This half marathon training cycle continues to feel very different to me. I’ve been thinking long and hard about why that is and I think it comes down to this — I’m a more seasoned runner this time around vs. previous half marathon training cycles.
A seasoned runner.
Yet, why do I have such a hard time wrapping my head around that concept?
It struck me this weekend that my brain hasn’t quite caught up with my body. And not just running-wise. But let’s tackle the running piece first, shall we?
This training cycle has been much shorter than previous half marathon training cycles. Previously, I would choose a half marathon in the late-summer/early-fall to train for and basically spend all summer loosely “training” for it. So I had loads of time to get my head in the game on those longer and longer runs, so by the time race day rolled around, it would feel like “just” another long training run for me, mentally. And that worked really well for me, overall.
This time around? I have just 8 weeks to condition the body to run longer and longer distances. Which, quite honestly, hasn’t been all that taxing (‘cept for that snotty run on Friday, but I blame the cold on the ‘taxing’ part) – or at least far less taxing than I remember it being in the past. Which leads me to the whole ‘seasoned runner’ thing. I am proud of the fact that I was able to keep my base at around 7ish miles throughout the winter. Something I’ve never been very good at before…my base mileage in the winter would *really* dwindle and I’d find myself basically starting over in the spring, slowly building back up my run-durance.
So you’re probably wondering what exactly the problem is here then, huh? It’s simple, really. My brain is telling me “you’re not ready” to run 13.1.” Because well, my brain “knows” I’ve only just now hit the double-digits this past weekend. Which means I’m just three long runs away from the race. And my brain is telling me that that is just simply not enough.
But really? My brain is wrong in this case. My body is strong and conditioned and can handle the miles. My brain hasn’t quite caught up to that fact.
…which leads me to the whole “tweaks” piece I mentioned in the title of this post.
To get my brain to catch up a little bit, my next two long runs will be 12.5 miles (basically combining two of our favorite running routes into one long running route). Call me crazy, but I think this might do the trick. (I know, it’s a big jump in miles from my last long run). Instead of 11 miles this week, 12.5 miles next week and then dropping down to 10 miles as my last long run, I’ll do 12.5 this week and again next week and then close out with a 10-miler before a “mini-taper” to race day.
I think this little tweak to the schedule is what my brain needs to catch up to what my body is capable of. This goes back to the whole mind/body connection thing I’ve been all about this past year. Barre n9ne is all about the mind/body connection. My food log-filled journey this past (almost) year on my quest towards intuitive eating is all about the mind/body connection too. So it only makes sense that I continue to make those connections through running. Connecting my mind, to what my body is capable of doing, and trusting it to do just that.
(much more on the whole mind/body thing in a future post or two, especially as my sis and I inch closer and closer to our one year barre-versary, the date when our lives changed forever, thanks to the 60-day challenge and all that has fallen out of that, from re-learning how to eat mindfully, to working our butts off to re-shape our bodies, to paying all of that learning forward by teaching at the studio. Clearly, based on this little preamble alone, I have a LOT to say on the topic. So stay tuned, please. 😉 )