Halfway to Richmond

richmond readyWow! I know I keep saying this, but I just can’t believe that training is already halfway over. I thought a good exercise would be to reflect on my training so far – what’s going well, what’s not, and how I’m doing towards my goals.

Overall, this cycle feels so different.  The confidence I have from doing this before has made such a difference in the mental aspect of my training. A year ago, an 18 mile run seemed impossible.  Now, it’s just a necessary step on my journey. I know that may seem weird, but the confidence I had going into this cycle is mounting with each week. I honestly feel more confident now than I have for any other race…and I still have 7 weeks to go.

I love my plan. The rest and easy days are in just the right places, and my speed and pace workouts mix it up and challenge me.  When I first got my plan, I told my coach that the speed and pace workouts didn’t look that bad…to which she responded with surprise. I wrote her a note last week that I completely retract that statement. The workouts are HARD. But they’re making me stronger!

Speedwork on Tuesdays kicks my butt!

Speedwork on Tuesdays kicks my butt!

Also, I’ve been really good about listening to my body. This is probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned and I think I’m finding the right balance of pushing through and knowing when to back off. I’d much rather lower my mileage by taking a couple of extra rest days than end up in a walking boot three weeks before my goal race. I’m happy with the adjustments I’ve made to my plan.

I’ve been struggling with being consistent with nutrition.  I’ve gotten better the past couple of weeks, but need to refocus as we get into the thick of training. I just love fatty food and I cave into my cravings more often than I should. Junk in = junk out.

Here are the specific goals I laid out for this training, and how I think I’m doing.  Since I’m ridiculously type-A, I am grading myself as well.

1.      Pre-run nutrition and mid-run fueling. My goal was to experiment with different combinations to figure out how to optimize my performance.  I’ve nearly nailed mid-run fueling, so my focus the next few weeks will be on pre-run.  I’m really pleased with the work I’ve done in this area! Grade: A+

2.      The little things: proper warmups, cooldowns, foam rolling, etc. I’ve been great about my warmups, I have not missed a single one.  I’ve been okay about cooldowns, though sometimes I cut them shorter than I should.  I’ve been medicore at foam rolling, though have gotten better about it the past couple of weeks.  I’ll continue to work on this over the next few weeks. Grade: C+

3.      Strength, flexibility, and mobility. My goal was to not skip the non-running workouts.  The past couple of weeks have been weird as I recovered from my half, and I’ve been overdoing it on my strength training which leaves me too sore to do a second round later in the week.  I’ve been much better this training cycle than in the past, but still not where I need to be.  It’s challenging to make it to yoga, but I’m really great about cross training.  Grade: B-

4.      Balancing life with training. I’ve been able to continue to be social and have found a great balance here.  I still get my sleep on Friday nights, though! Grade: A+

Overall, I’m so pleased with how this cycle is going.  I know the next few weeks will be the key to my success. I love the new Under Armor commercial with Tom Brady and this phrase in it: “You are the sum of all your training”.  I think it really encompasses what marathon training (or any training really) is all about.

Every single day, getting out there and knowing that the work I’m putting in adds up to my performance on race day.  I’m so looking forward to seeing what I can do at my second marathon!

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Jess

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