Every race I have trained for has taught me something new about myself. How I approach training, how I think about the race, how I react after – there’s a lot of self-knowledge to be gained in running long distances. Some of it’s profound, some of it’s not at all. The most important thing I learned when training for my first half was that distance running is as much mental as physical – your attitude and mindset have a huge impact on your runs. It was an amazing thing to learn.
The next two races taught me that running isn’t enough – I needed to strengthen my body as well.
I completed 17 miles this weekend and will hit 20 miles by the end of the month, so it’s a good time to reflect on what I’m learning this training cycle.
- Capris are the best pants to wear for sure. No thigh chafing!
- However, in this heat, the tightness of the compression capris I wear are causing chafing in other, more embarrassing places. So I have a special tube of BodyGlide just for that part.
- Back closing bras are just not good for a run longer than a half-marathon. More chafing. So I picked up the Brooks Infiniti Bra for C/D cups and am just loving it. No chafing, even though I was soaked by the time I finished Sunday’s run.
- Even though I find it in credibly frustrating to run in this heat, I’m getting better at it. I’m starting to find the Zen in SFTD – slowing the fuck down. Walking isn’t a sign of defeat; it’s just how I am making sure I get the miles in until the weather cools off a bit.
- I used to think that having a mantra was kind of silly, but I’m finding it really helpful during this training cycle. The mantra that works? “Just put in the work.” During my first half-marathon training cycle, whenever I got nervous about the race, I would just remind myself that I had put in the work and would succeed because of that. It definitely got me through those nervous nights!
- Changing things up definitely makes life harder. I’ve been training consistently with a handheld water bottle or a Nathan hydration pack. Going out without water is a recipe for trouble, mostly because I have become accustomed to having it at the ready.
- Drinking more than one beer or glass of wine before a run, even a 4-miler, is becoming a problem. I’m considering cutting out alcohol entirely for…a while. Maybe until the race. I’m still pondering that.
- I overthink things sometimes (this is not new). I just need to get my ass up and going and think later.
- I still hate mornings and probably always will. But if I go to bed early enough, it’s not really so terrible.
- I can do this. I’m learning that every week. Even when I think I can’t, even when I don’t really want to, I’m learning that I can do whatever I set my mind to it.
Bonus thing: salt is your friend, especially when it’s hot. If I don’t take enough salt in through Nuun tabs, Gatorade, and Gu, I end up mainlining potato chips and fries. So, more salt.