What I’m Learning as I train for the Marathon

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I am running slower.

But my legs feel stronger.

My mileage is getting higher.

But I don’t feeel exhausted.

I have not hit the big distances yet.

But I am feeling positive.

The biggest lesson I have learned this training session is to run in the now.  I am the type of person who is always obsessing about the past ( I used to be faster; my last marathon was a disaster), or worrying about the future (I have to run how far in three weeks???; how will I ever maintain this pace for 42.2 km???).

Somehow I have let all that go.  When I run it is only about that run, no other.  It doesn’t matter what happened the previous day and it doesn’t matter what tomorrow’s run will bring.  The instant I feel myself slipping away from the moment I pull myself back to the present.  It is an incredibly liberating feeling knowing that there is nothing I need to think about other than putting one foot in front of the other.  It is, in fact, a privilege.  So while I have a time goal for the marathon, nothing lofty by any means, I have pushed it to the back of my mind.  My ultimate goal is to run the race in the moment and to cross the finish line in awe of what my body can do.

When I finished my second marathon I was so disappointed.  I felt like my body let me down.  I was nauseous and dizzy within the first third of the race.  I made myself finish, I refused to quit.  That of course was a victory in itself.  But there was no joy crossing that finish line.  I distinctly remember watching a woman ahead of me, running with her arms in the air as she finished.  Even without seeing her face, her body language exuded joy and I was so jealous.  Let’s face it, the race isn’t about the medals, or the cheers of the crowd.  It is about THAT moment.  I want that moment, and I feel that the way I am approaching my training right now – in the now – will lead me to that feeling again, regardless of my finish time.

Here’s a look at last week’s schedule:

Monday:

  • 6k, rolling hills, + 6 strides

Tuesday:

  • 10k, 6 of which done around half marathon pace + 4 strides

Wednesday:

  • 18k long run, 16th and 17th done at marathon pace

Thursday: off

Friday:

  • 2 sets of core exercises on the dock
  • 2 easy kms of kayaking

Saturday:

  • 8k, lots of hills!
  • 1 set of core exercises on the dock
  • 3k of easy kayaking

Sunday:

  • 4k progression run, last km at 5:23 min/km + a 1k cool down
  • hike with my family.

Our hike was at a stunning location, which I am sure I would enjoy more without my children.  They love this spot and it is easy to see why.  The tunnels, high rocks, rushing stream and natural “bath” make for an adventureous boy’s dream location.  I, on the other hand spend the time with my heart in my throat, worried for their safety.  I am anything but a helicopter parent.  I am more of a “go fly your own helicopter and be back by dinner” type of parent.  My boys love the outdoors, they will explore for hours.  For this I am grateful, but once in a while I have to deal with the worry.  All part of parenting I guess.

Just look at this beautiful spot:

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Wishing you some time in the moment, whatever you may be doing this week!

 

 

6 thoughts on “What I’m Learning as I train for the Marathon

  1. Rod

    Great work and great lesson as well. It’s so important to stay in the moment even within the individual run. I have a tendency to fast forward and already be thinking about hills or how much further I have to go. All of these things take me out of the moment.

    Reply
  2. Ann-Marie

    It sounds like you are really enjoying this training cycle. 🙂 I used to always run with music but I stopped a year or so ago and I find that it really helps me to focus and enjoy the run instead of just ‘tuning’ out. It helps that I usually do my long runs with the Running Room but I did just do a 23km on my own with no music and had a wonderful time (well…as wonderful as running in this humidity could be).

    Happy running this weekend!

    Reply
    1. kristi Post author

      I admit I still love to listen to my music but also sometimes just turn it off. My favourite time to run without music is on a snowy day – the silence out in my rural area is incredible.

      Reply
  3. Carl Wright

    What stunning pictures Kristi, such a beautiful place to go hiking and exploring. Have never heard the term “helicopter parent” before, but yeah, I am much like you. Even though I might not hover, I do get quietly concerned for their safety.

    It would be hard to have a previous marathon that was not the most pleasant experience. It can only get better. You are doing awesome! 🙂

    Have a great weekend! 🙂

    ~Carl~

    Reply

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