On breaking the mold…and making it your own

The one thing that marathon training has taught me — make it your own.

Or — as the Dove chocolate wrapper I opened the other night said, break the mold.’ 
…I don’t know why but I totally dig that phrase.

To me it signifies so much more than just where my head is at marathon training-wise…but I’ll get to that in a second.

First – my thoughts on marathon training and why making it my own has become incredibly important, particularly these past few weeks.  I truly believe it’s why this process has been a totally joyful experience for me. And quite possibly why I apparently make training look ‘easy’ to some of you. 😉

It’s truly because I’ve made it MINE.

I created my training plan from scratch. 
…based on what I know will work for me.
…what my body will respond best to (hi, no injuries here please!)
…and based on what will give me good balance between my ‘working out life’ and the rest of my life (because there’s a LOT going on there right now too…)

I don’t use anything tech-y to get me through my training runs. 
…no garmin to obsess over my pace (afterall, I just want to run 26.2 proud, no real time goal in mind…)
…no ‘rules’ as it relates to when to fuel/hydrate or what to fuel/hydrate with. (when my body says ‘I’m tired’ it’s time for fuel, when my body says ‘man my throat is dry’, drink please!)
…and no incessant daily mile updates to publicly track how many miles I ran week-by-week. (to me, that’s sort of personal and not something I feel the whole world needs to hear about from me.)

I *try* not to compare myself to other runners, particularly those training for a race like me. 
…I don’t need to start putting doubts in my mind about how effective my training plan is compared to theirs.
…or wonder if I’m working hard enough as they are.
…and most importantly, I don’t ever want to steal the joy out of this process for myself by letting comparison games rule my mind.

I feel the need to preface ALL of these thoughts by saying that this is simply what works for me, what I believe in for my own training goals, my own approach to running and fitness — my own.

Because honestly, no matter what you’re training for, no matter what your fitness goals may be, no matter how structured or unstructured your weekly workouts are — you should always, always, always make it your own. It’s so easy to get lost in the cluster of how everyone else ‘does it’ and by default, either confusing the heck out of yourself, or losing a little piece of you in the process.

So my message to all of you today is simple — Break that mold, lose all sense of preconceived boundaries, remove the limits from your days, and make it your own. 

This week, more than ever, I am truly living that ‘no limits’ mantra I set for myself at the beginning of 2012. And I believe it’s in large part to my continued focuse and commitment to breaking the mold, questioning boundaries and just going for it.

…life is simply too short for anything less. 

(take a deep breath, step off that ledge, have some faith and just go for it. Note to self.)

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36 thoughts on “On breaking the mold…and making it your own

    • You know what? This totally doesn’t just apply to marathon training — it truly does apply to ANY form of training…and like I said, to life as well. Break the mold, make it your own in ALL that you do!!

  1. Good for you for having the strength and wisdom to go about this your own way. You know your limitations and goals better than anyone else. There’s only one thing I would be cautious about and that’s waiting until your body says it’s tired to refuel. That’s usually too late… 🙂

    • Thank you! And yes…you’re right, it usually *is* too late to wait until I’m feeling tired to fuel. I should’ve been more clear — eat when your body is ready for it, not just because your rule of thumb is every 30 mins of activity or whatever means fuel time. Know what I mean? Look for cues that it’s time for fuel. 🙂

  2. Love love LOVE this sis. It absolutely is true – make it your own, what works for you, not what works for anyone else. This has been your magic bullet, I am pretty sure, and ours, too, as we continue on our healthy, happy, fit lifestyle 🙂 XO

    • I’m glad you liked it sis! I thought that you might. 🙂 It’s absolutely been my own magic bullet during training — avoiding comparisons, avoiding training by someone else’s rules and just going for it how I think I should go for it. I may be no expert but this approach is working so I’m sure as hell NOT fussing with it. 😉

  3. That is exactly how I think about my running! I don’t want the rules or the competition. My runs are mine…no milage or time to compare! I’m proud of each run and workout not matter what. Sure they all are perfect or fantastic, but their my workouts and they are specific to me and what my both needs! I absolutely love how you think of running!

    • Exacttttttly. Rules, competition, comparison — it steals the JOY, the HIGH that running provides. I cannot stand that! Why ruin something so pure and beautiful?? I’m SO SO SO glad you are running the way YOU want to be running, you are doing SO awesome!!

  4. you know what is best for you, why NOT make your own organic plan? I love the no tech and no comparison – all you need is your plan and a bunch of sherpas! 😀

  5. So true. I love this post! Listening to your body is the most important thing, and it sounds like you have it sorted. I wish I were as ‘easy’ about it, but I’m getting there! Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  6. Love this! What you wrote reaches so far beyond marathon training and into how we live our lives in general. I think that’s what I love about marathon training, you learn so much about yourself and who you are and it can really change your life. It’s truly more than just 26.2 miles and I think you are totally getting that!

    • It TOTALLY applies to far, far more than marathon training. That’s what I’m absolutely LOVING the most about training…just how much I’m learning about myself, my path, my approach to LIVING. It’s incredible. How come nobody told me sooner how much I’d learn on this journey?? haha

  7. Could not agree more! The cookie cutter programs just don’t work for everyone. I think they are a great place to start for a first timer, but there should always be room for some tweaking. After that–customize!

    • Exactly. I mean, sure — I looked at training programs online and things, but when it came down to it, I knew I needed to create my own plan. Not just for running but how to balance that with other areas of my life – taking barre classes, TEACHING barre classes and um, living life to the fullest in between all of that 🙂

  8. love this! if I ever run a full marathon (or another half), I fully intend to follow your lead and train for me – knowing my body better than anyone else ever could. I’m so inspired by what you are learning through training for your 1st marathon! I remember when you first decided you were going to sign up! 🙂

    • I still think it’s crazy that we’re even DOING this thing…because like you, I remember back when we first decided we were going to train for Chicago and then the day that we registered and I wanted to THROW up haha. And now here we are just weeks away from the big day and I can’t even believe how far we’ve come. It’s amazing, and I’ve LOVED sharing this with you ladies, you’ve been so incredibly supportive, I LOVE it.

  9. So true to yourself, you’re doing what works for you and your body and it seems like it really is the best plan for you. So glad the training is going great for you and 2012 really seems to be your year 🙂

    • I sure did! It was totally worth the investment too — because I’m enjoying the process so much more since its on MY terms, you know?? Breaking the mold is the way to go 😉

  10. I so agree with you!! I’m all about doing this, not following the crowd…making things work for you. I’m getting better at this as I get older, but it’s definitely something I still have to focus on!

    • Totally, I don’t need to follow the crowd anymore…I used to be that way big time, but now? Notsomuch, hehe. Definitely a maturity move for sure, I’m with you on that one!

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