This post is totally inspired by a conversation I had on Saturday with these lovely ladies:
My sis, Meaghan and Samantha – at our sushi date at Snappy Sushi on Newbury Street in the city.
This lunch date was a LONG time coming — we talked about getting together way back in January but it was around that time that Jo and I started barre n9ne teacher training and all weekends were spent training away. WELL worth the effort since we’re now both instructors at the studio but it meant waiting uber-patiently for this “date” of ours to finally happen.
We talked about a million things at lunch – spending over three hours at the restaurant well after we’d devoured a gorgeous plate of sushi (that I’m still dreaming about today!).
But one of the topics that made a big appearance during lunch was running, training, listening to our bodies when injured and everything in between. A biggie (at least for me) was around training for the Chicago Marathon and doing right by my body, both in terms of fueling needs but also in terms of the race day itself.
…and training, by feel. Which is how I roll, but very few runners (at least the ones I know) tend not to do.
For me, I know it’s been a good run when I don’t hit the proverbial wall during a longer run, or I hang in there during that last round of speed work on the treadmill, or I have that “I could run for miles” rockstar run like I had on Saturday. I don’t need a series of numbers to tell me how good or “bad’ or challenging a run was.
I train…by feel.
I don’t train with a Garmin. You all know this by now. I don’t avoid the Garmin to be a running rebel or anything, I just know that for me — I’ll get so caught up with the numbers that it’ll steal the joy from a sport I’ve grown to love, and it’ll prevent me from getting my head fully in the game, both during training runs and on race day itself. (As Meaghan said during lunch, “the Garmin can be a total mindf*ck”…right on!!)
And for me – having my head fully in the game is the key to running strong, running happy and running proud. My ongoing running mantra these days.
But interestingly, this “training…by feel” mentality is also serving me well as it relates to that training “fine line” I blogged about just last week. When it comes to barre n9ne classes — I know what my body is capable of and I try, with every single class that I take, to give it my all. To know that I’ve pushed myself to that shake point and beyond and can confidently walk out of that studio knowing that I left nothing on that floor but my best effort. Every single time. And when it comes to balancing taking classes with teaching classes and training for the half marathon in May — the training by feel mentality has helped me to tweak my plan each week. Even just minor tweaks like turning Sunday into my rest day this week, pushing the 6-miler I had planned for the day to Wednesday night after work instead.
Little tweaks. Training smarter, not harder.
So I guess what I’m saying is this. The bottom line (realizing this way of training won’t work for everyone, per se) is that training by feel is what’s working for me. It keeps me balanced. It helps me maintain the mind/body connection I’ve fought so long for. And it’s keeping me strong and energized during a very busy training cycle leading into race day.
The big goal in all of this is to have a great race on May 6th (and *maybe* a shiny new PR…maybe), but also to go into full marathon training with the tools I need to continue to train smart, to train by feel, and to toe that starting line on October 7th ready to run proud, strong, and happy.