Skip to main content

The power of irrational thinking when you are training for a half marathon

This is the phase in my half-marathon training when I start to have vague, pit-of-stomach doubts about whether I will be able to do it. Time telescopes and miles stretch so they are at least three miles long each.

I mentioned my training to the doctor a few weeks ago with a reluctant and doubtful tone.

"I'm still running? Training for a half-marathon? But like, I don't know." 
"When is the race?"
"December?" 
"So three months away." 
"Oh my god you're right, I have three months. It felt so much closer." 
"And you only need to be able to run 6-7 miles before the race." 
"I can do 6 miles, I do that now! And I still have three months!" 
See how powerful the irrational mind can be? I forgot the actual facts of my training program, lost perspective on time and distance, and totally tricked myself into thinking I couldn't do this.

My conversation with the doctor really helped me reclaim my motivation and confidence, but i psyched myself out again just last weekend. I was set to run 6 miles Saturday, but I had my eye focused too hard on the clock. When I saw how slow my pace was after 2 and 3 miles, I said screw this. I quit after 4.5 miles with plenty of steam to finish the full 6. I forgot the distance is what matters on long runs, and I should have ignored my time all together.

Monday I was slow and wobbly after a Sunday night binge on pizza. Today I was fast and optimistic after a day of good fuel and rest.

I now have 9 weeks left to train, and it's time to keep my head in the right place.

Comments

  1. You only need to run 6-7 miles before a half? Your doctor is very wrong about that. Please don't take that advice seriously. Your longest run before a half should be 14.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm pretty sure she is referring to the distance achievable pre-training schedule.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ok, yes-it is ideal to be able to run 6 or 7 miles before starting to train for a half. That's a great place to start and then build on from there!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, I'm pretty sure that's what my doctor meant. I am following a 20-week program that started with a long run of 4 miles, I think. When I had that conversation with her, I was up to 6 miles and had 12 weeks to go.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

On not waiting for the perfect time

When I got pregnant the second time, I was waiting for that stage to end before I would live my life. Exercise, activities with kids, travel, writing, house projects... Then after the Lizzie came and things were so complicated, I still found myself waiting until she was older, waiting to get out of tangle of doctor appointments.  Then I was planning to start life after both kids were in school, at least three years away! Enough!  Anything I want to do can be adapted to start now, incorporating the kids and whatever challenges we face in our plans.  Some dreams may be better suited for the future, but there will be no more blanket attitude of putting things off for later when it would presumably be easier or less busy. 
There is no perfect time, but the best time could be now.

On the topic of stuff I don't want to do: Cook dinner

Saturday night I tried really hard to get out of cooking dinner. No, I'm not perpetually steam-drenched, hunched over the stove every night, just looking for one night off. I have just about every night off because Nick cooks most of the time, and when it's my turn, I tap into my arsenal of delivery services.

This is not how my mama raised me.

Saturday night, I did, very begrudgingly, grate carrots and sauté bokchoy and glaze chicken. Nick said, "You don't seem to like cooking." But... but... but, I wanted to defend myself, I know how to cook; I used to cook; I used to like cooking.

Things change.

For example, kids. Feeding kids for the last 4.5 years has consumed me, no apology for the pun. My obsession with managing their growth and nutrition is totally separate from cooking. It's a mental tally of macronutrients and micronutrients; it's creating the perfect veggie snack plate with every cucumber slice salted; it's composing and blending superfood sm…

2018 So Far: Killing it

I was prepared to ask for a do-over on Week 1 of 2018. I have legit excuses, right? Husband rang in the new year in a hospital bed far away from home? We barely got back home by midnight on Wednesday -- half the week was gone before it even started!

Last night (Saturday), I was about 50 percent done with my ambitious plans for the week.

But it turns out that Sunday can be a powerful day for productivity. Today, a miracle happened: I unpacked my suitcase less than a week after returning from a trip.
Then another miracle happened: I organized my sock drawer.
And another: I convinced Nick to run an errand and bring me coffee while I took a bath in the middle of the afternoon.
As it turns out, this whole week telescoped to pack in so many things a normal, less magical week would not have accommodated:
We spent three extra days in Atmore with family, and got to see a full supermoon in the country -- it would not have been possible from our house in San Antonio.Lizzie used that bonus grandpa…