Staying motivated so I stay on track!

Helen Half

After running my second full marathon, I went into rest mode too long and ended up not running for about five months. When I finally started back it was tough… almost like starting over. After this marathon, I am taking a week recovery and continuing on, but to ensure I stay motivated I signed up for a half marathon just a month away. It’s easy  to let your running get slack after long months of training for a marathon, but trying to start back over after too long of a rest is brutal. I don’t want to make the same mistake twice. 

People are always amazed when you say you have run a marathon, but it’s not the physical component of going 26.2 miles; it is the mental toughness of going 26. 2 miles. And yes… the .2 is the toughest part of the race so you always say 26.2 because the .2 counts! Training for a marathon is where you figure out just how tough you are. In hindsight, I realize the reason  I avoided running was because I didn’t recognize how tired my brain really was and without even realizing it I avoided the run like a defense mechanism. I was always saying, “Oh I will run tomorrow,” but tomorrow never came. Days turned into months and before long I almost wasn’t a runner. Don’t fool yourself into  thinking you aren’t exhausted after training for months and running for hours upon hours at a time. The ability to discipline the mind is no easy task. Ask anyone trying to lose ten to fifteen pounds… the problem is controlling the mind and running this long of a distance is the same thing. If you are not careful you will lose the weight and then regress backwards and gain it all back. That is what I did with my running… I wasn’t careful and I regressed backward and lost it.

Lesson learned: I like where I am in running and I don’t want to regress backwards again.  Third times a charm so I will protect where I am in my running to stay where I want to be. But, I also want negate the fact that I am tired mentally much more so than physically. Just two days after the marathon, physically I felt fine, but I sensed a tiredness mentally.  So… my strategy is rest a week, ease back into Crossfit and  sign-up for another race that requires some effort. Not to the extent of a full marathon, but something I still have to train to run so I won’t be last…. and there you have it… a half marathon. I contemplated the 10k, but I wanted more.

Three days after my full marathon I located a race nearby and I committed myself. I registered for a Holiday Half Marathon. I am actually excited about it. It is right after Thanksgiving and it marks the beginning of the Christmas season. The small mountainous town where the race is located will be all decorated for Christmas with a full-blown light show the night before the race. What better way to get in the spirit of Christmas than to hang out with friends, watch the lights, sing some Christmas songs and run a race  through God’s country in the mountains. To make it a little more fun we are packing the tent and sleeping bags, friends are loading up their camper and we are going to make an all out friends weekend of it and hang out together.

Staying motivated so I stay on track! Excited:)

 

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