Friday, January 20, 2012

Training Continues and I'm Loving It!

So my 3rd week of marathon training is coming to a close soon. It's been a really good ride so far, like I've mentioned before. Of course, I've not yet encountered the really long runs, but every week, I feel confident that it'll be fine when I get there. I've upped my weekly mileage considerably, workout 6 times a week, and it's been amazing. Weight is starting to melt off again (not that I think need to lose any more weight, but a few pounds more wouldn't hurt and would only make me faster). And the weight loss part is funny considering how my voracious appetite has returned. But I have also learned to trust my instincts on self-regulating my weight - be conscious of input and output, eat healthy choices, eat when I'm hungry, don't feel guilt for snacking because of a realistic understanding of how many calories I burn weekly, etc. I've already lost another 3 lbs since the start of my training and never feel short on energy, so something's working. 

People have asked me how I stay motivated to train when the weather isn't ideal. I have heard that with the weather we've had here in Vancouver since January 1st, many people with New Year's Resolutions to get fit have fallen off the wagon. What works for me is remembering the WHY behind my actions. I don't make goals or resolutions that are flimsy or easily get forgotten when conditions aren't ideal. I make deeply-rooted commitments to myself, tell people about them, blog about them, think about them daily... and my goals along the way are stepping stones that support the commitments. Everything I do has to be in line with these commitments.  

My commitment to myself is to be the healthiest version of me that I can, and to live a life I enjoy and thrive in. 

Training for a marathon is a big goal, but a small piece of a larger commitment. Training will only serve to strengthen my body, my character, and my will. And I love running and want to prove to myself that I too can run this distance.

So yes, we've had our share of rain this month and there's more on the way for the next week or so. I don't mind rain terribly. It does make it tough to get out the door, knowing you're going to get soaking wet. But I just remind myself of 3 things:
  • Yes, it sucks to run in the rain, BUT, it only sucks for those first few blocks where you start to get wet. Then you kind of forget and get lost in the joy of running and don't really notice the rain anymore (except if you encounter a giant puddle and can't get around it).
  • I've never regretted going for a run; I always feel better after I've gone for my run. Sticking to the plan to go running will only improve my day. The only running-related regrets I ever have had is regretting NOT going running.
  • The next time it's sunny when I run, it will feel that much better, having this rainy run to compare it to.
This past week though, we swapped the rain for frigid temperatures and light snow. I'd run in cold temperatures before, but nothing like this. I recall last winter when the really low temperatures hit, I was just getting back into running after my leg surgery, so my mileage was low enough so a simple 30 min on a treadmill at the rec centre across the way was more than enough to get a workout in (and not make my bandages too disgusting). 

But now, with a marathon at stake, there's no way a 30 min treadmill workout will do the trick. Waiting until we have warmer temperatures isn't going to do it either. Having my eyes on the prize means I get out the door no matter what. If I miss these workouts, it will set my training back. I can't let this happen over something silly like weather. Of course, winter running comes with it's precautions so I just keep in mind my own winter running tips and adjust my clothing and workouts accordingly:
  • Extra layers of clothing
  • More attention to hydration
  • Change into warm, dry clothes without delay after the run
  • Adjust the intensity of the workouts 
 The last bullet point has been really important this week since we've dipped below zero considerably. And in fact, this has really added something to my workout routine this week. Knowing that it takes a lot more work to run when its this cold, I decide that I don't need to do any high intensity tempo workouts or hilly routes. Simply getting the mileage in is the most important part. So as a result of this decision, I'm forced to choose easier routes. This adds some interest and variety to the normal routine. I'm used to very hilly routes, living in North Vancouver. This week I've swapped some of my routes for flatter, seaside routes, so running at a decent pace is much much easier in the cold. It's been a thrill to to run in places I don't often run. I'm still getting my workout, even though it's easier than usual (and feels like cheating) and I get to enjoy beautiful seaside scenery and a crisp winter air along the way. Not a bad deal.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE running in the rain! Snow, on the other hand... well, that's a completely different story :P