With just under five weeks to go until the Dallas Marathon, it’s time for me to do a “goal check” to see how things are shaping up.
Earlier last week, I read an article – and I wish I could remember where I found it – about your goal race time and good indicators to meet it. There were five or six items on the list. As I read through them, I took an honest look at how my training has been going. It seems like everything is rolling along pretty good, but I have one main issue to fix. My brain. Oh, and more sleep couldn’t hurt. So, maybe two.
My mental game is not strong. Over the past year my training and racing has been filled with doubt in my abilities. I’ve given up on time goals, and had pity parties because of an injury. I have had times where I thought my fastest days were behind me.
That changed this week.
On Saturday, I ran my second 20 miler of the season. The weather was great! All 20 miles were completed with my friend who was doing her first 20 ever. It was the most consistently paced long run I’ve had for a while. The first five miles, we had the company of our group. Then we ran another loop, where one of the runners in the group asked if he could tag along with us. Well, of course. Then my husband, out riding his bike, joined us along the way. Thanks to the Road ID app, he was able to locate me. So for our last 6 mile loop, the four of us trekked along. There were a few stops along the way: refill bottles, take gels, pit stops, etc…But it’s all about the miles, right? This run was about 8 seconds per mile faster than my last one.
Recovery went well. I swam on Sunday, and was just a little sore for Monday’s six miler. It was more of a marathon training fatigue though.
Today, I attempted speed work and it went fine. My legs were like jelly toward the end, but with 12 x 1/4 mile repeats, I wouldn’t expect anything else. I found an extra bit of motivation in my paces today. On my last repeat, I reminded myself that hard work is going to get the job done. I pushed harder, and it was my fastest. It reminded me that I can meet goals, and still run fast. It’s there. I’ve just got to do a little more digging to get to it. Like my husband said, “hard work brings things closer.”
My plan is to keep training my brain. I can break four hours – with consistent hard work, and a belief that I can. So I’ll keep at it.
My biggest challenge has been food at work. Ever since I wrote this post, there has been someone bringing in food at least twice a week. Just last week there was sausage biscuits one day and donuts the next. Let’s not forget the bowl of leftover Halloween candy either. Today, someone brought in breakfast burritos and another person brought a peanut butter cheesecake, with a brownie crust, and peanut butter cups on top. I only have so much willpower! They sure timed it right, because I have hit the portion of training where I’m hungry most of the day. It sure is a challenge. But I’ll keep on, because I’ll get this reminder in my messages from my husband whenever I voice a struggle:
Sometimes you just have to laugh about it.
Feel free to share any mental training tips and have a great week!