In the past couple of weeks, I have made some changes. These changes are eliminating stress in my life and make training more manageable. With just over a month to go until the Dallas Marathon, I need to keep a positive focus and up my mental game.
The first thing I did was cut our grocery budget. We can spend a ridiculous amount of money on food. We like to eat, and we enjoy going out as a family. It’s one of the ways we spend time together. But I find it hard to make healthy choices at a restaurant. Especially if we go to On The Border. Free chips and salsa. Yes, please. “Would you like me to bring out some more chips?” Sure. Or Italian food. Bread. Bread. Bread. Mmmmmm.
I finally hit a point where I got fed up with myself. I told my husband we needed to stop eating out. I was overeating and it was affecting my training.
Done. We haven’t gone out in three weeks.
Step two was to do a better job of having food to eat at home. After all, most of the time when we went out, it was because of my poor planning with nothing to make for dinner. So for the last three weeks, I have made a trip to the grocery store on Saturday afternoon with a meal plan and a list. The meals aren’t fancy. This is me we’re talking about. Chicken enchiladas, quesadillas, and layered pasta are just a few of the meals we’ve rotated. I plan to make another round for week four and then start over with week one again. My crock pot has been incredibly handy. One Monday, I threw a package of chicken breasts in the crock pot. I shredded them when I came home from work, and we had enchiladas that night and chicken quesadillas the next. A day later it was chicken and rice. Yes I know, very creative, right? But my stress level in the kitchen has dropped immensely.
Step three: I haven’t had a Diet Coke in over two weeks.
This was a huge cut! One that I’ve tried to do at least ten times in the last six years. I switched to tea – mostly green – so I didn’t cut caffeine. I would like to say I feel great without diet soda in my system, but I haven’t really picked up on that yet. But, hey, I’m saving on the grocery budget too. Double whammy.
I had my first run on the treadmill last week. I did not enjoy it. It has been over four years since I ran on one, and it was hard. I don’t know why I thought it would be easier doing my easy pace on the treadmill. I was slinging sweat everywhere. Oh, well at least it’s there for the next ice storm.
Friday night, marching season ended with the last football game. No more late night pickups at the high school after an away game.
I get my early Friday night bedtimes back. Yay! This is my favorite part of fall marathon training – knowing I will get some sleep on the weekends. I do feel like I build up mental toughness doing long runs when I’m tired.
On Saturday, I ran my second 16 miler of this training cycle. It helped to run with a few fast group members that pushed me in the early miles before the wind kicked in.
Then on Sunday I finished off my highest mileage week since this time last year. I’m feeling good and strong. I don’t feel like I’m overtraining – just hungry. I actually lost a couple of pounds in the last few weeks. Now I just need to work on getting more rest.
This Sunday, I’ll race a half marathon and test out my training. After that race, I’ll decide how to pace my marathon -which is just four short weeks later!
What is one way you’ve eliminated some stress while training?