My first go round with marathon training was somewhat successful -- insofar as it got me to the finish line in a reasonable amount of time, and I felt reasonably healthy throughout. Joining forces with an experienced training partner for my 2nd and 3rd marathons allowed me to realize just how much energy I wasted the first time around, a byproduct of inexperience and fear (and if I am honest with myself obstinance).
This week I got to thinking about what started me on this path, what happened to get me barely making it down the block to completing three marathons, numerous other races, and planning for more, what did it? The reasons I started running stemmed from anxiety, its one of the only ways I've found to truly quiet my mind, to burn off the nervousness, and also to work through and release problems and challenges. Having a goal to train for makes the consistency easier, it allows for days of camaraderie and celebration, a sense of accomplishment.
In my new found life as a runner, training falls into familiar grooves. I found the discipline of marathon training has made a permanent mark on my psyche. I find I still have a lingering fear that I'm not doing enough, and it's hard to combat. With the half upcoming I realized that I didn't have a training plan in place, and because I haven't been running distance I am feeling a bit untethered. I revert right into my grooves.
Yet, I don't need 40+ mile weeks to run a half marathon well. Now is the time to jump out of the grooves, take a deep breath, and have faith in my summer base training and speed work. Routines are important, miles are important, but as a good friend reminded me last night, so is running my own race and running healthy. Life is so much better when you listen to more than one record, so I'm jumping the track and hitting many different grooves, familiar and foreign.