2018 Akron Marathon Training!
The 2018 Akron Marathon is officially one week away!
I should start by saying I started 2018 unsure if I would even run a marathon this year. I felt burnt out and frustrated, far too critical, and 0% in love with running - read more about that on my July blog post. By April I was leaning towards possibly signing up for a fall marathon with the intention of taking it slow, minimizing my mileage, and attempting to work real hard on the self talk while logging the miles. Then, mid-April I was lucky enough to travel to Boston and witness the Boston Marathon in some of the worst conditions they had ever had - downpour rain, head winds, and cold temperatures. Witnessing so many, including my dad, push through conditions like that and make it to the finish line, somehow sparked a deep desire in me to run a fall marathon. I had promised myself while crossing the finish line of the 2017 Chicago Marathon that I would spectate Chicago next year, so Chicago wasn’t an option. Going with the theme of going back to the core of why I love running I decided to sign up for my hometowns marathon, the one I grew up watching every year, the one who’s course I’m familiar with, the one that all of the runners from home that inspire me throughout the year are in someway involved in.
My two promises when I entered into training were, one, that I wouldn’t get obsessive about pace and as I logged the miles I would talk to myself as if I was talking to a friend who was training, and two, I would prioritize yoga and me-time, not pushing either aside to get more miles in. The way I decided this would all work best was keeping my typical long run mileage schedule, cutting back on my running days, doing yoga once a week, and doing a strength class once a week. But honestly the biggest game changer was adjusting my long run day from Sunday to Friday. I realized what would burn me out the most throughout training was how rushed my Sunday mornings were, how tired I was by the time I arrived at church, how my Sunday afternoon was taken over by a nap, and how Saturday nights - my only shared weekend night with most friends, was taken over by thoughts of my long run the next morning and a very early bedtime. This year I dedicated Thursday nights to be me-nights, with a very early bedtime. And Friday mornings to be long run mornings, with a very early wakeup to beat the sun and heat. Adding in even more flexibility, I let myself change my long run day to a Wednesday if Friday looked like it would cause more stress than it would joy. Basically my entire training was based around listening to my mind and body.
UM guys, game changer. I enjoyed almost every single run this year of training. More than that, I enjoyed every week within this training season. I never once felt like running was taking over my life, and I never once felt like I should just quit training. That’s not to say I didn’t struggle with the miles sometimes, or that I never felt exhausted amidst all of the miles - I certainly felt both of those things, just in a much healthier way. The biggest change was my mindset, I never finished a run feeling like I failed, I always felt accomplished. I cheered myself on from the start to the finish, and when negative thoughts started invading my brain I prayed through them. (besides a couple of weeks ago when I let the thoughts take over & ended the run in tears in the kitchen when my roommate Kamila asked if I was okay. HA- real life.) Once the long run miles started getting longer and longer, I started “dedicating” miles to prayer when I felt intimidated by the mileage, specifically praying over people in my life - getting myself out of my own head and into someone else life. It was a beautiful picture of God literally taking control and invading the miles, washing peace and grace and words over me.
On another note, the moment I signed up for this marathon my dad excitedly committed to running by my side again - without me even asking him to! The idea of us running in our hometown marathon, the very course I ran my first half on by his side, was beyond exciting for both of us. We’ve spent the last four months chatting about training and looking forward to September 29th. Let’s start by saying, my dad has NEVER had to drop out of a marathon due to injury… and last weekend he woke up in the middle of the night with intense knee pain, which escalated into being unable to walk properly on it and major inflammation. He’s been icing, resting, and following doctors orders closer than I think he ever has. But, with this injury happening two weeks before the marathon, the outcome for the day of is a bit up in the air. We should know within the next couple of days if he will be at the start line, but I told him that I am confident no matter if he’s by my side running or on the sidelines spectating, he will be my biggest cheerleader and best encourager.
All of that being said, I’ve logged the miles, and I’m ready for the start line of the Akron Marathon. With, or without, my dad by my side. 26.2 number 6 here I come!