If there is one thing I have learned about marathon training, it is patience. There is no room for instant gratification when you devote 16 weeks of training for 26.2 miles. It has been a learning experience for me in so many ways but this one has by far been the hardest to surrender to and probably will be the biggest lesson of all.
Anything that is worth while doing well does take time right? We devote one entire year or more to plan a wedding...and really it is just a party. But, we go over every little detail, set the timelines with dates and check them off accordingly. Even then, some of those details may get overlooked or need to be adjusted along the way. Patience is a necessity, otherwise, you end up on a show called Bridezillas or even worse, you're the only one not enjoying the actual wedding because you can't let go and give in.
I admit I am an all or nothing kind of gal...for good and for bad. That may be an inherited trait ...I swear it's something in my blood. I took surf lessons one summer & only a month into them, when a hurricane came rolling in, there I was trying to charge them. I practically drowned just trying to get out there...go big or go home.
One look at my social life as an adult with three children, two jobs, one husband and a household to run...it's all or nothing. It's like I broke out of prison and am having one last romp with freedom, or I'm home sipping green tea, reading a book.
Up until a week ago, I was pushing it...training-wise...got to get it all in: the long runs, the hill work, the tempo, the weights, the race pace runs...the worse that I felt, the more I felt the need to jam more in. I was like that hurricane I tried to surf in...all over the place, not getting anywhere, and setting myself up for disaster. Luckily, a dear friend/running mentor came along, took a look at the chaos I had myself caught up in and threw me a life raft.
We adjusted my program, and then, revisited the change a week later. Really, what made me think I could keep up with that program when I had not completed a marathon before is beyond me...damn that all or nothing trait. Trust the program she said. It's designed for a reason. Focus on following the runs it calls for...keep to the pace for each particular run (so painful to run so slow on a long run)..it's designed that way for a reason. And stop obsessing over running the 26 miles before you actually run the 26.2 mile race. Be patient, and you will be ready.
I have to admit, it has helped. I am still a little tired & definitely tight, but I am feeling more confident that my legs will be fresh and not burnt out by the time I line up for race day. Some days, I do have to remind myself...be patient, trust the program, trust myself. It's a hard thing to do. This is not an all or nothing race. This is a steady, well-paced endurance run. There is no room for charging big...this training, this race has all to do with being smart, being prepared, and being ready to make thought out adjustments when necessary...it's all about being patient.
Preparation and patience...that is the key to success. Like life, this training has had some curve balls thrown at me...(heatwaves, respiratory infection, over training) but with some thought out adjustments, I continue to move forward. It may not be the pace I'm use to moving at, but that's part of the process. I can't move it any faster. I just have to ride it out, continue to plug away, and remember that it will all come together in the end.
- What started as a little experiment in blogging has evolved into my renewed love for writing the raw, gritty truth. Running has always had so many parallels to life's ups and downs. As a new cancer survivor/fighter, running and writing has continued to be there for me in my quest to always move forward, always try to be better than yesterday. Find me: http://www.curetoday.com/community/kate or on facebook: running, cancer, and everything in between or on twitter: runliftbreathe