A Change of Perspective.
This is one of those blog posts that I've put on my to-do list every week since March... because, well, life.
Five marathons in, I officially realized in January that I was more in need of a break than I was aware of. What started as a commitment to do daily at home yoga (shoutout to Yoga With Adrienne) and the Whole30 for the month of January, turned into a journey of realizing that my self-talk and my relationship with myself was ROUGH.
Let's start by talking about the place I was in when 2018 started. I had just abruptly switched salons, with new products, new color, a new neighborhood, new salon systems, and new coworkers. I was amidst moving apartments (which was decided and executed within three weeks), to a new neighborhood, with new roommates. I was often working 6 days a week, with 10 hour work days - with a makeshift schedule that included being a Colorist, Social Media Coordinator, Assistant, and Babysitter. I decided to commit to the daily yoga because I didn't know how else I was going to set aside time for myself, time where there was quiet, time where I was taking care of my body - the decision was also thanks to a nudge from a friend and my mom who were both committing to it as well. I decided to jump into the Whole30 because I wanted to figure out why my body felt out of whack digestively on 75% of my runs, essentially I did it to become a better runner (and because everyone does Whole30 in January- ha!) While doing both of these things, I had this grand plan that on February 1st I would jump right into training for a Spring Marathon - because I'm the queen of jumping into large goals.
One week into a daily yoga practice and a fully clean diet, I started realizing the mental place I was in when it came to working out and eating. Adrienne on YWA focuses a lot of her talk throughout the yoga practice on self love, continually turning you back to yourself, what works for you, what respects your body. As I heard these words for 20-50 minutes every morning I realized just how rarely I think that way, and I began realizing that I actually spoke to myself in the complete opposite way while in running shoes. As for the Whole30, you're encouraged to count nothing, to just fuel yourself well. I suddenly began to feel free from worry, or obsession over the amount I was eating - something I've struggled with for years. In addition to that, my face was the clearest it had ever been, my digestion was normalized, and my energy was consistent throughout the day.
As the days in January continued on, I realized how beyond necessary a break from running was. So I freed myself up from the guilt that I wasn't getting any miles in that month, then followed up with freeing myself up from the "need" to run a spring marathon. With that freedom, came almost 6 weeks of zero miles. Then one day, I really wanted to run, the idea of it actually excited me - so I went on a run. The run felt freer than any run I had gone on in the last year, I had no goal attached to it, so I continued to do that a few times a week, only when I wanted to - with the promise that I wouldn't sign up for a marathon until I felt confident that I could speak to myself the way I would speak to a friend as I was logging the miles for training. With words of encouragement, cheering myself on, shutting down words like “not good enough” or “too slow”. Until I switched from a critic to a cheerleader I would not be training for a race.
Jump forward to the weekend of April 14th, the weekend of the Boston Marathon. I joked as I left to go that there's no way I would make it out of the weekend without deciding to register for a fall marathon. And boy was I right, standing on the sidelines in the pouring rain and wind, watching everyone push on to the finish line, seeing my dad close to tears at mile 16, seeing everyone hobbling around with their medals the day after... there's something about all of those things that just tugs at your heart as a marathoner, and on my flight home I was 95% sure I would be signing up for a fall Marathon.
I took my time with the decision, I told myself to start running more consistently and be sure that I was still speaking well to myself, and not dreading my morning alarm. While I inched towards my final decision, I did decide IF I ran a marathon that fall, that it would be The Akron Marathon. My hometown, the place I learned what a marathon was, the marathon morning I looked forward to waking up for every year growing up, the marathon I've stood on the sidelines for many times. As the end of May approached, the beginning of training season also approached, so the Saturday before the start of marathon training I clicked register.
In order to make this training enjoyable, freed up, and centered around self care - I've certainly changed up what my usual training looks like. Including, changing my long run to Friday mornings - freeing up my weekends, committing to Tuesday at home Yoga to keep my thoughts in check, and allowing myself to only run 4 days a week with no lofty pace goals.
Oh, & I also cut out Lactose post-Whole30 in addition to Legumes. With the flexible plan to stick to Whole30 during the work week, because I just feel so dang good on it. (Shoutout to Gina for the encouragement to jump into Whole30 and then continue to find something that sticks long term.)
SO CHEERS - to the journey, because that's exactly what it is.