As I get older I see that running has changed for me. What used to be about burning calories is now more about burning up what is false. Lies I used to tell myself about who I was and what I could do, friendships that cannot withstand hills or miles, the approval I no longer need to seek, and solidarity that cannot bear silence. I run to burn up what I don’t need and ignite what I do.– Kristin Armstrong
This is me at my last 1/2 marathon. I look good. Right? Triumphant? The culmination of months of training.
All of this is true, really. I’m happy with my finishing time of 2:07:28 even though all year I have been training for a 2 hour half (or below!).
Mentally, though, for weeks before this race I had been feeling a tad burned out from training. Mostly mental…my head and heart wasn’t into speed work or race pace runs. I skipped all such workouts for about a month. I also stopped doing my long runs. I was still running semi-fast for shorter distances during the week…but I feel like the love wasn’t there. I was purely going through the motions.
Long story short…I’ve learned my lesson. In order for me to continue loving to run I need to change my approach:
- Stick to my training plan*…including the REST DAYS! Rest days are there for a reason. Even if my body is ready to go, my mind/attitude/heart needs a break. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
- A proper warm up, cool down and stretch is essential. Taking the time to do these isn’t a waste of time, it helps me enjoy my run and keeps me injury free.
- Make sure I have easy pace runs to offset my hard tempo runs and race pace runs. I’m too go, go, go… slower running is OK…in other words I need to tell myself this isn’t a sign I’m not doing my best. (I discussed this with a running buddy this week. She helped hold me to an easier pace. One more reason running buddies rock!)
- If I’m sick or not into it, listen to my body. If I’m really sick, taking a day or two, or three off isn’t a training killer. It’s needed. If I’m mentally not into running I need to look and make sure I’ve been following 1-3 above. If I am following them and just need a break…it’s ok. Cross-train more or take time off completely. That’s OK too.
These all seem like common-sense but clearly they weren’t for me. I took a little burnout for me to realize and start to enforce. I’ve been following these 4 little rules for 2 weeks now and my motivation level and training are right on target.
Looking forward to racing my next half with my head, heart and body fully committed. 2 hour half marathon in 2012 here I come!
*I’m currently following Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 1/2 marathon training plan.
So, before I start in on my review, a little about me and hats…
In short, I hate them. My reasoning is all due to vanity. I don’t think I look good in them. Being a girl with short hair I think they make me look boyish when I wear them. Being a new running, however, who is running through my first winter in Boston I have discovered that I really need a hat for running. Even though this has been a very mild winter so far (knock wood!) mornings in the 20’s require a hat. Period
I was hesitant, given my revulsion for hats, but my vanity pretty much goes out the window while I run. I’d rather be comfortable then cute any day!
Over the New Year holiday my BF and I went to New York City. I wasn’t shopping for a hat at all…but one afternoon in Soho the hat I had been avoiding shopping for pretty much jumped off the shelf at me.
We walked by this store called Icebreaker. They had running mannequins in their window all decked out in running gear and their sign showed all their clothing is made of fine, breathable, Merino wool. Being a knitter, I HAD to check it out.
I ended up getting the Mogul hat. Made of 100% Merino wool it’s super super light weight, breathable, and it fits perfectly. I was afraid it was going to be itchy and hot because it’s wool and there is a lot of sweat involved when I run…. But there’s none of that. I’ve worn it a couple times now and I completely forget I have it on. My head is just warm and comfy.
Here’s to running comfy through a long New England Winter!