I ran 18 miles today… very excited! But I spent the entire week increasingly nervous about my ability to get through that many miles. I didn’t want to say I’m running 18 miles and then fail miserably. Embarrassment is big deal among my people. We hate not being able to do something we think we’re supposed to be able to do. In fact, I have witnessed some of us actually lie and say, “No, I cannot help you with your homework, go ask your father,” just in case that third grade math turns out to be trigonometry or some such nonsense. Oh, who are my people, you ask? Why Super-Moms of course!
But as I was getting ready this week and even this morning, I noticed that my marathon training life has become a series of befores and afters (what I do before a run and after a run) : Carbs before, protein after. Heat before, ice after. Warm up before, cool down after. Rest before, fall out after.
It’s no surprise then that training has become somewhat a routine… and everyone knows that routines can get boring. So I try to mix it up. My first goal within my marathon training is to listen to every song on my iPod while I’m running. It’s a 16gb nano and holds literally thousands of songs, most of which I haven’t listened to in years. It’s a good goal because it gives me something to focus on other than just my speed or mileage.
Boredom can kill any goal. People will say if you’re bored it means you’re boring. While I usually agree with that – I know some extremely boring people. I mean you would rather watch your nails grow then hang out with them – sometimes what you’re doing is just un-exciting. Or you do it so often the habit of doing it is about to drive you insane. So I say again, mix it up. If you’re bored washing the dishes make it fun again. The next time you’re doing the dishes, break your favorite dish. Break it good, in like a million “favorite dish” pieces. Then throw a tantrum like you’re in your terrible two’s again. Talk about excitement! When your family comes running to see what happened, burst into tears and then run to your room and slam the door.
Two things will happen: 1. Your heart will be pumping adreneline through you a mile a minute. You’ll feel like you just ran a marathon, it’ll be great. And 2. Your family will feel bad that you broke your favorite dish and someone will finish the rest of the dishes for you. No boring dishes for you to do now… problem solved! 🙂
When I think about it, I guess it makes sense to have a before and after for whatever you do. You should know what you need to do before and what you need to do after. Even if it’s simply preparing before and recaping after, the activity will go more smoothly and it’ll help you gage how you’re doing. I was glad I had weeks upon weeks of training before I ran 18 today because at the very least I felt comfortable that I knew what to do to prepare to run that far. For instance, I knew not to do any strength training this week. With that many miles, I didn’t want to run the risk of sore legs. (And I knew to make sure every song on my running playlist was an absolute jammer!! 18 miles for an amateur runner is a long time running!)
So follow some type of before and after plan. Who knows, with a little preparation before and then a quick recap after, if your favorite dish excitement goes well, you might be able to step it up. Next time you’re vacuuming, suck up your favorite shirt. Then, throw a temper tantrum like you’re in your terrible two’s again. Then... well, you know the rest!