March is finally here and I am getting my head fully into the half-marathon training program that I am using. February seems to have snuck up on me and taken away my breathe. I found myself sick for the first two weeks in February. I was quite depressed about it because I thought it would ruin my training. After allowing my body to heal, I got back on the horse and I have to say that I am quite encouraged with the progress I am making.
I have been luck with Boston weather this year because we have not had a significant amount of snow. The weather has been quite warm for winter. This has meant that I am able to run outside instead of just relying on a treadmill for the early part of my training. This is a lucky break because I am discovering that running on a treadmill does not use the same muscles and strength as running outside. First few times I did a training run outside I felt some new muscles that I usually don’t engage when I use the treadmill
Running outside allows me to instinctively understand my body and develop a knack for pacing my runs.
Also running outside allows me to self-regulate my pace. This I am discovering is a critical part of training for race. It is awesome that running on a treadmill forces me to maintain a steady pace but it does not allow for the instinctive understanding of my body. By running outside, I am starting to understand what easy pace means to me. It means being able to breathe easily. It means being able to pick my foot up and put the other down without feeling heavy. And that easy pace is something that I want to sustain as I keep training for this half marathon.
I have been struggling with getting in my strength training and cross-training. I have added yoga to my program as a strength training and cross training activity because I feel like depending on the routine I get both benefits. In March though I am going to try to shift yoga to just a strength training activity. I am planning on adding spinning as my cross training activity. I read an article in Runner’s World that said cycling gives you the equivalent of an easy run in terms of gaining efficiency in the body during running.
During this period, I have discovered that music makes a big difference in how I feel when I am running. I am absolutely loving Britney Spears’ “Work” like I was last month. That is my don’t quit/dig deep/get into euphoria jam. I definitely need to start making a playlist for the half-marathon.
As for food, I have been having a lot of beets. Beets are supposed to be energizing. Plus I just feel like the extra iron and calcium that I am getting is worth it. I love having my beets in smoothies. I need to clean up my diet a bit, though. I eat a lot of veggies naturally but I feel like I need to be more conscious of eating for function. I am resisting doing that nothing makes me more depressed that having to control my food. I work out so that I can have some freedom with my food. I will probably get more in tune with the necessary diet the closer I get to the race day. For now, I am practicing my regular moderation.
I am actually excited about all the changes going on with my body as I get more runs in. No, I am not losing a crazy amount of weight but my body is changing. I feel my strength in little and big ways. During yoga today, plank was not as hard as it used to be. I walked a steep hill the other day with a heavy bag and I barely felt it. It is moments like these that make me realize that my body is registering all my hard work. Hopefully, the commitment to training would see me to the finish line.