listening and letting go

The training week — a lot less mileage than I “should’ve” run…my body needed it.

Monday: 2.5 mile walk

Tuesday: 3 miles Treadmill – 9:05 pace

Friday: 3 mile run outside w/ hills – 9:41 pace; 1.47 mile walk

Saturday: 14 mile run outside – 10:10 pace; 1.47 mile walk

Sunday: 4 miles Treadmill – 9:31 pace

Partly deliberate and partly due to work schedule, I didn’t run as much as i “should’ve”. I put this in quotations because as many training programs as I have followed in the past, I’ve learned that you REALLY DO have to listen to your body. My legs were feeling pretty beat so I ran lower miles during the week and took 2 days off in a row. I think being a runner for so long now, I have (hopefully) learned a  bit more of when to PUSH and when to REST. By no means, do i have this figured out…but, I am learning. 🙂

I would like to say that the strategy during the week made the long run on Saturday that much better, but it didn’t. And that’s ok. I decided to switch things up and run long on Saturday and “play it by ear” on Sunday. I also wanted to go back into SF and run part of the marathon course. So, I rose early on Saturday and after a quick cup of Peets Coffee, I drove into the city and watched the sunrise as i zoomed down HWY 101 on quiet morning. I parked in Golden Gate Park and off I went. I think i started around the 14 mile mark for the marathon. I didn’t follow the course exactly, but pretty close. As I ran along, I thought perhaps this could help me mentally as I will know and learn this part of the course, the back half of the course, and come race day, perhaps I will be able to push a bit more! That’s the goal. I ran about 4 – 5 miles through the park and then hit the Great Highway stretch. To be honest, around mile 3-4, my thoughts were these:

man, why i am not feeling “fresher?” why are my legs still feeling tired? maybe i should just stop. just stop all together. i mean not run the marathon. just take a break. maybe my body needs it. maybe. maybe just focus on the next mile. 

So, there you have it. Honesty. Before I knew it, I was at mile 10 and thoroughly in a zone and feeling free. These thoughts do creep up for me. And, I think, like anything else, when they happen, I just have to let them be…give them space…and NOTHING ELSE. And because I was able to do that at this particular time, I just kept on and soon forgot about it all. I guess that’s “letting go”. The cool thing is that i didn’t spend a whole lot of mental energy here…i didn’t have to tell myself to “keep pushing” or anything like that….after I said to myself to just focus on the next mile, i think i really just let go…

And, to be honest, i think it DID help to be running a different route. Right when I was kinda going thru this, I had turned onto the Great Highway with the Pacific Ocean right there and the healing, restorative power of the water. I ran along and then up and over to Lake Merced. Ran around the full lake, which will be different on race day. This year, they have us run half the lake and then back the same way. Anyways, pretty soon, I was done. 14 miles strong in the bank. I walked about 1.5 miles back to my car and immediately drove back to the beach. I went in, waist deep, and had my own personal “ice bath”. IT. WAS. AWESOME. Of course, there were a few moments of shock from the cold, but then, it felt great. I just stood there basically for 10 minutes and watched the waves come and go…gently crashing into me and my quads. As opposed to last weekend, the sun was out a bit and temps were again pleasant and no wind. Awesome.

Sunday: I wasn’t sure what the running plan for sunday would be. I woke up and was sore. Had a nice morning and just sort of went about my day. Around 2pm, I decided I would go for about 4 miles at the gym. So, I did. Felt much better than i anticipated and I 100% credit the “ice bath”. Dear Pacific, you will see me again, soon! 🙂

Dear reader friends: remember to be gentle with yourselves. Listen. Let go.

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One Response to “listening and letting go”

  1. Just got caught up on the last couple weeks. Good running! I’m sure you’ll do great in October. And I agree – listening to your body is way more important than blindly listening to a training plan! I love getting into the ocean after a run – especially a hot one – it feels so good and my legs always feel fresher after the ice bath.

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