In treatment, we only had electronics during certain hours. We got our phones in the afternoon, after programming was over for the day. I’d just come out of a stellar session with my therapist and was already flying high. I turned on my phone to THIS—I’d gotten into the NYC Marathon!!! Time for training!
Y’all, I told every. single. person. I saw that day that I got into the marathon! I felt on top of the world. I am also thinking I should play a lottery for money, since this is somehow the third time I’ve gotten in through the lottery.
With that elation (I’m learning how to hold two, sometimes conflicting, emotions at once) came fear. Since crossing that magical finish line in November 2017, the longest I’ve run is a 10K. Once. Ninety-four percent of my runs have been about two miles. I’ve had this massive mental block against running: I compare myself to past self, who ran a sub-4 marathon, who ran a 1:48 half, who was generally in good enough running shape to run a half-marathon at the drop of a hat. I compare myself to people on Instagram. And it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Guess what, if you tell yourself you can’t run, it’s pretty hard to run.
I’ve been embarrassed to share any of those runs because they’re “too short,” “too slow.” If someone asked me how my run was in the past two years, I generally answered “eh not great.”
I’ve clearly done a lot of mindset work in the past few years, but it hadn’t yet applied to my running.
Since the last time I ran NYC, I’ve been through a lot mental health-wise. I don’t have the energy I used to. I’m on three different daily psych meds and am trying to wean off sleeping pills. I have no idea how my body is going to react to marathon training with these meds, and I want to both train properly and adequately—but also safely.
So, combining these mental health concerns and how they affect my physical health, I hired a coach for some extra support along the way. With my own expertise, I could probably figure it out on my own, but it’s nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of. I told my therapist I was thinking of hiring a coach, and she suggested finding someone who’d worked with runners with mental health concerns. I poked around my RRCA certified coach* Facebook group and found a wonderful woman, Lori, who is a therapist and coach.
She’s providing me with mindset strategies and my running plan, and I’m going to document as much of my training as I can with what I’m learning along the way. (This feels so much like old me, and I love it.)
NYC Marathon Training Recap: Week 1
We’re starting me on low mileage, and to be honest, I’ve been having a bit of a hard time with that. I’m embarrassed. I feel shame that I’ve run seven marathons before, and I’m running 2.5 miles for my “long” run right now. I can do more than that.
I told Lori this, and she reminded me that we’re doing this for injury prevention, not because she doesn’t think I’m capable of more, helping me check my ego.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see that I ran off to Arizona for a few days on a spontaneous trip with a friend. Part of my training includes strength training, and I missed those workouts but made sure to get my missed running in when I got home.
Monday: rest (I love when training plans start with rest)
Tuesday: 2 miles // I had a friend staying with me, and I dragged her out with me for my two miles, and we felt awesome. If you’re familiar with Santa Monica: we ran to the pier and back. Running with a friend always makes things so by so much faster, and I need to find more running buds here on the west side!
Wednesday/Thursday: road tripping
Friday: On Friday, I drove back from Sedona to LA, a seven-hour drive, and then an hour back from Pasadena area to Santa Monica at rush hour. tl;dr, I spent the day in the car. I was tired and antsy all at once, but determined to get my run in. 2 miles // I ran towards the sunset, and I felt on top of the world.
Saturday: Especially right now, I try to avoid running on back-to-back days, but I wanted to get back on track and capitalize on that running high, so I ran my scheduled 2.5 miles before a friend’s birthday and again, felt awesome! I’m starting to get out of my head a bit more already, and was happy to just chug along and found myself totally in the zone, somewhere I hadn’t been on the run in…I don’t know how long?
Sunday: yoga! I haven’t always been great at incorporating yoga into my training, but I don’t think that will be a problem this cycle. Maya, my friend and YTT teacher, teaches my fave yoga class (mostly because I get lots of adjustments because she knows I’m comfortable with them), at Yogaworks on Montana in Santa Monica. I set an intention to just be present in this class: be in my breath, not compare myself to anyone else around me, not tell myself I couldn’t do a pose. AND GUESS WHAT? When we did handstands at the wall, I kicked right up. (I’ve totally got the handstand at the wall physically, but I often psyche myself out.)
The mileage is low, my pace isn’t what it used to be, but I’m getting much better at meeting myself where I’m at. Sharing all of this to show that sometimes our running will seemingly regress, but there’s always something new to learn, and getting out there is really what’s most important. (And I really believe this deep down. I’m also coming to terms with a lot of stuff I’ve written in the past, I’ve believed intellectually as I wrote it, but not emotionally.)
I’m really happy to be training again.