If you’ve followed along with my NYCM training this summer, you would probably see success and dedication and pretty solid runs and a solid training cycle that should lead to a great marathon (I say should because the marathon is a beast and you never know what you are going to get on race day).
If I were to be 100% honest with you, what you’ve seen on paper is not what was really going on inside and in my heart. I would actually tell you that I haven’t enjoyed this marathon training cycle. My weeks have been filled with self doubt and living and dying by a stupid number on my garmin and a stupid number that’s in my head that I should (based on other race distance performances) be capable of doing.
Somewhere along the way, I lost myself. I lost what I truly love about this sport, just running.
There was more than one day not so long ago that I would literally stop in the middle of a run and cry in frustration. Why am I getting slower and not faster? Why am I not hitting all of my paces? Why do the runs feel so hard? Why am I in pain? There were days where I would come home mad at myself instead of coming home thankful that my body allowed me to run 16, 18, 20 miles.
I analyzed and analyzed until I couldn’t take it anymore. Is it the heat? Is it what you are eating? Are you overtraining? Are you not resting enough? Are you just not ready to tackle a marathon? Are your goals too big?
Finally, two weeks ago, after one of those teary eyed runs, Rich put me in my place. He asked when it would be fun again. He said this isn’t the Elizabeth that he knew. He asked when would I come home happy that I went on a run because this is what I love. He reminded me that a year and half ago I had surgery. He reminded me how far I’ve come. He reminded me that NYC was going to be amazing, no matter what my garmin says at the end of that day.
I sat on that for a few days and had great conversations with two of my closest running friends and I decided I needed to readjust. I needed to change my attitude and believe in myself again. I got too wrapped up in a number and needed to let go of it.
After a heart to heart with Jess, we made a few changes. Oddly enough, this past week was one of my best weeks in my training cycle. I ran happy. I ran with my heart. I ran excited for NYCM. I won’t lie and say that doubt and fear won’t creep back in. I will say, to combat that, my goal for the next month is to have nothing but positive mantras around my house and in my head. I love running. Marathon training should be work and it should be hard but it ultimately should be fun and exciting, too.
I’m so glad I found my love again.
Have you gone through this in your marathon training cycle? How do you stay positive? What are some of your favorite mantras?