I survived. Just barely, but it still counts. Since the last time I posted, the chaos stuck around and actually got worse. By the time I came home Friday I was toast. I am happily looking forward to this next week of no schedule and deadlines.
With only 7 weeks left until Boston, I had to do some reflecting on my training and even though what I decided to do feels really weird, my body has been longing for it. I woke up at 5:30am on Friday and got my easy run done before class and with a crazy lineup in the forecast for this weekend, I decided to hold off on my 18 miler until Monday. I have been working my butt off preparing for race day and the stress from school has been negatively affecting my training. The fatigue has been unreal and I have had to cut back on my speed work because there is literally nothing in the tank. My easy runs started leaving me exhausted and the amount of time it was taking to recover started lengthening. Essentially, spring break couldn’t have came at a better time. I’ve slept in, spent some much needed time with friends, and haven’t touched any school work at all. Tomorrow is supposed to be 46 and sunny which should make for a good long run! I figured since Boston is on a Monday and a late start, I can use tomorrow’s 18 miles as a test run. After these two days that I took off completely (sometimes my rest days are active recovery days), I am hoping to feel refreshed!
One thing I have learned is that during marathon training is that you MUST listen to your body. You can always modify your schedule to add additional rest days and if you need to you should! It will take your body less time and energy to fix any micro-damages when you are healthy, rather than if you keep pushing your limits and end up injured. It is also important to acknowledge stress levels and adjust your training accordingly. As runners, we push our limits in our workouts and if you have a high stressful job or are still in school, you most likely continue pushing your body’s limits physiologically. The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is responsible for keeping our bodies balanced and when you are constantly going and never take time to breathe, these processes cannot occur. I always think of the PNS as hitting the breaks on life and allowing time for relaxation. I do yoga to ensure that I am regularly tapping into this system on purpose. I figured I would share with you some of my other favorite things I do/use to make sure I am taking time to check-in and be present.
- Insight Timer App: Favorite mediation app! This free app is filled with so many great meditations at various lengths, so whether you have 2 minutes or 45- it is great for everyone!
- Tea time: I am a tea fanatic! All of my friends know that I have a tea problem and can’t walk past Teavanna without going in. I always pick up herbal teas to steep and enjoy whenever I am feeling overwhelmed.
- Mindful coloring books: Another one of my favorites! Mindful coloring or “adult coloring” has become mainstream recently and you can pretty much find these books anywhere. Even just taking 5 minutes to sit down and turn on some music to color will help your body relax. Also, who doesn’t love coloring?!
- Facemasks: Marshall’s has fabulous deals on fun things to pamper yourself. Lather on a facemask and take 5 minutes to just breathe while cleansing your skin! Sometimes those are the only 5 minutes I get all day as an excuse to not do anything and especially after cold winter runs, my skin loves it!
- Just breathe: No matter what the situation is, 3 deep breaths can completely change any situation.
The most important thing is to check-in and make the time because your body will really thank you. Well to start wrapping this up, I am really excited to be back home this weekend and hopefully I can find some time to spend in the kitchen! My mom bought a Ninja and I can’t wait to experiment with it! So as I start to wind down and get rested before tomorrow’s long run, I would like to challenge you all to commit to practicing some type of self-care this week that your body will physically and mentally thank you for.