Monday, January 19, 2015

19 Days Down. 90 To Go.

Greetings from the end of a chilly long-weekend. I am in week 3 of my Boston Marathon training plan and we are exactly three months from the starting line. Training for a fourth marathon in three years is interesting in a few ways (and -- please let's not forget -- this is the sixth marathon I have actually trained for...) It's interesting because I know what to do. So much of running any distance for me before it was something I did was the unknown. How will my body react? What should I eat? What should I wear?

It's these questions that I used to blog about over the years as I discovered my way through the answers to these questions. How will my body react? Questionably and sweatily. What should I eat? Lots of things. Things before, things during, and things after. Not so fast, dairy. What should I wear? All the clothes in the winter. None of the clothes in the summer. 

And I think because most of my running questions have been figured out and the kinks have been ironed out, somehow that translates to others as, "oh, this must be a piece of cake."

Sorry, kiddos. Cake it is not.

Mmmm. Cake.
Many aspects are easier with the information I've amassed about my body and what schedule works for me. And because I spend more money on my running clothes than on my clothes clothes, I'm actually quite comfy in most weather situations.

But running 10 miles is still running 10 miles. And running 16 miles is still running 16 miles. That's still happening and there's no amount of information or practice or uncertainty that shortens the distances. I think. Although Google Maps may be working on it. I don't know. I still haven't upgraded my iphone operating system, so I can't be sure.

So now I focus not on figuring out everything from scratch, but on what I can do to enjoy the experience more and to get just a little bit better. Fundraising is actually a big part of that, because knowing that I have the support of family and friends from all areas of my life truly provides a mental and emotional boost to get me through the tough training days. [And thank y'all, it's been going great!!]

Fixating on my cross-training as much as mileage has been a great physical boost. Because of the more muscles and the more flexibility. Turns out that despite squats being the worst, they make your legs stronger and evidently stronger legs make you run faster. Crazy. Who knew.

And finally, the biggest and most helpful and amazing addition to my running life....podcasts. You heard me. Podcasts.

Oh, how into podcasts I am!

I have been a podcast dabbler for some time now. I blogged about RadioLab as part of a Favorite Things post a million years ago, but now I'm in deep in terms of internet radio listening. Serial (duh). RadioLab (duh). But so many more. Pop Culture Happy Hour. Freakanomics. Ted Radio Hour. Stuff You Didn't Learn In History Class. Invisibilia (new and diggin' it). So basically while I run I also learn about everything in the world and become the smartest and most interesting person ever. It's a win win.

If you have suggestions of shows, please send them my way. I have many hours that I would rather spend hearing other people's thoughts than listening to my own. Trust me.

I feel like there's a life lesson in here somewhere with the marathon training becoming more comfortable over time. Something about the scariness of the unknown being more difficult than the actual task at hand. And how the thing you might dread or be totally scared of becomes something more routine and familiar and that makes you really happy. And you might learn a lot of things on the podcasts.

So you should also sign up for a race or a new hobby or try something new because...someday you might love it too. Yes. Yes that's it. Nailed it, MeriG.

I made a New Years Resolution a few weeks ago to enjoy the process of running. And 19 days in I hope you don't mind me saying that I believe I'm killing it in terms of this particular resolution.

I'm finding that I can relish the run or the workout even with I struggle to find that same positivity and presence in other areas of my life. I guess true balance would have that attitude spread throughout the world that is MeriG...and I'll work on that. But for now I'm just enjoying being "in the know" when it comes to my running, to sharing a bit of that knowledge with y'all, and just enjoying the run. Because even if I don't feel positive always myself (and can ya believe it... sometimes I don't!), I'm sure there is a Ted Radio Hour focusing on the subject. And that's close.

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I am running the 2015 Boston Marathon with the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge! I have raised $3,811 towards my goal of $10,000 for the 2nd year in a row! Find our more or donate here: