The marathon training mindset

Last night I had 6 miles on my schedule. I had planned to come home, fix dinner, eat dinner with Barry, and then run sometime before sunset. But shortly after I got dinner in the oven Barry texted me that he would be late. Forty minutes later dinner was out of the oven and he still wasn’t home. I debated on what to do about my run and finally settled on running with Sven (the treadmill) so that I would be home when he got home. I figured if Barry got home before I was done and was ready to eat, I could just hop off of the treadmill and finish my run after dinner.

Sure enough, he got home just before I hit 2 miles. He said to go ahead and finish my run, so that’s what I did. I watched the movie ‘Friday Night Lights’ while running. During the football game scenes, I had to focus on not trying to juke and jive. I kept trying to “help” the guy with the ball dodge defenders while I was running, which nearly made me fall off of the treadmill.

My legs were pretty sore from Sunday’s race, so I took it nice and easy and did lots of stretching afterwards. As I was stretching I got to thinking about this new mindset I have. It’s something I talked to Kim about as we ran together on Saturday morning.

Being in marathon training has completely changed my mindset about mileage and what I expect of myself. Never would I have looked at a schedule that told me to run 5 miles on Friday, 5 miles on Saturday, 14 miles on Sunday, and 6 miles on Monday and thought it possible for me. But that’s what my schedule was for the past 4 days and it’s exactly what I did. And I never questioned it.

Never would I have run 5 miles on each of the two days leading up to a half marathon, nor would I tack an extra mile on after the race. And I definitely would not have set out for a 6 mile run the day after a half marathon. All of a sudden I find myself pushing further than I ever have before and I’m enjoying it.

Barring injury, illness, or complete exhaustion, I intend to run my miles as planned. My peak week is 44 miles, which includes a 20 mile long run. As daunting as that is, I have no doubt in my mind I will set out to tackle those miles.

A year ago I was satisfied with the half marathon distance and a maximum weekly mileage of 25-29 miles, with a maximum long run of 13 miles. Now I am training for a 26.2 mile race and my old way of thinking has gone out the window. I am embracing the new expectations I have for myself. The decision has been made, the mindset is there, now it’s time to put in the work. 

Have you ever seen ‘Friday Night Lights’?

Are you training for anything right now?

8 Comments

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  1. I love the poster “It Never Gets Easier. You Just Get Tougher.” That’s perfect for you as you tackle your marathon training schedule!

    Our annual neighborhood turkey trot is the only other race on our calendar for this year (unless something cool pops up).

    1. I thought that poster was very fitting 🙂 A good mantra as well.

      Turkey Trots are so much fun! I’ve done the one in Roanoke for the past two years and plan to do it this year as well.

  2. Isn’t it crazy how your whole perspective on running changes. What you thought was a long run before is now just a jog in the park! It’s even harder to readjust after the race. You really should give your body ample time to recover, but in your mind, you’ll think you’re doing too little.

    1. Yes, it is! I am looking forward to 6, 7, 8 miles on a week day being a normal routine for me in the future 🙂

  3. Your training schedule has you running a lot on consecutive days! I almost always take a complete rest day the day before a long run.
    I meant to tell you that I was impressed that you ran the Hokie Half and then kept going to get your scheduled mileage!
    You are rocking your marathon training 🙂

    1. Yes, for the past 5 or 6 weeks I have been running 5 days per week, with 4 days in a row Friday-Monday. It hasn’t been a walk in the park, but I think it definitely made me stronger. And it made me appreciate my Tuesday rest day 🙂

      I actually drop to 4 days of running per week this week, and will stay at 4 days per week through race day (November 16). Now I run M, W, F, Sat. So I won’t be resting the day before a long run, but I’ll be resting or XT the day after. In the past, when I trained for half marathons, I always took a rest day on either side of my long run day. I’m liking the change, though.

  4. It’s so true how much you can amaze yourself when you start to push your limits. It makes me really excited to think about what is in store for you!

    1. It’s crazy how the limits I thought I had have changed.

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