Week 7 – Forgive me Training Schedule, for I have sinned…

9 Aug

Here I am, a month and a half away from Marathon Day. I’m nervous, excited, petrified and curious, all at the same time. Training started out super smoothly; I had picked up Brendan Brazier’s awesome book “The Thrive Diet”, and was eating whole foods to help with my energy levels. With every run completed i saw major improvements in my times, as well as my overall fitness level. I was pumped. Then, a major, horrible event occurred in my personal life that sent both my training schedule and my energy levels into a downward spiral. I missed 5 whole days of training, and since i wasn’t at home, i was forced to settle on fast, convenience food loaded with empty carbs and overcooked veggies most of the time. I felt gross. My “well oiled machine” of a body was feeling sluggish, tired and bloated, in part due to lack of exercise, less than optimal food and added negative stress. Worse than these physical side effects was my mood. When i am practicing yoga and exercising regularly, i feel happy, peaceful and patient. When i fall into a rut, i get snappy, cold and frustrated, taking all my stress and anger out on those i love the most (I’m sorry, B…!!). Exhaustion from dealing with said horrible event had me running on adrenaline during the day, while disturbing my sleep patterns at night. Needless to say i was completely out of balance, coupled with a complete loss of focus and motivation.

Now that the dust has settled, I have eased myself back into my training. The guilt i felt at missing a whole 5 days of training was stronger than i expected. When i commit to something, i commit wholeheartedly, and missing a mere 5 days made me feel awful. My first couple of runs out were 3-4 mile runs, and they were painfully long. Before my unwanted hiatus, i was running 3-4 miles in great time, finding them quite easy. Upon returning to training, my body felt like it was resisting to the run. My muscles ached, my knees felt sore, my breath was staggered, and i felt an overall sense of heaviness. Even harder was that first day back, convincing myself to get back into my runners. Finding the motivation to resume training was extremely hard. I am ecstatic to say that returning to my training program was incredibly difficult after those 5 long days off, but finding the motivation paid off! I ran my first 7 miles on Sunday, at a non-stop pace! This distance is the longest i have ever run, ever.

Even though 5 days may not seem like much to many, I am proof that not sticking with a strict schedule while training for a run is NOT a good idea. It took me days to get back to the level i was at before those days off. Even though i completed my 7 mile run, i am convinced that had i not taken that break, i would have run that distance in less time, felt less tired after, and needed less time to recuperate. Though my 5-day hiatus was somewhat out of my control, we all have days where going to the gym/yoga class/out for a run might seem like the last thing we want to do. Whether you are training for a marathon or have incorporated exercise into your weekly routine, pushing yourself to get out there and exercise is the best gift you can give your body, improving your mood and physical well-being. To all you first-time marathoners out there, stick to your training schedules! It will pay off in the end!

If you would like to sponsor me in my efforts to run my first half-marathon, on behalf of PETA, please click here!

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