run, so I say 20 minutes, to just get me out there. When I do, I normally end up doing more than 20 minutes, but I have to get running first. Other days I can't wait to run.

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    1. Yup - I will totally tell myself, just get out there and do a mile or 20 minutes, and then more often than not I just keep going. I am glad you have days you can't wait to run! Enjoy it!!! It's been a long time since I've truly felt that way, myself.

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  8. Goodness gracious! You're a social butterfly! I don't think I'd be able to peel myself off the floor from exhaustion if I had that many after work events. I'm impressed you were able to fit in so many workouts around that, too! Workouts are usually my excuse for avoiding after work events haha ;)

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    1. Thanks Bethany - it's really just that I'm a member of the Windy City Blogger Collective and they host so many fun events. I figure I might as well take advantage of the membership, especially after all the time and effort that goes into blogging! Working out is definitely a great excuse for avoiding events, though, especially during marathon training season. =)

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  9. Oh, I agree, Getting out the door is often the hardest part for me too. Especially when my runs are happening at 7 pm after the kids are in bed. (I'm not a natural evening runner). One of my rules is that once I'm dressed I MUST go, so I try to put on my running clothes right after work and to not think about it too much. "La la la, I'm just changing out of jeans, NBD, Don't panic, You're not going running NOW" etc. It sounds silly but it's been getting me out the door for years.

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    1. Oh wow - that would be really difficult to run at 7 PM. Especially because then you're not getting back until later in the evening, which can get close to bedtime, too. I find I need some time to unwind after a run, otherwise I'll have trouble falling asleep. I relate also to the incremental "I'm just getting dressed, NBD" approach. I once read an article on Runner's World about that strategy and how if you break it down into nonthreatening steps like that, it helps a lot to get yourself out the door!

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    2. It's been OK to run late all summer, I only do 3-4 miles so am home by 7:30-:45 and in bed at 9:30, but I know it's going to get harder as it gets dark earlier. Seriously considering buying a treadmill!

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    3. I was just talking about the early sunset and late sunrise with some coworkers today. Once we "fall back" in November, it's all over when the sun starts setting around noon! I vote yes on the treadmill for the enormous convenience factor!

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  10. Ha Wow you have been a social butterfly this week for sure! All sounds so much fun though! Yea I do hate the part about piles and piles of laundry, cleaning and all.
    Ha I'd so use the no-tax weekend on running clothes! Invest in yourself is my motto!

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    1. Thanks Tricia! Laundry just never stops, right? You finish a load and then before you have time to fold it and put it away, it's time to do another load. Sigh. Yes, it's important for us runners to invest in ourselves. I heard a saying once that the best way to beat inflation is to spend money NOW. =D

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  11. Ugh, yes, getting out can be one of the hardest things. As I worked to become a morning runner, I did put all of my clothes and gear next to my bed so that I could get dressed immediately after my alarm went off. It helped a little. I love to hear what everyone tries to make things easier.

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    1. Morning running is SUPER difficult! I definitely agree that it's best to make the process as easy as possible for yourself. In my experience, the longer I wait, the more likely I am to back out - so I would always try to get dressed and out the door as quickly as possible! It's still very hard to build up the motivation, though. Sigh.

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  12. Oh i have been fighting the motivation battle! I am easier to get out go run even though I am so sick of being hot...but my motivation to weight train has been awful. Even when I drag myself to the gym I only last 30 minutes and I want to be done. I keep hoping it'll change.
    When i am having a tough run, I do play games lol I will say mantras, try to think about what I might eat later lol try to tell myself how good I will feel when it is over....I self talk a lot!
    Yay for no tax!!

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    1. I keep telling myself that "even a little bit is better than nothing." So even though you only get to the gym for 30 minutes, you're still head and shoulders above the folks lounging on the couch!!! =)

      OMG - I totally think about what I might eat later after I'm done running, and how good it will feel to be done. Completely there with you! Maybe one of these days we can run together and talk about these things out loud between us. =)

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  13. You were very busy last week at all the different (but fun) events. Honestly, I allow myself to just suck in the first mile or two. I used to battle against it but realized it was easier to accept I'm slow, I'm tired...blah blah blah. It always turns around anyway. So now I enjoy the suck. Thanks for linking, Emily!

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    1. It does help a lot from a mental perspective to "let" ourselves suck in the first mile or so, yes? Embrace the suckitude, so to speak. =) Thanks for cohosting the linkup with Tricia, as always!!!

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