I've had like 100 ideas for blog posts floating around my head recently and realized a common theme among a lot of it has to do with motivation... So I'm just going to start typing and will see what comes out. :)
I find myself highly motivated to run right now. Like, even more than last month when I wrote about how motivated I was to run. :) I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that I'm seeing more and more glimpses of progress. Of course not every run is awesome, but every time I run I have this strong gut feeling that I am chip chip chipping away... And then I'll have a little breakthrough type of run and think WOW maybe I actually am not doomed to just be a shitty runner my whole life?!
So of course I'm paying close attention to it all and how Marilyn is structuring it for me and it's been interesting. One thing I can say is that she is working on making sure I have more than just one speed. Every week I hit all paces from sub 7 to 10+ for differing amounts of time... I'm running frequently vs long. I'm not paying attention at all to weekly mileage (seriously have not added it up in my head or looked at totals in Training Peaks) but frequency of runs is 5-8x/week and that's been good. I run short hills, long hills, uphill reps, downhill reps, treadmill reps, easy jogs, tempo effort, threshold effort... I'm even doing drills a few times/week which I think have been hugely helpful.
What I find interesting though really is how much I am just shutting my brain off and trusting the process right now. Like not micro-managing my weekly mileage... That is new for me! I've NEVER not added up those numbers... Also, my HR monitor is separate from my Garmin at the moment... mostly b/c my Garmin HR monitor crapped out on me (again) and I have not been motivated to buy yet another one... but then my neighbor had this super basic Timex one that literally does nothing but show you current HR and she gave that to me... So I'm loving that b/c on my easy days I can just go out and run by HR and time and not have any idea about pace (so therefore I cannot judge myself about that) but rather instead I'm just putting in the time at the right effort level... Then on my more specific/hard days I can use my garmin and watch pace and try to hit whatever I'm supposed to hit and not let HR numbers screw with my head. This has been a real game changer for me- to separate HR from pace yet still use them both as tools when appropriate.
Back to motivation! So I think that for me (and I'm guessing I am not alone here!), when I sense that I am doing it... that my goals are within reach... motivation sky rockets. It's a very positive spiral because I start doing all the little things that also help along that path.
Related: I have been carrying an extra 8-10lbs all year. I willfully gained that weight last December after my disappointing race in Cozumel by spending the month not training and indulging in all things sugar and chocolate. I ASSumed (no worries!!) that it would all drop right off when I started training again in January but shocker- it did not!?! Apparently now that I am 40 I do not have the metabolism I once did and weight does not just fall off without a seriously conscious effort. Interestingly though I have tried all sorts of things this year trying to get that weight off but it never happened.
Now I should note: I know I am not 'overweight' in the sense of being healthy, but as far as achieving my best running? I have not been at a weight that is conducive to that. There is a difference and I am well aware of it... So my efforts at the moment to drop these pounds is not about being healthy as much as it is about running faster... and having written and re-read that, it sounds like I'm starving myself and on my way to an eating disorder (never gonna happen I love food!) so don't take it like that! But hopefully you get my point. I believe I can drop a few more pounds and still be considered 'healthy' (and also not look like a stick figure).
But if I 'tried' for 8 months to lose weight but never did it, why/how is it happening now? Have I cut out half the food groups? Or stopped eating food altogether in favor of juicing all the time? Ha! No. I'll tell you what I have done. I got on the scale (brave!). Then I ate less that day. Then I got on the scale again the next day. I stopped mindless snacking when I wasn't hungry and I didn't go back for seconds after dinner. And I kept doing that... every day. So for me, it's not about eliminating sugar or bread or meat or dairy. It's about being moderate. It's also about paying attention... What gets measured, gets managed. So I break that dumb rule about not weighing yourself more than once a week or whatever... I weigh myself often and find it interesting to see how my weight fluctuates through the day based on hydration levels. I don't judge myself based on whether that glass of water I drank caused the number on the scale to go up 1/2lb (duh of course it did!). Anyway, back to motivation...
So as I see the number on the scale go down, I feel my running getting better! I feel less like an elephant and more like a gal who can run. That is motivating! So when my husband brings home a bar of dark chocolate (true story I am not kidding it just happened as I was typing this) I was able to take a small bite of it, savor it, and then give the rest of it back. I am more motivated to feel good while running than I am to get the temporary satisfaction of eating more of that chocolate. So that's it... I am motivated to continue what I'm doing because I feel it working. It's not an overnight process and I don't know how long it will take to reach my goals... shoot, I don't even know exactly what my goals are?? Interesting, no? What's my goal for the marathon? I don't know. I guess it would be to run it and to feel stronger than I usually do... and maybe not want to flick Nalani off if she's trying to take a picture of me while I'm out there... Funny though I have not put a number on what the clock should say at the finish... same way I have not put a number on what the scale needs to say before I'll feel like I've reached my 'goal'. I feel like I'll just know when I get there. And right now I just feel like I'm on the right road and have an awesome map! It's motivating! :)
Anyway, I had (have) a ton more things (some related and some not) that I could write about, but I am going to go spend some time rolling this old body out so I can run again tomorrow and not have super stiff tissues that are all pissed and rebelling...