Friday, December 11, 2015

This Training Cycle...

I am randomly overcome with anxiety and fear and doubt...Like, at some points of the day I'm like OMG I AM SO READY THIS IS IT!!!! and then five minutes later I'm all this is a mistake, I have no business running another marathon!

I must be tapering.

I know the best way to set my mind at ease is to reflect on my training. I know I had a really good training cycle this time around, and I need to trust in the training and believe in my ability.

August. After taking literally all of July off (I think I ran a total of two miles), I struggled a little. I was preparing to go back to school and it was brutally hot. But, this training month showed me that I could persevere and go from 0-to-training if I really wanted to.
September. Most of this month was awful. Archie's sudden death (ugh, it still feels like a punch in the gut to write that) derailed my training. I took it easy on myself, but this was the one time during the cycle that I really thought I might not really train fully...
October. Luckily, the emotional turmoil of September forced me to get real in October. Completing the virtual Runner's World Festival hat trick and running the Sanibel 10k really helped. I had my first 100-mile month ever, and that boosted my confidence like crazy. I surprised myself. I trained better than I knew I could.

On race day, I need to remember October. It really showed me what I'm capable of.
November. Not only did I complete two 18-milers (one was actually at the end of October but I'm counting it as November) and a 20-miler, but I did two of those three super-long-runs alone. I'd never done a training run farther than 15 totally alone. I can't doubt myself, because now I know that I really can depend on myself fully, and no one else, to get me to the finish line.
Another perk of those long runs is that I've been training on repetitive, fairly boring roads, so the repetitive nature of the race course may be hard, but I'm ready for it. I have multiple podcasts lined up  to keep me occupied! I used to struggle with quiet, neighborhood races (it's why I no longer run one of the most popular half marathons near me), but this time I know what it takes to finish a marathon and pass the same landmark multiple times.
Megan, thank you for helping me see the positive side of this potential challenge!!
December. I've actually been smart about taper. I didn't just stop running after my 20-miler, and I got another long run in. I've somehow avoided getting sick or injured. My legs may feel weird these days and I'm ridiculously tired, but I know it's got to be mental and I'm physically ready for race day.
December - Race day is December 13!
Looking back, I know this was a good training cycle. I could have done more speed work and been better about cross-training, but I couldn't have done better with the mileage. For where I was at, I think I did a stellar job, and I need to trust in the training and in myself!



  1. Good luck Ali!!! I always go back through my training logs before I run a marathon and it really helps me mentally. You have overcome a lot this summer/fall and it's made you stronger - let that knowledge carry you through the race. I like to remind myself that the marathon is actually 4 months of training - the 26.2 mile race is just the victory lap! It's a little cliche but it's so true. Think of this race as a celebration, not a test. Because it is! You have MUCH to celebrate! Can't wait to see how it goes!!

    1. I totally agree - the race is the cherry on top, the training is what matters. But I can't help getting nervous!! I think nerves are good...they mean I'm really invested and WANT this, but man, it makes it hard to focus on other stuff.

  2. You are so well prepared for this, mentally and physically, and you have good solid goals. I think you're going to do really well and will enjoy a great deal of it. I think this is one you're going to look back on and be really proud of. I can't wait to hear all about it afterwards and am wishing you well!

  3. You've got this! I can't wait to read about your race in a recap post. Have fun this weekend and enjoy reaping the rewards of your training!

    1. I can tell the recap is going to be epic. Even if I totally fail Sunday, having good support there will make the weekend worth it!

  4. Looking back at training is a GREAT motivator and confirms what you already know- you are ready for this! :)

  5. The best reassurance you can have is the confidence in yourself and your mental muscle when it comes to marathoning. I keep telling myself that "if I want it, I have to go get it. No one else is going to do it for me." You know you've done the work so just go do it!!!!! I can't wait to hear all about it. GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!

    1. I am trying to remind myself that the race is going to be mostly mental toward the end. 20 wasn't AS hard this time as last year, so I'm hoping that means I'm mentally stronger!!

  6. Good luck on your race!! I'll be thinking of you, Meg and Kristina tomorrow!! Go girl!!!!!

  7. have a great race!!! Enjoy the day & the victory lap to all of your hard work and training!