I need a pep talk.

12 Jul

In ten days, I start training for my 5th marathon.

The New York City Marathon has been on my list of dream marathons since I knew it existed. Last year I trained for this race like a maniac and was beyond determined to PR it. I put in the crazy miles, ran the repeats, did the cross training and was more than prepared to break 3:30. Obviously we know what happened with the race last year, and I didn’t think twice when it was time to sign up 2013. I knew I would be there no matter what.

At the 2012 expo. I am totally wearing this number at the 2013 race!

At the 2012 expo. I am totally wearing this number at the 2013 race!

Well, the time has come to start training for this thing, and I am not excited or prepared to start running like a maniac again. In fact, I am pretty much dreading it. And I really need some of your love to get me back with it and excited for the next 16 weeks.

There are a few reasons why this training is proving a little more difficult for me to get excited about. So let’s all listen to me whine, complain and cry while I go through each one of ‘em!

  1. I am tired of training. I love to run, but I don’t always love to train. The strict schedules, the stress on my body, the fatigue – it just isn’t always fun. And if you aren’t in the right frame of mind, convincing yourself to get up at the crack of dawn 5-6 days a week to run isn’t so awesome.
  2. I live in a new neighborhood. And I have no idea where the eff I am going when I go out on runs. Last night I went for a 4 mile run, and ended up running on grass for a mile because I couldn’t find a sidewalk. (side note – I have a fear when I run on grass that I will take a tumble, fall into the street and then get hit by a car. If you don’t think I was visualizing that scenario for a mile on my run, you are kind but 100% WRONG!) I used to live in the burbs, and now I am in more of a metropolitan area. While I LOVE my new area, and my new house, and my awesome commute to work, I don’t really love the running path options. I’m not used to any traffic, and now I have to be super aware of traffic. This aspect will take some getting used to.
  3. My running buddies are far away. This is the hardest one to deal with. My girls I could always count on to meet me now live 30 minutes away. These girls are my accountability partners AND my therapists. What am I going to do without them?!?!
  4. Boston scared me. And I am not sure I am mentally prepared to run another big race after what happened there. In the days after Boston, I would’ve told you there was no way I would run NYC in the fall. But then I realized I couldn’t let Boston keep me from running a dream. Hopefully time will heal that fear, and I can put it aside in my mind a little bit, but I am not 100% certain of that right now.

So there are my 4 reasons why I am not so excited to start training for my race.

And now I need some advice, words of encouragement, and love to get me going!!!!! I beg, I plead…make me feel better and motivated 🙂

And in the next 10 days, I will be living up my training freedom with a trip to Vegas, staying up too late, multiple happy hours and wine. Lots and lots of wine.

Xo,

Ali

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19 Responses to “I need a pep talk.”

  1. kristin miller July 12, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    If you needed a race post Boston to renew your running spirit, NYC IS IT. I’ll be cheering on the Queensboro Bridge for you! Check out my post with tips for the NYC Marathon, including the best parts of the each borough, and a link to an AMAZING inspirational video about NYC Marathon. Seriously. Tears when I watch that video. TEARS. YOU CAN DO IT! GO ALI! http://kristinmcauliffe.blogspot.com/2012/10/advice-concerning-ing-nyc-marathon.html

  2. joe h July 12, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    1. ok well you have ten days to take off and not train. go have fun and enjoy your down time it’s like training work hard on hard days and easy on easy days. NOW is not a training time it’s a recharge your battery time.
    2. and 3. find a good training club in your area to train with or have your girls move-in with you
    4. no idea how to cope with that. do what you feel up to doing. stay strong and have fun

  3. Amanda Hall July 12, 2013 at 9:07 am #

    Its weird to be the one saying get out there because you’re usually my inspiration. I’ve gone back and read your entries from your NYC training last year, and while I’m no where near your speed, I’ve read them and try to incorporate because I so badly want to get better. So here is my advice don’t let the new neighborhood get you down, go out exploring, you’ll likely find some beautiful fun areas that you’ll love running. While training does suck and I’ve never been great at sticking to a strict training schedule, think about the race, how long you’ve wanted to run it, and how wonderful you’ll feel when you’re there at the start, in the middle, and ultimately at the finish. Remember 30 minutes isn’t that far away so still make running dates with your girls, and if they’re busy I would love to run with you, just not on a speed day! Maybe go buy a cute new item from Lulu, it won’t help with the fear but it’ll look damn good on you. Don’t let the training take the fun out, get Ramsey out there and enjoy yourselves. Can’t wait to hear about your successes!

  4. Stephanie H July 12, 2013 at 9:08 am #

    You can do it! I totally understand what you mean though, my training plan for the Kansas City Half started a few weeks ago and I’m still having a hard time getting motivated (being on vacation for a week didn’t really help that at all…).
    When I run in a new area I drive a route before I actually ran it to make sure there are sidewalks (I’m not a fan of running in the grass either) and that I know where I’m going. It’s fun to explore a new neighborhood, however it’s also stressful when you are trying to find your way out 🙂
    Good luck!

  5. Tim Fritson July 12, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    If it was easy, enjoyable, and convenient, everyone would be out there doing it. It’s not, so they’re not. Every morning or evening that I don’t want to step out the door for my run, I picture myself crossing the finish line of whatever I’m training for. I even google the image at the start of my training plan so I can have a real picture in my head of what that moment will be like. Every training run makes that moment possible. Give yourself a brain break before your training plan starts, then employ whatever motivational tool is necessary in order to get started, which is the most difficult part. Once you get into it, everything will work itself out! Cheering for you from Liberty!

  6. Jen @ Jens Best Life July 12, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    Whenever I have to adjust to new places, I typically dislike them at first, just because they’re so different. But within a week or two I’m in love with my new location and routes just as much as I was the previous one. Perhaps you and your run buddies can meet halfway so it’s only 15 minutes for each of you? Run buddies will make it all better 🙂

    And I think you are showing so much courage by stepping up to the start line again, despite the scary ordeal you underwent in Boston. This marathon will be about a lot more than miles 🙂

  7. Laura July 12, 2013 at 9:41 am #

    Alicat – Let’s get together and I can talk to you about some places you might be able to run around the new neighborhood (with sidewalks!). You’re not far from Loose Park, and I used to walk through the neighborhoods behind your new house and then over to Loose Park back when I lived in West Plaza. You can do this, and we are all behind you supporting you the whole way! xo, Waurwa

  8. Rick July 12, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    1. You can run, or you can train. My opinion, run. Relating to number 4, if Boston took its toll on you mentally, then use this marathon as a way to ease into the big ones, without worrying about PR’ing and the stress of training. Maybe just focus on having fun with it, and use it as a reminder of why you love to do marathons…
    2. Drive around your new area and find a good spot to run, or take up barefoot running with fivefingers and be one with the ground and grass (it’s hard to take a tumble on grass when you can feel the grass beneath you lol).
    3. or as an alternative to number 2, take a drive and meet up with your friends. Thirty minutes isn’t far 🙂 and you can use the drive time to get pumped up for your run (with awesome music in your car lol)
    4. It’s safe to say that NY will tighten up security at this race after what happened in Boston, but if you decide to skip it, the terrorist will have accomplished what they set out to do. They want to instill fear into the American public, get the better of us, but just like the people at Boston who ran towards the explosions to help out others, or who continued running to donate blood, you too must show them that it is in you to stand tall and say “you will NOT get the best of me” and run the race (even if for fun). If a lot of runners, volunteers, supporters, etc show up, he will see that he did not hinder attendance and will realize that his actions were in vain.

    • mileswithstyle (@AliHatfield) July 12, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

      Love this comment. You are 100% right on every single point. However I am not sure I can ever go to the world of toe shoes, hehe! And no, those Boston jerks will not get the best of any of us. Sometimes I need to be reminded of that 🙂

  9. Whitney July 12, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    Whenever I am going to run in a new place, I scope it all using the street view on Googlemaps. It helps keep me from getting lost or running into too many unexpected surprises (like no sidewalks!).

    Remember how lucky you are (in so many ways!) to be able to go and run in NY. It is a great opportunity and you owe it to yourself to make the most of it and to mark a big item off your bucket list.

    • mileswithstyle (@AliHatfield) July 12, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

      That is such a great idea to googlemap things!!! Thank you! And you are so right – I am running a dream race and so lucky! That is how I need to look at things. Thank you so much for all the words of encouragement 🙂

  10. Greg S July 12, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    “Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'” – Peter Maher

    Look, we all know you’re going to get out there and get the job done, you’re going to PR in NYC and you’re going to have an amazing time. Just have to work on the mental aspect now and you’ll get there – and most importantly because of what happened last year at NYC and at Boston you’ll appreciate the journey and the finish that much more!

    Another quote I’ve grown to love lately is:

    “I know not where the limit is, but I know where it is not.” – Josef Arjam

    Don’t let your mind impose limits on your body. It’s up to YOU when you get up and go run or what frame of mind you’re in, and if/when your body gives up…you’re the one in charge! Good luck!

  11. Sarah July 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    Running in a new place is tough, mentally and geographically! Enjoy your wine these next 10 days! 🙂

  12. Megan July 12, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

    Take on this challenge just like you would any other challenge in your life – whether it be work related, personal, etc. – and CONQUER it! It will be one more notch on your running post that you can be so proud of! I know you have a ton going on in your life right now between a new home purchase, getting engaged (YAY!) and work – but you do so well juggling a lot of things at one time. You got this girl! Look forward to our hh next week and cheering you on some more in person. 🙂

  13. Hollie Mohi July 12, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    Ali! I love reading about your running experiences and can see how much it has helped you become a stronger woman! I think you are sooo amazing. I don’t have much advice because I have only ran a 1/2, but please know that YOU played a significant influence on my motivation when I ran that. You bring a lot of my encouragement on when I see your posts and I used to think that after running my 1/2 running would get easier- I was wrong! Feeling like I failed because its still not “easy” was discouraging but knowing that as much as you run and your success, you still face that discouragement like I do. It makes me feel hopeful knowing that I’m not the only one that thinks that at times. I admire your strength, Ali! You may need motivation now but I I hope you know that you have been my motivation! I hope you enjoy your 10 days and know that I’m cheering you on 100% !!! You’re amazing and I look up to you so much!! Pretty and strong! Get it girl! Love you!!

  14. imarunner2012 July 15, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    It is difficult to stay up with a training plan. They want you to run 20 miles on days you feel like crap or only have an hour to run. They want you to run at your 5K pace for 30 minutes when you have the time and energy to run a half-matathon.

    I can never stay on track and always found it frustrating and demoralizing. So, this time I said to hell with a training plan. My goal is to simply run 3-4 days per week and get to a total of about 650 miles before my October marathon.

    I have a spread sheet and started with my base 20 miles/week and am building up to 42 miles per week pretty much going up no more than 10% per week. I also have fall back weeks to give myself a rest.

    It sounds like you know how to train so you could do this also. I have a weekend long run and 2-3 other runs during the week to hit my weekly total. If my long run is short then I bump up my other runs a little bit. If I miss a few miles it doesn’t matter as long as I can add them back in.

    So far I’m 15 miles ahead of schedule and have PR’s in 5K, 10K and a 3.5 mile race. So, I think it’s working.

  15. Corey July 15, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    I totally understand how when aren’t excited about the training that it can be a huge weight on your shoulders. It takes a lot of sacrifice and effort to truly train for a PR race and it is hard to do that if your heart isn’t 100% in it. I don’t have any wise words. The only trick I have used is to “fake it till you make it” and hope that the spark will come back and you will remember why you WANT to do it. Also, I hear you on the new neighborhood thing. I miss my country roads, traffic free running from SC and while I have the lake front to run on, I miss having multiple routes and varying options!

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