I recently had a nice little chat with Joan and Jen, both with the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon (and who are totally awesome, by the way), and I was asked how I stay motivated to run and train with being so busy. The answer is simple. Running is something I love and one of the only things that I do purely for myself; I make it one of my priorities. While I may joke about racing people on the treadmill, the one I am competing against is myself. That is what drives me to train hard. I want to do well to prove to myself that I am better than I previously thought.
Seeing myself improve so much over this past summer and fall has provided me with extra motivation, as did being chosen again as an official blogger for the marathon. While the improvements added much-needed fire, the blogging provided accountability. Those two items, in my opinion, are a recipe for success.
So, how do I train for a marathon? It starts with the mindset of no excuses. There are days when I am tired and don’t feel like running, but with a packed schedule, I need to get my runs in at a certain time, no matter how I feel. “Suck it up, buttercup!” is a good mentality to have, and I suggest you adopt it. Getting the runs in, even when I don’t want to, will help make me mentally and physically tough, which is good preparation for the punishment running 26.2 miles puts on your mind and body. To help me, I make a calendar about 4-5 months out from my marathon and plot my runs for that training period. Seeing it in writing helps hold me to it. I also am realistic in terms of training. Would I love to be able to get more miles in each week or add an extra day of running? Sure, who wouldn’t want to do that to feel better trained, but I don’t have that luxury with working full-time and being a mom to four. My typical training week consists of 2-3 short runs (3-5 miles) through the week with long runs reserved for the weekend. I prefer to get my long run in on Saturday, so I can enjoy the rest of the weekend and recover for the start of the next training week. I have used this training schedule for past half and full marathons and have found it to be successful for me.
I would be foolish to think I could train for a marathon on my own without a little help. It would be impossible for me without the help of my family and friends who
are coerced into volunteer to watch the kids while I sneak in a long run. I also rely on the daycare at my gym. The kids are able to stay there for up to two hours, which is enough time for me to finish a half on the treadmill. The thing I love about this is I can watch them while I run, and I love the waves, kisses, and heart signs they give me when I am pounding out the miles. Their cuteness gives me a boost.
Lastly, I set a goal. Being a very driven and dedicated person, I absolutely hate to fail. I will work as hard as I possibly can to accomplish what I set out to do. My goal for Cleveland – a new marathon PR. I am not comfortable giving a time at this point; it’s still to early in training for that. However, I know I am completely crushing my old one, and the celebration at the end will be so very sweet.
And I will leave you with this thought…