road to the half marathon: training week 4

This week in training, I found a bit of a breakthrough. No not because I killed it on all of my runs, or because I ate all the right things to fuel my training, but quite the opposite. I ran once this week. One time. So to say I was proud of my training, I'd be lying. However, this week taught me one amazing lesson regardless of circumstance and excuses, I am the sole catalyst of my successes and failures.

marathon training in vancouverMy lone run along the coast, 5 miles of fabulous weather distracting my struggle.

I could blame my lack of running this week on the fact that I was away from home and my comfort zone to squeeze it all in. Like, my hotel had no gym, I spent the night in an airport and I was too busy working to go for a run. But the truth is, I was there when the alarm went off at 5:30 three times this week to go for a 6am run, and my hand hit the snooze button repeatedly. The truth was, I let myself give up a little bit this week, and I had never felt worse.

grouse grind running trainingIt's pretty easy to see clearly when you're at the top...

Running or not, my week turned around on Friday when our Online Community Team hiked the Grouse Grind together. The whole way to the top we were searching for the 1/4 marker, the 1/2 way marker, the 3/4 marker and the sunshine at the top of the mountain that was literally light at the end of our tunnel. I don't completely enjoy the process of being out of breath constantly and having my entire body ache for an hour and a half. But reaching the top felt like I was purging all the toxicity that was holding me back in training and my life.

hiking grouse grind - marathon trainingOur Online Community Team at the top of Grouse Mountain, ready to create the world!

Standing on the top of Grouse Mountain I felt proud of our hike, and yet very disappointed in my running for the week. It's not as though I were not capable to hit all the miles I needed to, I simply chose to avoid them. I have a huge BHAG in place of finishing the half marathon in 2 hours and 10 minutes, and ultimately I am the keeper of that fate. So this week I am recommitting, even if it means waking up at 5:30am to run. I know in 8 weeks from now on race day, what I did training wise on week 4 made a difference in me achieving or not achieving my goal time. I am lacing up the sneaks and renewing my goal this week, and completely purging myself f all excuses. Ready, set, run!

This week’s training mileage total: 5 miles
Longest run: 5 miles with a pace of 9:45 (right on pace)
Cross training: Hiked the Grouse Grind
Wore on my long run: Run:Energy SS and Run:Roll Down Skirt (so breezy, comfortable and stayed in place to perfection!)

8 weeks until race day here is my training schedule for the week:
Monday: 4 miles + hot yoga
Tuesday: 2 miles + yoga sculpt
Wednesday: 4 miles + yoga sculpt
Thursday: hot yoga
Friday: bootcamp
Saturday: 6 miles!
Sunday: yoga + rest

P.S. What do you do with the excuses you've been carrying around for a long time, and how do you purge the toxic mindset for yourself? I'd love some tips on scheduling my week, and how to stay motivated.

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You can do it! I had to fit in one morning run last week and it nearly killed me … I’m such a wuss about getting up early, lol. But you’re right, when you’re in it for a half marathon, you’re in it for the long haul. Good news is that one week probably won’t make or break your training. So, go get ‘em!

Comment by elaine! — June 22, 2010 @ 8:21 pm

I “ran” a 10k without proper training (i.e. a lot of skipped runs) and i felt horrible, didn’t make my goal time, and had to walk half of it. Learn from my lesson so that on race day you are prepared and don’t have to deal with feeling disappointment with yourself like I did! I’m making up for it by training for a half now so I’m with you- and doing much better this time around! (week 3)

Comment by callah — June 22, 2010 @ 9:09 pm

You know what, when I don’t “feel” like running (or doing pilates, or any exercise, lol!) I just put on my running gear anyways. Then, I’m all dressed up, so I might as well go for a run. Also, I tell myself it doesn’t have to be a perfect run (that a crappy/lazy run is better than no run at all)! I’ve only been an athlete for about 2 years, so these mind tricks really help me out to get it done. And usually, I end up enjoying the activity once I get my butt out there doing it. :-D You’re doing awesome, though! Nobody’s a robot.

Comment by Amy — June 23, 2010 @ 1:39 am

Yay! I love your updates. Keep blogging, because I’m training for a half right now myself, & your entries make me feel like I have a running buddy. Especially when our weeks seem to line up – I definitely had difficulty getting out of bed these past few runs. The quote that gets me up and running (even if at a pretty slow pace) is simply: “keep putting one foot in front of the other, and you WILL reach the finish line.” Sounds really simple, but if I just make myself get up and put one foot in front of the other, before I know it the run is over and I can log the miles. Good luck this week! We’ll up the intensity together, sort of :)

Comment by Savannah — June 23, 2010 @ 5:27 am

You guys are awesome! Made my morning run this morning! Thanks for continuing to inspire me, we are definitely all in this together! xo

Comment by Whitney — June 23, 2010 @ 8:52 am

You will have good weeks and bad weeks. Think of this week as a recovery week. Your body does need to recovery every couple weeks to let your body and mind heal. I am a marathoner, but trying for a half is the same. Get through those morning runs and it will be worth it!

Comment by Weslie — June 23, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

Distance running is 10% physical and 90% mental. A huge component of training is the mental training. You have to learn how to run when you don’t feel like it. You have to learn how to run when you’re tired. You have to learn how to run when it hurts, and how to push through that pain (not to the point of injury though!). When you have a really awful run, remind yourself that this is teaching you how to push through, to not give up. This will not only help you through the training, but through the race itself. When it gets hard, keep going.

Comment by Holly — June 23, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

I have thought of every excuse in the book but I always think how good I feel after a workout that I once was going to skip. For example, I had a long day today and it is hot as hell in NYC. All I want to do is go home, but I know that if I bag my trainer I will feel guilty all night. I also know that after my trainer I am going to feel 10x’s better. Fight through the excuses, that is half the battle.

Comment by Scott — June 23, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

Oh, I have been there, too. I love the snooze button. I love my bed. I love sleep. And when I finally get up I spend the next fifteen waking hours thinking about how I shoulda/coulda/didn’t run, and how I’m a failure. So I second what Amy said… just do it. Don’t think, just get up and run.

I also agree that race day will be infinitely more fun the more prepared, trained, and rested you are. So keep training, and I think you’ll be happy with yourself on race day.

And lastly, never forget the importance of strategically placed rest. Resting gives your body time to heal, nourish, and rebuild with even more strength. It sounds like you had a busy week. But you haven’t been away from running long enough to lose your fitness. Quite to the contrary, you may find that when you resume your training this week (and you will resume your training this week!) your body and/or mind may feel rested and re-energized. Or at the very least, re-committed.

You’re doing great. Give yourself a pat on the back, and keep up the good work.

Comment by Andrea — June 23, 2010 @ 2:47 pm

Everyone’s comments are spot on. Sometimes you just have slow weeks where you don’t feel like running and everything seems hard. I usually make deals with myself. Like: just run around the park 6 times and if you still want to quit then OK. A lot of times I surprised myself and wanted to keep going and had a great run.

Running is like life, 90% is just showing up.

Also, when I train I don’t add mileage every week, sometimes I bring miles down then build up again. So, a staggered program.

Other ways to run when you don’t feel like it:
1) use treadmill at gym for 20-30 min. Post to facebook at the start of your run “I’m not stopping until I do 3 mi, 5 mi, ” etc. Use social pressure to follow through

2) I ask friends to make running mixes for my iPod

3) I buy new running clothes as rewards for running

4) I run in new places

5) I run with multiple running clubs

6) I use races as training, less likely to flake on a run if I’ve paid for it

Comment by Jennifer Pattee — June 23, 2010 @ 3:12 pm

I heard a lot of excuses and a lot of reflection in your fourth week. As a ‘triathlete’, my area of opportunity is the run. I used to make excuses all the time that were very similar to your excuses. I also felt the same as you when I missed my runs: I felt guilt and I felt sluggish – very frustrating. However, you have so much to look forward to. Your body got to take some time to rest. Your next run will have plenty of fuel :). Something to motivate you? I love looking at my BHAGs again. That 10 year goal really motivates me to fulfill my daily goals, it’s inspiring! Something to get rid of the toxic mindset? You are perfect. You got to make those decisions yourself, how perfect. You got to run at least once last week, perfect. You got to reflect and share your accomplishments and goals with us, perfect. Now, you get to run 16 miles next week!!! Some people can’t run, don’t choose to run 16 miles (or even 1 mile), you get to motivate them, inspire them…keep doing what you are doing and enjoy all 16 miles next week :) :) :)

Comment by Natalie Tryon — June 23, 2010 @ 8:10 pm

I’m training for my first half marathon! I love following your journey, it’s so inspiring!

Comment by Ashley — June 24, 2010 @ 7:53 am

Sugar, that wasn’t put there to distract you. It’s a mirror. How lovely, you are! Persevere, and all that your heart desires will come to you…

Comment by Pranayama Mama — June 25, 2010 @ 10:40 am

I literally experienced the same week as you this week. I went for one run, and one trail hike. I am also training for a half marathon, and I also gave up a little this week. I also set my alarm for 5:30, and I also pressed snooze, repeatedly. Oh ya, and I also blamed my lack of training on too many work-related responsibilities.

I am so glad you wrote this because it made me feel better to know that other people go through this during training. I was starting to feel like a bit of a failure, and so began to reassess my own goals last night. I am also recommitted to my own goal, and here’s to many more weeks of stellar training! Give ‘er!

Comment by thr — June 26, 2010 @ 11:39 am

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