Hi there! I am currently in the passenger seat of our Jeep while husband drives us to Sacramento to spend Thanksgiving with his grandparents. It is totally scenic!
Every where I look I am reminded about how I just want to always be running in the woods. I seriously cannot stop thinking about it… I picked up some Washington and California state guide magazines (fo free!) at the gas station and this pic from Mount Rainier National Park is TOTALLY going on my next vision board :).
So0o0o, this post is going to be a catch up on what has been going on with me in terms of running. I am surprised to end up where I have, but I am feeling really confident that I am heading in a direction that feels good to me.
My Next Running Goal: Training using the Hansons Marathon Method (HMM) for the Vernonia Marathon on April 9th, 2017. I will dedicate another post to why I chose and am super excited about trying out HMM, but this post is already lengthy as is, so look forward to that one coming down the pipeline soon!
Two weeks ago I ran my 3rd 26.2, the Rock N‘ Roll Las Vegas Marathon (you can read that recap here.) I ran my first in 2014, one in 2015, and one in 2016, but they have all been fall races, almost exactly a year apart. The Vernonia Marathon will be a mere 5 months after RNRLV. Like I mentioned in my previous paragraph, I am surprised that I am already feeling ready to run another so quickly!
And I am feeling differently about this one. I am super excited about the race itself (It is mostly on a paved trail that goes through the forest, totally my scene!!!), but I am feeling even more excited to embark on the training using the Hansons Marathon Method.
Here’s the sitch: I have never been able to stick to a training plan for a full. Halves, sure. But without fail I fall into the trap of self sabotage (you can read about that here) about halfway through the plan, right when mileage starts to creep up, and don’t show up physically ready for the race. It won’t be a suicide mission, I’ll have a solid running foundation, but not proper training. I realize that to many type-A runners this statement is an oxymoron, but hey, I haven’t suffered from a serious injury (knock on wood), so I think that sort of proves my solid foundation theory. The last running related injury that lasted more than a week were shin splints my Junior year of college- well before I ever ran a 10k.
So yes. I still showed up and gave it my all my last two fulls. I’m of the opinion that everyone who shows up for a full marathon ends up giving it their everything. Maybe not their best, but surely their all. You have to give it everything you got and dig deep to cross that kind of distance. You will deplete your Glycogen stores. You will fatigue. You just will. But yea. Properly training will surely help your performance.
And I hate to use the word performance. I hate to use the word race. My intentions for the Vernonia Marathon are not to race or to perform, per se. I guess I am looking for… Redemption. Clarity. Discipline. And Alignment. Let me expand on each of those aspects:
My 4 Intentions for My 4th Marathon
Redemption: This one is easy. My first marathon, the 2014 Seattle Marathon (recap here), was pretty much perfection. It was an amazing experience, and even when it got tough, which it definitely did toward the end, I don’t think I have ever been more proud of myself. I did something that just a few years before I would have never thought possible. My last two fulls have been… meh.
Despite that, I am not giving up on the distance. I don’t want to only have one amazing marathon experience. I know I will never have that same “first time” feeling of pride and wonderment swell in my heart and won’t experience the same sense of accomplishment. I do know that. But if I am being honest, the last two felt a bit like failures. Because I did fail at sticking to the training plan. Yes, I still crossed the finish line, and I am still proud that I showed up and covered the distance. But I know, deep in my bones, that I can do better. Not only that I can, but that it is what I truly want. We’re talking deep in my soul desire. Redemption, yo.
There have definitely been the moments where I felt that I am just not cut out for the 26.2 mile distance. But I am not so sure that is true anymore. If I ACTUALLY TRAINED for it, I think it might be my jam! I realize this next sentence is going to make me sound like an asshole, but I am going to go ahead and type it anyways: 13.1 is totally a challenge, but it doesn’t push me to my limits anymore. And I want to push the limits. I could try and get faster at the 13.1 distance, but right now my heart is in the 26.2 distance, if I am being honest. But I also want to feel accomplished and not defeated.
One more point on redemption: I really don’t jive with the concept of “sinner”. We all f*** up and we all are awesome sometimes. I will say that when my long runs are 10, 12, 15 miles… Something happens in those later miles. I feel more compassion for myself and for everyone in my life. For whatever reason I am able to see with poignant clarity the redeeming qualities in me and in others. It is an awesome, awesome side effect of long distance running. 🙂 Speaking of poignant clarity, let’s move on shall we?
Clarity: I simply mean that I want to use this training of the body and mind to help me think clearly. I love experiencing a revelation. And they often come while logging the miles. Sometimes it is through conversation, or listening to a podcast, or reading a book, but also through running. It doesn’t matter to me if it is a big or small moment of clarity- what to make for dinner, a vacation idea, a career goal, why I am feeling a certain way, etc. I just want more clarity, because life is super confusing and sometimes I just want some concrete answers. If I pay enough attention and get quiet, the answers can come more easily on the run, like my brain is firing on all cylinders or something. 🙂
This training cycle, I am banishing my headphones (I retain the right to change my mind about this. Lol, commitment issues, much?). I started running “unplugged” after reading Running With the Mind of Meditation (book review here), and Amby Burfoot also referenced this concept in A Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life (omg, how have I not reviewed that yet! Stay tuned for an upcoming post soon lol). But ya, running and showering are pretty much the only times I am not receiving some auditory input. How is a girl supposed to think when all this input is constantly being shoved in my ears? Blah. I am learning to really cherish the quiet and the clarity that accompanies it.
Discipline: Okay, this is the least fun intention, but hey, it doesn’t always have to be fun. I really need to work on my discipline in sticking with training. Simple as that. On that note, anyone want to be my accountability buddy? Email me. lol. But really, One way I am going to hold myself accountable is a weekly recap on the blog of the Hansons Marathon Method training. So look forward to that new series!
Alignment: I feel like when I have been running for miles and still have miles ahead that I am in pure alignment with who I am and who I want to be. I feel my mind, body, and spirit working together in alignment to accomplish the simple task of forward motion. And it is bliss.
So here is to the Vernonia Marathon. I’m going to train my tush off. I will use my Garmin watch in training, but on race day I am going tech-less. No watch. No pace band. No compression socks. I will show up trained and ready to give it my all, and enjoy a day of running free in the woods. I can’t think of a better way to spend a day. I really can’t.
If you made it to the end of this lengthy post, you are awesome! Thanks for taking the time to read all the way through. Wish me luck!