Week 1: RnR DC Half Marathon Training

My training season has begun! I signed up for the Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon in August 2017 (which seems like FOREVER ago) during a super awesome, limited race price. So awesome in fact, when I told one of my friends who’s based in Philly about the race, she signed up too!

I’m using a plan from Kara Goucher and Oiselle, because it incorporates building consistent mileage, weekly workouts, and some strength that I can substitute and play around with. It’s a 10 week plan, but again I started a week later, so I began with the second week as my first week. In addition to my Instagram, I’ll be writing this series “Training Thoughts” for how I’m doing throughout the process and what is getting me through it mentally.

Training Thoughts: Week 1 (Jan.8-Jan 14) — 23.83 miles
Appreciating Seasons

Instead of sticking to my southern California bones this winter, I’ve changed my attitude towards cold weather. I even went ice skating this weekend when it was 25 degrees! Venturing out in the cold is all about being prepared. On my long run this week, I felt well-covered during the miles and found the solitude on the trails to be refreshing. Not to mention the sunrises are still amazing. Even though I miss the warmth and lush greenery of warmer months, I enjoy being able to see more of the landscape and horizon through the bare trees. I’ve been viewing the winter pretty symbolically, set to the song Spring Will Come Again from Leonard Bernstein’s Peter Pan. Through the bare trees I can see further into the distance, like seeing the expansiveness of my future. Although it’s cold, the sun sets a little bit later everyday, lengthening sunlight hours, a reminder that change is a welcome and natural process.

re-frame, re-adjust, or let go

Overall, I’d say I am a pretty positive person but in recent unwanted changes or the stark realization that I haven’t been living my life to its fullest, my thoughts sometimes go to a dark place. Putting in the miles has helped me let go of the negativity in my mind and re-frame or re-adjust it to something opportunistic. As I’m running, whenever a not so nice thought drifts into my head, I let it do just that, drift. I think of these thoughts as clouds or passing cars, coming into view but exiting as quickly as they came. I refocus on my form and breathing which brings me a logical clarity. I feel empowered with the choice to re-frame and re-adjust my negative thoughts. Absence once meant presence, and ending also means a new beginning. I sometimes even feel silly and ridiculous for thinking negative things because I have so much to be grateful for. Through running I feel empowered to let negativity go with each step on the pavement.

With each breath, with each step, I AM getting stronger.

At this point in my life, my relationship with running has become much more than just physical exercise. Running is of course good for my physical and cardiovascular health, but I am also discovering how vital it is in building my mental and emotional strength. Through training for this half, I’ve started living a balanced life while doing what I want, from following a renewing sleep routine, planning solo adventures for myself, and even finding closure from the past within myself.

I’ve found that I’m not lingering in bed in the morning because I look forward to my workouts. When my legs are heavy and my feet are dragging and I can barely seem to run half a mile, I remind myself that working out is a mental game. I repeat to myself “with each breath, with each step, I am getting stronger.” This mantra gives purpose and intention to my workouts. I know that I will feel great after my workout, I know my workout only serves to better myself and push me closer to my goals. I know that with each breath, with each step, with each action, I am getting stronger.

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