Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Valley Of The Sun, I'm Coming + Last Week's Training

In the chilly air outside my front door, I laced up my shoes and began the dynamic warm up that has become just as important as the run itself. Normally there is never a problem with tying my shoes, but today I had to adjust them a couple of times to feel comfortable. The first time was too loose, the second time felt way too tight and I didn't want any problems along the way. I could feel myself becoming antsy and ready to start running down the road to begin the near daily ritual that I love - feeling the breeze on my cheeks and the sight of the bluejay that I've seen a few times over the week. The intricate patterns of patience comes in all forms, from something so small as retying my shoe just right, to a marathon cycle do over. How we handle the process many times determines the ultimate sucess at the end. 




From the moment I abruptly stopped running on that cold December morning in Sacramento six and half weeks ago, I've had to exercise patience and release. Letting go of feelings of failure and incompleteness. Letting go of guilt that I let my family down (even though I know that they don't feel that way at all) in that they were there for me and I didn't come through. I've had to release those feelings and embrace everything that is good and important. Love. Strength. Healing. 
I've had a desire to keep moving forward and somewhere along the way I knew I would find my way. I run because I'm passionate about this sport. No one cares whether you finish a race, run a certain pace or any of the details that we think about. The majority of us run solely for ourselves and find the fulfillment that running brings to our lives. When the joy dries up, it's time to move on - but today is not that day.



The last six weeks have been a time of reflection, building even more upon the fitness that was already there and smiling about what the future holds. The laser focus has been on my kids and juggling their needs, which during the month of December, as we all know, is constant. January marks getting back into a rhythm of routine and winter activities - doing as much as we can to ease the sting of saying goodbye to holiday magic and cozy mornings. I've found a way to fit training in along the way and I've been figuring out my body, analyzing my gut issues and never forgetting that running is a gift.
Coach and I discussed pretty early on what the plan would be and my immediate thoughts were to run another marathon and do it relatively soon. There is so much unfinished business and the drive is there to find out what lies ahead of the other side of 26.2 for Nat.



Training hard is not an automatic guarantee for success as you never know what the actual day will bring. What you do have to have is faith, trust and a bad ass attitude that your preparation is enough to battle for everything that is meant to be on that day and more. That is what I'm going to do. I'm going to Phoenix and on February 9th I will run fast and do what I love to do.

Here's what last week's training looked like:

Monday January 7th - 5.23 easy miles. Monday is always a recovery/easy day for and I love this day. 

Tuesday January 8th - 8 miles.

Wednesday January 9th - 8 miles. 

Thursday January 10th - 11.6 mile workout consisting of:
1.5 mile warm up, 4 x 2 mile repeats (with 2:00 jog recovery), 1.5 mile cool down. Splits for the 2 miles were: 13:18, 13:11, 13:05, 13:06) - 6:32 - 6:39 pace on these.

Friday January 11th - 11 miles AM + 3 miles PM

Saturday January 12th - 8 miles AM + 3 miles PM

Sunday January 13th - 24 miles at 7:25 pace

Total Miles: 81.83

There was a day in the middle of the week that I woke up and thought to myself: "I feel really fit today. In this moment, I feel excited and ready to race."
I want to keep that moment with me, cause I know I'll go through ups and down in the next 3.5 weeks.

I was able to get in a couple of good strength sessions and I did core every evening.

More importantly, this happened:



This little girl came out of my body practically dancing and she has grown from a 32 week, 3 pound 9 ounce tiny bag of sugar to my dancer. First day ever of ballet and this was without a doubt the highlight of my week.

We are plugging away on Suite Run (Bay Cities sponsored us for the day and before that Mel's Diner - runners have to eat! Full credit to Jerold for making this happen) and Jerold is upping his running game, friends. He even did some core and yoga the other night and I'm over here doing the happy dance...



The plates are full with Suite Run, kids, work, training, LIFE. It's what we all are doing right? 

Now that I have another marathon on the books, I'll be keeping you posted on the training and prep.
Wishing you a beautiful day and some happy miles.

Do Awesome Things.

xo,
Natalie

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