I've been pretty good about my consistency over the past year and keeping a pretty regular exercise routine. But let's face it: without a goal, it's hard to truly improve. Nothing has exemplified this fact like the past month, where I have caught myself with amazing lack of motivation, something I have managed to maintain since last year. There are a couple of factors that have contributed to this:
1. I've been sick. I got hit with the flu for a week, followed by an upper respiratory infection/bronchitis that I am still fighting off two weeks later. Since I've been medicating like crazy, I am pretty much always feeling lazy and sleepy.
2. The calm before the storm. I don't remember doing this during the last training season, but I think it's my subconscious telling me to sleep and relax while I can, knowing that I am going to be pretty exhausted over the next several months.
While this might bring about a little bit of shock to my system, it's okay. My body has been craving the rest and if I have learned nothing over the past couple of years, it's to listen to my body when it says STOP. SLEEP! So that's what I've been doing.
Monday the 21st marks the beginning of training season: 13 weeks of intense physical, emotional, and nutritional training leading up to the PF Changs Half Marathon in Tempe. In the middle of it all, we are running the Hot Chocolate 15k in December, which is going to cause us to amp up the mileage a little earlier than our normal training plan. I'm pretty excited about this because we've only ever done 5k, 10k, and 21k, nothing in between.
Our final, solidified training schedule will run Mon-Sun:
Monday: leg night
Wednesday: short run in the morning (50-75% of long run), upper body workout in the evening
Friday: sprint/interval run
Saturday: cross training (hike, bike riding, yoga, zumba)
Sunday: long run
*core training and abs each time we work out
Here's the progression of our long runs each week: *edited with the corrected dates to adjust for holidays and weekend commitments*
10/28: 5 miles
11/3: 6 miles
11/11: 6 miles
11/17: 6 miles
11/23: 7 miles
12/1: 8 miles
12/8: 9 miles - HOT CHOCOLATE RUN
12/15: 8.5 miles
12/22: 9 miles
12/29: 9 miles *TBD
1/5: 10 miles
1/12: 7 miles
1/19: 13.1 miles - P.F. CHANGS!
To put this in perspective, last year's training schedule only hit 8, 8.5, and 9 miles once, so there's a bit more mileage in this plan. However, I feel very confident that we can stick to this schedule, knowing we may have to alter slightly during the holidays. Besides, we've already run this before, so we know it's possible. :)
At this point, I have two fears, and they are just things I am learning how to overcome:
1. injury. I'm not going to lie, I'm a little petrified of it. I am realizing that I am might be a bit prone to shin splints or calf inflammation and it's frustrating. Especially after last year's race, I really don't want to run through injury again. I am vowing to be extra diligent about treating my muscles with care both before and after each training workout.
2. my stomach. Stress is my biggest IBS trigger and it's incredibly hard to convince my body otherwise! My stomach became my worst enemy the week leading up to the race, so I am really hoping that I don't have a repeat of the same experience. I am working extra hard at learning how to stay calm and keep everything in peace.