Friday, October 13, 2017

Thoughts of a Marathon Relayer

When I was training for my first marathon, I did a post called Random Thoughts from a marathoner in training.  Some people commented that they liked posts like that, so I decided to do a part 2 (although now I’m only doing a marathon relay). My thoughts aren’t as random this time. They are all related to running!

One day last week I took my run to the rail trail. This is where I go when I want to do a longer run without interruptions since I don’t have to worry about traffic, red lights, broken sidewalks, or tripping over roots. My plan was to do 5 miles and if I could stick to the plan and do that, I would allow myself to make a pit stop at the Starbucks located along the trail before returning to my car.  Here are my 5 thoughts during this run.

It was still afternoon when I started and the sun was up in all its glory so it was still hot out! As I ran the first mile I could feel the tightness in my legs, my calves, and my ankles. It was a BIG reminder that I needed to get myself back to the gym.  I was definitely feeling the results of not stretching or strength training over the summer.  I finished the first mile at my target pace.

As I started the second mile I thought to myself “What am I doing”?  I don’t need to be pushing so hard on a training run.  I know I always say I don’t care about pace, but when I am running by myself, I seem to always want to push and see what I can do. That’s why I will never run without my Garmin.  Turns out I really did listen to myself and said “pace doesn’t matter, it’s all about getting the miles in”, but as my mind was processing it, I thought well if pace doesn’t matter than why don’t I just start walking?”  I was really struggling with my own thoughts here!  Of course pace does matter but not to the point where I need to push myself like on race day.

 I bargained with myself and decided I would run to the next half mile marker and then I would let myself walk for a few minutes.   I got to the end of the second mile and of course was disappointed in myself. I felt like cutting my run short (to only 4 miles) and just going back to my car. At this point I didn’t care about treating myself to a frappe from Starbucks nor did I feel like I even deserved it.

This didn’t bother me on my run, nor is it a reason I was struggling, but I could feel a slight niggle under my right knee cap. I felt it was at least worth mentioning (or remembering) in case it turned into something later.


I continued to run and when I got to the turn around point things actually started to get a little easier.  I don’t know if it was because the slight headwind that was blowing warm air on me had subsided or if it was a mental thing because I knew I was on my way back. I decided to just run at a steady pace that felt comfortable. I made it to mile 5 and decided that indeed deserved the frappe!  Afterwards I walked one extra mile just for good measure!    -M 



35 comments:

  1. Some runs can be such a mental struggle! The first mile or two are always the hardest for me. I try not to worry about my pace during those miles because I usually need some time to warm up.

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    1. That is true although I think my first mile is usually my fastest. I guess I'm eager to get running!

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  2. I've done "random thoughts" posts too--but lately my thoughts haven't been so random because I've been so focused on WTH is wrong with my running!

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    1. I find that I actually run best when I'm not thinking about running at all!

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  3. I am much the same. I seem to check in with all the body parts when I run. Glad you earned the frappe!

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    1. I'm still not sure it was well deserved but it was refreshing and you need to hydrate, right?

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  4. I've made all kinds of bargains with myself on runs!

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  5. I totally bargain my way through some runs. I did a whole 10 mile run that way recently.

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  6. I'm all about the self bargains! I like to listen to podcasts so I don't "hear" my inner monologue! Have a great weekend!

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    1. Ya know I know I was listening to my ipod and I Still had all these thoughts.

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  7. Some days I push myself on an easy run (but definitely not at race pace) and other days I'm content to be super slow.

    I think most people are the opposite of you -- push themselves when running with others, take it easy when running by themselves. But not everyone! I like having a coach and just following her guidelines. :)

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    1. I feel like I am always pushing to see what I can do cuz if I don't, was the run worth it? I know that's not the right attitude to have though because I am enjoying the runs where I don't push.

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  8. I'm glad you made it the 5 miles and were able to enjoy the frappe! A cool down walk with a cold drink sounds perfect for that hot day.

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    1. Yes, it was pretty perfect! I'm glad it was a hot day!

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  9. It's amazing how much our thoughts impact our running! Often when I think I'm struggly and going slow, I'm actually going to fast.

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    1. I've noticed that too. I think I am going slow the first mile and then when I look down at my watch I'm pleased with my pace. I like when that actually happens!

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  10. Gosh, I'd need to be recording all my random thoughts somehow (dictation? notes?) because my thoughts are SO all over the place when I'm running. Somehow, one thought leads to another, etc., but nothing is related.

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  11. It always amazes me how many thoughts go through my head while out on a run, especially the long runs. I'm convinced that I do some of my best thinking while out running.

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    1. Yes, some good ideas have definitely come to me on long uns!

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  12. Some runs are so hard mentally while others feel so much easier. So many thoughts and great ideas are lost on my runs. I can never remember them after. Have a great weekend

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    1. I'm thankful that I'm usually pretty good at remembering mine !

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  13. I try not to look at my pace either, but there are some runs I want to push. It's easier to push when I'm doing 2 miles compared to 5 or 6 miles.

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  14. A nice walk feels so good after a run like that :) Starbucks too!

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  15. I've definitely had runs where I am bargaining with myself ... I think you deserved the Starbucks :-)

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  16. I'll admit that a Starbucks treat has definitely been just the motivation needed to finish a run. :)

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  17. Seriously, I have had so many runs like this. It's super annoying. Sometimes I just can those runs because I can't get out of my own head!

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  18. I have done the run to the next (fill in the blank) so many times! You totally earned that Starbucks ;)

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  19. Some runs are just like that! and they definitely deserve a frapp at the end!!

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  20. I usually push further and harder than I want to or mean to on training runs. However, I think your thoughts sound normal. We all have the thoughts that we want to cut runs short sometimes, especially when it is really hot outside!

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.