Marathon Training and Motivation

Marathon training is officially in full swing over here! This is the first time that I have trained for a marathon alone, and I thought that I would have trouble motivating myself to lace up and get out there, but I have been working on improving my self-talk, and I must say it has been helping!

I am using the "Own It" marathon training program from the Train Like a Mother book. If you haven't read this book yet, I highly recommend it. The training plans are awesome, but on top of that the advice and anecdotes that are spread throughout the book are the perfect mixture of hilarious and informative. I am excited about this training plan because it will be the first time that I will run 20 miles during training, and this plan actually has me running that distance 3 times! I feel like the confidence that a 20 mile run can give will help me when doubt starts to creep in on race day.

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Today's run was 7 hilly miles with 6x2:30 minutes @ 5k with recovery as needed. I must say, I DID NOT want to run this morning. I was dragging myself around the kitchen, stalling on actually putting my shoes on and getting outside. I may have even half-whined to my husband that I did not want to run today. But, being the supportive voice of reason that he is, he reminded me that I would feel much better after I got my run in. I knew he was right, but I wasn't excited to agree with him on this.

I eventually started out for my run, with my head not fully in the game. My original plan was to do the pick ups at the beginning of every mile, starting after a 1 mile warm up. By mile 1 I was already thinking of ways that I could cut the run short. Maybe I could stop after the 6th pick up, instead of running the whole 7, or maybe I could run less pick ups. It was humid and the air felt thick and by mile 3 I had pretty much convinced myself that 3 pick ups was plenty. I continued with this self-sabotage until somewhere right before mile 4 when I remembered this quote: 

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After that, I threw a second pickup in the end of mile 3 into the beginning of 4, and another pick up toward the end of 4. It wasn't perfect, there was definitely some walking after the pick ups as well as during the last mile. But I got the whole workout in. And I felt incredible afterward.

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Motivation waxes and wanes. If you are looking to change and push yourself, you can't rely on motivation 100% of the time. There are days that you simply won't want to go for that run, or stick to that diet, or put in the work required to reach your goals. And those are the days that you have to be clear on what your "why" is. Why are you putting in the work? Why are you making sacrifices and pushing yourself? Without a solid "why", it is real easy to talk yourself out of doing the work. My "why" is that I want to be stronger. Not just a stronger runner, but a stronger person. A better version of me. I want to push myself and see how far I can go. And that is the "why" that got me through my run this morning.

Do you have a "why"? What is it? Is it strong enough to push you when things get difficult?