finding solace in silence

I’ve been a bit MIA from the blogosphere. Surprisingly (or not really at all), I got caught up with all the things going on my life. Work, school (or the prep phase), and summer. Nonetheless, I’ve been pretty good about training for the Chicago Marathon these past few weeks. I signed up for the interactive version of Hal Higdon’s Advanced 1 Marathon Program. I thought about making up my own and just following it, but I realized I needed the discipline of daily emails to make sure I was on top of it.

In order to succeed, we need to accept some things about ourselves. In this time off, I’ve learned a few things about my workout regiment:

  • Accept the “warmup” phase of forming good habits. To fit my workout in the morning, I need to get up at 5am. A few weeks ago, I signed up for classes at 5:30/6am so that I’d have to literally pay if I didn’t show up. It took me about 2 weeks to get to these classes on time. My first class I was 5 minutes late, second class 10 minutes late (and wasn’t allowed in), and last time I was five minutes early. Figure out how long it’s going to take you to get to that point and accept it. Don’t be defeated, you’ll get there.
  • Rest. Take breaks. Breathe.  After I got settled into my routine, I felt immense pressure to stick to my plan and would even add in extra workouts. Do not do this. You will burn out. If work becomes crazy, maybe take a day or two off to recover. Last week I found myself near an anxiety attack and took a 48 hour recovery. Now I’m good to go, but could have easily avoided that situation.
  • Share your habits with others or a workout partner. If you aren’t used to working out all the time, it’s important that you have some sort of accountability partner, whether they are texting you at 5:30 to make sure you are awake or checking in to see if you got your run in for the day. Luckily I have a few here in the city, as well as good friend training for the marathon as well, so we will occasionally send each other messages to make sure we are still hanging in there.
  • It’s summer, it’s hot — run early, run late. Pack shoes for vacation. It’s easy to come up with excuses for why you can’t run or workout, but you need to make it a part of your routine like brushing your teeth. Last weekend, I went down to the shore and the very first thing I packed was my running shoes. If you can think like that, your entire world will change.

Just a few things for now, but thought I’d come back. My inspiration? Last night when I was picking up a smoothie from a coffee shop after a long run, someone sitting at the counter looked at me and said, you clearly are a runner and asked where he could run in the city. He had recently moved from San Diego, and wasn’t sure where to start. I told him some quick routes and shared some resources (mapmyrun #ftw) and thought, hey my blog needs some love. So here I am.

What running / workout habits have you learned about yourself? What gets you up in the morning?

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