I have actually had an overall pretty busy 24 hours actually. I mean since I last posted. Things have gotten kind of crazy in my world. But sometimes are like that. This morning at work has been a giant bear of a day. Putting out one fire after the next. Seems like non stop all morning, but alas, I think it’s finally calmed down enough to breath and take a moment to write. Yesterday afternoon I actually felt pretty good about hitting the gym. This is somewhat rare these days. Typically by 5 PM my energy and desire tend to dwindle but I still go, because I am kind of crazy intense like that. I have this crazy giant phobia of missing out a single tick on my marathon training plan.
This is why I have decided that the marathon training plan has shockingly been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I mean the decision to actually follow one. And it’s funny because the thing that has always held me back in part somewhat from attempting a marathon was the training plan. I didn’t want to be so locked into anything. Probably because I know my personality and my over the top obsessive compulsive-ness would require me to be so diligent and I was afraid that it would drive me insane. Turns out I love it. Turns out ticking off runs on my plan is like one of the best feelings of accomplishment I could have. Also, it makes me work harder and do things that I otherwise would not do. I.E., even when I don’t feel like it I run. Even the little 3 milers. Honestly it has been a very fabulous thing for me overall.
So here is the deal, I went to the gym. I didn’t have a clear plan other than you know that 3 miler I needed to do. I was immediately greeted by Amanda because well she’s there. Anyway she’s like are you taking my class? Amanda always has a class. Like Monday thru Thursday night there is typically a 30-45 minute class that she teaches. They each have a focus or are considered something different but effectively in a nutshell they are all versions of kind of the same thing. A series of exercises, repeated in multiple sets. The reason they work is that because typically they are not probably exercises I want to do or would choose to do on my own so it makes me get in a few other things that are probably good for me. Hello burpies much. Or Ab exercises. Have I ever mentioned my disdain for ab exercises? For some reason I truly hate them.
Anyhow, so I decided for lack of a better plan that I would take the 5:30 class since it was only half an hour and then I could run my 3 miles post class and that would be good enough for me for the night. (Silly Emily thinking this would be sufficient!) Anyhow. Class. Yes, class was circuit style cardio moves, body weighted. Think jumping jacks, plank jacks, burpies, jumping squats, push ups, and abs. Yes, spider planks, and v ups. 30 seconds each exercise, done a total of 3 rounds. 30 minutes and I was dripping sweat. Okay, so that started the night off in a sweaty fashion, but hey, I was warmed up. So onto the treadmill I went. It wasn’t my best run, but it wasn’t my worst. I knew I needed to hit my 3 mile mark according to my plan so that is what I did. Hence the loving the training plan because I promise you that without having that mental need to hit 3 miles, I probably would have quit sooner. Especially on week nights like that. It’s hard. But I did it. Actually I did 3.25 miles well because I was two tenths of a mile away from being up another mile on my training plan. Don’t ask, its complicated. Regardless, I did 3.25 miles.
At this point all I had done was basically cardio and I was feeling good, and done with cardio so I decided what the hell let’s throw in a little chest/triceps workout. Nothing fancy, nothing planned out. Just did some chest presses, triceps dips, chest flys, triceps extensions, etc. Nothing too fancy, 4 rounds of each thing. And then after about 30 minutes I was pretty much done. I had sufficiently exercised to my satisfaction and wanted to call it. I didn’t think my chest workout was going to be all that effective but I was wrong as my sore ass chest today will contest to. I was like ouch, why does that hurt. And then I remembered I lifted some heavy weights last night and intentionally tried to hurt those chest muscles. Crazy. So the workout was good.
And then I came home and everything seemed really pumped up so I went ahead and did selfies. For the love of God someone stop me already. I feel embarrassed to keep taking these but seriously, last night everything looked like it was on fire and holy hell.
So, here is the thing that makes the marathon training plan like gold to me. It can make me do things that I would otherwise think were unimaginable. It’s really actually ridiculous how much I let it influence me. Because today starts the next “phase” of my training plan. Part 3, which is called the going further distance. For me it’s not really that much further because I keep running stupid half marathons almost weekly. But nonetheless what it means is that for the next 6 or 7 weeks my weekly runs consist of a combo of 3 miles/6.5 miles/3 mile runs. As opposed to the 3 mile/4.5 mile/3 mile combo they were sitting at before. So now I must run a 6.5 mile run mid week. 6.5 miles isn’t a crazy excessive distance but it’s enough you know. It’s enough that realistically that’s all I would really want to do in a night. But that doesn’t work for me entirely because I end up forced into a weird dilemma. The dilemma being that if I am going to run 6.5 miles I certainly don’t want to do it on the treadmill. That seems like a long run for a treadmill. Boy how mind frames have shifted right? Anyway, 6.5 on a treadmill feels like it would be torture. I’d do it if I HAD to, but there are other options. Of course running outside being the big option. But it’s hot. Like way to hot to run outside in the evening when I have my free time.
Too hot for running in the evening, plus I typically have other evening plans. So really this leaves me with option 3 which is usually a last resort for me. Wake my ass up early, like before work and run. Waking up and immediately running is awful. Like my body hasn’t had time to wake up enough to consider running so I knew I had to wake up, give myself at least 30-45 minutes to actually wake up and then run. This means EARLY for me. Yes, for most people this is not early at all, but I am not a morning person. The only thing in the world that apparently can get me to wake up before work for is a scheduled 6.5 mile run. Because I really must tick all the boxes right?
So with steadfast determination, I woke my ass up at like 5:45 AM. I just laid there in bed for 15 minutes on my phone having an internal conversation with myself about if I should really do this or not. How necessary was this? Was there another alternative somewhere? And finally I got up. I felt like crap because it was early and all. I told myself I really just needed to be out the door at like 6:30 AM or so. So I made coffee. Yes, coffee will help. I put on my workout clothes that I very intentionally set out the night before, for no excuses and all. And I walked around and allowed myself to wake up. Coffee helped. It helped a lot actually. And while I procrastinated quite a bit, eventually at about 6:40 I headed out the door. I told myself that I would be happy if I could manage a 5 mile run. I would accept that. I could either make up the other 1.5 miles tonight or else I had already exceeded my mileage in every capacity on my plan so missing the 1.5 miles wouldn’t be too big of a deal. Just 5 miles I said. And out the door I went.
The first 3-5 minutes were rough. And then something magical happened and I remembered why I love running. I remembered why running in cool air with a breeze was blissful. I remembered why morning runs (so long as you are properly awake) are seriously amazing! My body felt good. I didn’t feel nearly as sluggish as I have on other attempts at morning running. I didn’t feel as sluggish as I do trying to force out some evening runs even. I felt wonderful and alive and peaceful and euphoric all the best parts about running. It really was a very good thing. I felt so happy just to be running. I know it sounds cheesy but it felt like possibly the best thing I could ever do for myself. To wake up and run in this lovely perfect running weather and enjoy life to the fullest.
So I ran. And I ran some more. Not my fastest run, not my slowest. Just good enough. The first miles were ran faster of course. And I hit like mile 3, mile 4 went by and I approached mile 5. I wasn’t near my house and I was like, nah, you are feeling just good enough that let’s just go for the whole 6.5 miler. So on I ran. I was getting tired by the time 6.5 approached and I neared my house. Thankful that I was done at this point. But feeling highly accomplished, happy and downright blissful.
But then I remembered that I probably started a smidge too late for a full 6.5 mile run and time was not on my side. Yup, it was almost 8 AM and I needed to be to work at 8:30. Although I am never to work at 8:30. So I went in, and quickly tried to accomplish everything that needed to occur post run- getting ready for work. I have to say in my scramble I didn’t do too bad. I figured it was worth being an extra 15 minutes late for work to get in the last part of my run. But in actuality I’m typically 15 minutes late for work most days so at least this day had a valid reason behind it.
So there you have it, I freaking ran 6.5 miles this morning before work. I am certain my blissful run had a lot to do with actually allowing myself 45 minutes or so to be up and moving before forcing the run. I actually enjoyed it so much that I would consider doing this again and maybe I might just have to wake up a little earlier so that I don’t feel as rushed at the end. But with that said, I probably have about 6-7 more weeks of this schedule on my training plan so I am thinking this might end up having to be a weekly occurrence anyway. I am not really sure how I am actually going to get in the long runs otherwise. Plus there is something infinitely nice about having already ran 6.5 miles before my day even started. To not having it linger over my head all day long. Knowing as the day ticks by and I get more and more tired physically that I still have to go run 6.5 miles. That’s insanity. So perhaps once a week I will have to force myself out of bed and schedule a 6.5 mile morning run. I think I can handle it if they all go remotely even close to how today went.
And running this morning frees up my evening tonight to go to the gym and take Amanda’s 5:30-6:00 PM class to then immediately be followed by a 6 PM personal training session where we will be do doing back and biceps. So I am fully prepared for my back to be on fire tomorrow and the following day really. This is all good stuff because I kill it today and then I can start to tape down Wednesday and Thursday in my exercise before Friday rest day and a 4th of July half marathon on Saturday. This means that between tomorrow and Thursday night I only have to do one more 3 mile run. That seems easy peasy after the runs I’ve done lately. Actually Saturday I did 10 miles, Sunday 4 miles, Monday 3 miles and Tuesday 6.5 miles. That’s kind of mileage heavy. So classes tonight. I can take class Wednesday and Thursday night now and just sneak in a treadmill run on one of them.
Plus my mood is infinity better today as a result of that awesome run this morning. I mean, why wouldn’t it be? I ran 6.5 miles and burned 679 calories today already. Yeah me. So there you have it. I am killing it lately. I am getting my shit done.
I had this thought this morning while I was running actually, that I wish I could freeze frame this period of time in my life right now because this whole time frame is pure bliss. This is perfection. This is happiness. This is what happiness looks and feels like. This is me, loving myself, loving my body, loving my life. Fulfilling my dreams, accomplishing my goals. That I promise you this, this period of time, while training for my first marathon on Maui. (Yes, going to Maui I am certain has something to do with it) that this period of time I will always look back fondly at as like the pinnacle perfection so to speak. I hope its not the highlight of my life. I hope to have years and years of happiness and contentment. But I just want to savor this, soak it all up and enjoy it. This is such happiness to me. All of it. I feel so good. I feel so good about myself and my life and what I’m doing.
Ticking those boxes off on the marathon training plan is giving me this sense of accomplishment that I am working towards some greater picture that has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I never would have imagined. I ran all the time, but its seeing it all there in list form, that is truly giving me a sense of accomplishment. It’s like with every single run crossed off I am gaining more and more confidence and feeling better and better. I truly think it’s the mental fortitude of sticking to a goal. Setting a goal, crossing the items of the list and eventually ultimately obtaining said goal. It’s beyond rewarding. Plus this goal is so freaking trackable. They aren’t all like that.
This is it. I am living the life I want. The life I have always dreamed of. Loving myself. All of myself. And I am guessing all these freaking running endorphins and runners high are probably playing a big part in my feeling of self-love. But come on. Since May 6, since starting this training plan I have ran 224 miles. That’s pretty cool.
All right enough with the crazy high talk right now. It’s lunch time and I need to eat. I am one hungry girl!