Getting Out of My Own Way

I don’t know about you but I find that my biggest obstacle in training and in life is often… ME!  It is challenging to train hair while also meeting the rest of life’s demands but the less you leave up to chance, the more likely you are to be successful.  In December, I traveled to Illinois and we had some crazy cold weather so outdoor training took a backseat.  In January, we continued to have some ridiculous weather (really, there’s just no need for a foot of snow in Virginia Beach) and I traveled almost every week for internship interviews.  On top of that, I began a new job and was spending a few days a week training for the position.  In February, things settled down except for the fact that I was working the job rather than just training and it involved some late nights and overnights… and the weather still kind of sucked, mostly, but nothing too crazy.  For some reason, though, my enthusiasm for training and my self-discipline just didn’t kick back in.  

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Here’s a pic of me tearin’ up the streets in the Shamrock Half Marathon (and my streets I mean my legs haha) in my Betty Designs team kit.  Side note:  The chica with the blond pixie cut and the blue top is the chica that recently cut my hair!  We ran most of the race together and actually “met” around mile 9 I think.  I PR’d in 1:39:31, which isn’t what I wanted but I am in the 1:30s and it’s not too shabby all things considered.

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Me and my hubby the marathon ROCK STAR!  This was right after he PR’d his marathon by about five minutes, finishing in 6th place overall with a time of 2:26:41.  Holy $%&@ that is sexy.  Just sayin’.

It wasn’t so much that I wasn’t doing my training, rather, I was going through the motions with many of my workouts and I wasn’t really planning out my school work.  My efforts lacked focus and direction.  To make things even more frustrating, at the end of February, a few weeks out from a half marathon, I started to have shin pain that wouldn’t go away.  Of course, it isn’t surprising that I was working toward an injury given that during the month of February I did almost no yoga (which as become my routine for recovery) and I think the only time I touched the foam roller or the stick was to move it out of the way while sweeping.  On top of that, I had a rough weekend of working that resulted in inadequate rest and instead of clearly communicating my needs to my coaches, I tried to just go through my training as it was written.  I bonked on several workouts and began to form the tightness that likely led to the shin issue.  As soon as I realized I was having an unusual amount of discomfort, I backed off from running, gave Coach Dai a heads up and went to physical therapy.  Atlantic Physical Therapy has gotten me up and running (literally) after much worse and I knew they would have me straightened out in plenty of time before the race.  BUT… I still ended up with three weeks prior to the half marathon consisting of almost no running.  SORE does not even begin to describe how I felt the day after my race! haha

Recovery week is over and this week I started my training, again.  I also received my work schedule for April and… YIKES!  One of my coworkers was offered an amazing position with another facility and so individuals have been shifted into different positions to compensate.  My position is a “flex” position, meaning that I’m not guaranteed a certain number of hours each week and I don’t have a regular schedule.  It also means that they use me as much as they can when they need me!  I’m working an average of 2-3 shifts a week during the month of April.  When I saw the schedule, I knew that I had to do some serious thinking/brainstorming/planning if I intend to get through that month with optimal training.  Something needed to change and unless I want to quit my job or fail my last full semester of classes, the change had to happen in me.

In the past, I have journaled to manage a variety of personal experiences, including some of my goal-setting for my professional, academic and athletic walks of life.  I journaled regularly for quite some time but I sat down earlier this week and gave a lot of thought to the upcoming weeks.

 

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I don’t usually share my journal with anyone (including my husband) but I want to be transparent with my goal-setting.  The day after I wrote this post, I journaled my way through my thoughts about when to do what homework.  That probably sounds silly but I reasoned it all out in writing and I’ve actually referred back to my journal a few times this week to remind myself of what I had planned to do.  It’s not noon on Friday and I am pleased to tell you that I’ve met ALL of my school-work goals for this week, plus I’ve executed all of my training, and I’ve even got a little bit of time to spend “working ahead” on a paper that needs to be finished in the next few weeks.  This was a grueling week.  I was going from workout to homework to workout to bed to workout to class, etc. etc.  It SUCKED on some levels but I feel great to have accomplished so much in one week.  It was worth the sacrifice… even those times when I really wanted to just shut my laptop and zone out with stupid television.  I think one more seriously focused week will have me set up to get through the rest of April without much school work (other than routine studying and a take-home final).  The month of April could have ended up being a train wreck; I can’t control how much school I have and I don’t always control how many shifts I work each week but I can control how I approach my to-do list.  These were things I already knew but this week was still eye-opening and encouraging.

Tell me, how do YOU get in your own way when it comes to training and just life in general?

Ready to Shamrock!

I’ve had some ups and downs over the last few weeks. While the match news was very exciting, the aftermath of preparing to move and finishing classes has been somewhat stressful. I’m also still learning to balance shift work with training. I had to start my half-marathon taper a bit early when, about three weeks ago, I realized that things were not well in my right shin.

You should all be very proud of me! I was so proactive! I did not try to run through pain and I immediately started doing regular ice massage, rolling, sticking, got a full body massage and went to physical therapy right away! I didn’t like having to back off so suddenly from running but it paid off and I’m feeling pretty good now. I’ll be running the half on Sunday and I’m looking to possibly PR. Justin is running the full and we are hoping for a 2:25 or 2:26 for him! I’m actually more excited about his race; this will be a great gauge of what he needs to do to qualify for the Olympic trials.

For the rest of the weekend, I’m setting school work aside and I’m going to try not to think about my move. I’m going to enjoy the excitement of race weekend and have fun seeing what kind of time I can throw down at one of my favorite half marathon courses! We kicked off pre-race carb loading tonight with some homemade spaghetti sauce and tomorrow we will enjoy some pizza in our ocean front hotel room! This was my first ever half marathon many years ago an probably my last Shamrock race in Virginia Beach for a while so I intend to live it up!

Good luck to everyone racing and training this weekend. Shamrock on!!!

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