I am getting excited to kick of 2016 with my first race. April 9th will mark my first Half Marathon of this year as well as my 7th Half Marathon! 7 has always been my favorite number so I am going on a vibe that this will be a great one. Last year I did this race for the first time and used it as a training run for the VCM that I do a 2-person relay with my dad. In all honesty that was the original plan for this year as well. This past winter I had decided that I would take a step back, work on strength training and take my focus off of running. I just was not able to completely stick to this one, I needed to run.
Last year in Vermont it was a pretty rough winter. We had a ridiculous amount of very cold days along with enough snow to keep Olaf alive for centuries. We were clearly living in the set of Frozen making it not always enjoyable, or even safe, to get out there and get miles in. This winter has been awesome. We have gotten little snow and the temperatures have been like a dream. Yes, clearly I live in the wrong state. I hate the snow and cold! Despite that, I always pound pavement year round. It has been amazing to be able to get out there more this winter. Even though I was suppose to put running on a vacation, I couldn't stop myself from getting in some miles!
Running has become the best habit I ever picked up. As much as I had planned to change my focus it was not possible. Running means more to me than just staying fit. It means more than the muscles in my legs and the bones that carry me for miles. It means happiness, peace, acceptance and growth. In ways I did take my focus off the miles. I put that focus back into myself. Therefore getting out there and running was simply integral for me.
Once February hit I decided that I was going to start training for Half Marathon #7. I wanted to feel and be ready for this race. Using it as a training run got swiped off the board and added to the things I "must" do. I have managed to run four to five days a week. January's miles exceed last years miles by 40 miles. February's miles were 38 more than 2015! This was just what I needed to set the fire under me for this year. I have new goals I want to accomplish which means I will need to work harder than I previously have. I need to get those extra miles in. I need to be sure I am putting in more time, dedication and effort into my runs this year.
Strength training has been going great. I feel like I have found a good balance with the Sandbag and video workouts I do. Some days I do my own variation of exercises for strength training. I do my best to try to switch it up so there isn't a monotony I am creating. The last thing I want is to get bored and fall off track. I want to be stronger, faster and better with each run. I keep this in mind on the days I want to skip a workout. I truly do love running and working out yet there are days where I it takes more effort than others. I don't skip my workouts though. I am always reminding myself why it is I do this and the end result is such an awesome reward.
I have always logged my runs. Every mile and my time on every single run! This year I started using the Believe Training Journal. I really like the layout. There are prompts to each week to get you to think of a focus. It is also filled with quotes, inspiration and useful running info and tips. Not only am I logging my runs and my workouts each day, I am taking the time to put an intention on it and dig deeper within myself. I also have been logging my routes just in case I want to go back and repeat a certain one. I even try to make a note about how I feel after each run. I definitely recommend this journal to any runner!
Things are right where I need them to be and I am feeling confident in my training. I don't use any specific method, I have taught myself and know what works best for me. Three Half Marathon's are already on the book for 2016 with two others I will add in the fall. I would like to squeeze one more in if I can. Then there is the 30K in September I plan to challenge myself with. Needless to say I am getting excited for spring and all the races I have planned. I am eager to add in the miles and push myself farther than I have.
"Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond
where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made
of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about".
~ PattiSue Plumer
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