I just finished the 4th week of marathon training. The mileage isn’t too time consuming yet, and every time I have a bad run or just don’t want to go out, I remind myself that I get to train for a marathon. Not everyone has this kind of time or health, and I don’t want to take it for granted. It’s a mixture of feeling #blessed and #girlpower. I am disciplined about my running and willing to put in lots of time and hard work, but I also try to remember that I’m pretty lucky to live in a time and in a place where women get to do this.
Here are things that are inspiring me while I’m running these days:
- I regularly listen to the Happier podcast with Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft. They are sisters and Gretchen is the author of the Happiness Project and Better than Before. Although I’m glad I’m not her daughter or sister, I have used so many of Gretchen’s suggestions for life over the past few years. One of my favorite things that she’s said it something along the lines of “You don’t take a break from a good habit.” This has been especially helpful with my running. It makes me feel so much better physically and mentally even if it’s not always the most fun thing to do. And so I just haven’t taken a break from running in the past three years.
- I also listen to the Bachelor Party podcast with Juliet Lipman. I’m watching The Bachelor this season and have greatly enjoyed all the additional witty commentary to be found. I also think that if people in other countries/cultures saw this show it might represent everything that is abhorrent about American culture.
- And I love Another Motherrunner. I know I’m not a mother, but Dimity and Sarah (podcast hosts) are just so likeable, and it’s definitely a club I’d like to be a part of someday.
- When the going gets tough, I have my classical music that I can bust out. My love of Beethoven’s 9th is well documented here. I also love this one transition in Bach’s Mass in B Minor. I think it’s in the Credo (all in Latin) but it’s from the lines of the Apostles’ Creed “I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins, and the resurrection of the body, and the life of the world to come.” There is brass and a dramatic tempo and key change. I always fist pump and bounce along. It is truly a happy, happy song.
- The nod. Most runners get this. When you pass a runner headed the opposite direction you nod, smile, and wave. Doesn’t matter how fast you’re going or how slow. It’s the code for, “Hey buddy, keep up the good work.”
- I have my mantras that I repeat. When I feel my “form” break down, I start mentally repeating “short quick short quick short quick” to remind myself to pick up my feet and stop over-striding. When I run up a hill I tell myself, “It’s just a hill. Get over it.” And I was trying to hold to a certain pace this past week, and it was really tough. I literally told myself, “Keep going, little soldier.” I’m also a huge fan of Tom Brady’s “We didn’t come this far just to come this far.”
- On a negative note, my biker hate has come back in full force. There’s nothing like being 10 miles in to a 15 mile run and getting passed by some chubby middle-aged guy on a bike wearing spandex thinking he’s working so hard. He probably is working hard, but bikes move so fast with so much less effort than running takes. Today I found myself in the middle of not one but two St. Patrick’s Day fun rides. I had to work very hard not to lash out when biker after biker flew past me without so much as a “on your left.”
So there are 14 weeks left. I’m sure positivity will start to ebb, and at some point my nerves will really set in. Now I just need to start thinking about what to wear for the race…