Posted in Uncategorized

how to positive self-talk your way through a marathon

I have never and will never claim to know everything there is to know about marathon running or positive self-talk. However, I will tell you all that I completed my first marathon approximately three weeks ago and I attribute the fact that I was able to run the entire five hour duration to the fact that I kicked out any ounce of self-doubt that came inching its way into my brain throughout the entire race. My mantra: “the more you run, the faster you’re done.” And let me tell you… it worked!

how-to-positive-self-talk-your-way-through-a-marathon
Just because I was smiling, doesn’t mean it was easy… fake it until you make it! Put a smile on that face, make your brain think you’re having fun.

 

Yes, the physical preparation and training that goes into running and completing a marathon is extremely important. If you ever speak with someone who did not train properly, I assure you they will not suggest it. While they may have still been able to complete the distance, I’m sure they were hurting like heck for many, many days following.

As for me, the physical training helped a TON! The biggest advantage the training gave to me was the ability to recover quickly. I was walking normal with little to no soreness within a day or two of the race, and considering I was out of commission for over a week after my half marathon last year, I’d say that was amazing!

But if I am going to be 100% honest — when you’re hitting 16+ in mileage the day of the race, the last thing I was thinking was how thankful I was that I ran 22 miles two weekends prior to help me prepare for this. 26.2 miles is an insane distance, regardless of if you’ve run 20 miles, 18 miles, or 22 miles beforehand, 26.2 is still an incredibly feat. What I will say, is that 22 miles in long runs will begin to prepare you mentally for an extreme distance. My most solid bit of advice to anyone considering running a marathon, practice your positive self-talk BEFORE race day! 

Use training runs not only to practice form, build up endurance, and test out wardrobe/ fueling decisions. Use the training runs to practice mentally amping yourself up and talking yourself into being able to exceed to distances you never imagined possible. I would never have been able to cross that finish line without talking myself up, exciting myself mentally, telling myself I could do it, and using my mantra, “the more you run, the faster it’s done.” (Feel free to use this – it worked miracles for me!).

MENTAL STRENGTH is key! Practice makes perfect. Begin now, take any goal you’ve been struggling to accomplish and every day tell yourself you CAN do it! You CAN complete this goal and you WILL make it to the ‘finish line.’ Because let me tell you, I was doubtful… standing there at the start line at 7:30am on November 20th, I did not think I was going to make it. I thought I was going to fail and I was going to let down all my family and friends who had been routing me on for the last six months. Then I did a little bit of thinking and I remembered what wise runners had told me all along. If you can mentally finish the distance, your body will follow. 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in fitness

Mission Accomplished!

A little under six months ago, I set out on a journey to compete and complete my first ever Marathon race in Philadelphia. This past six months has been a whirlwind of pain, endurance, and dedication and this weekend it all paid off! I have officially completed the Philadelphia 2016 Marathon and now get to rock the title of MARATHON FINISHER!

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I must say, running a marathon is no joke. Yes, there are months and months of training that go into completing one successfully and yes, I did that. However, it is not until you get on that course and run those full 26.2 miles that you truly understand what it all means and what it truly takes. Running a marathon is complete and utter self-control. It means having 100% control over your self-thought, your self-doubt, and your self-confidence. It means ignoring everyone around you that’s slowly giving up and walking or saying they can’t do it, and continuing to remind your mind and body that you can in fact make it across that finish line.  And with that control, you make it across the finish line and feel more pride in yourself than you could ever imagine!

Posted in Uncategorized

Problem Solving 101

As you all can probably see, I do not claim to be an expert. I do not claim to have all the answers. The only thing I claim is that I’m working my butt off to train for a marathon and get in better shape and the things I write about are things I’ve learned through my own experience.

One of the biggest benefits of running that I’ve learned, especially through marathon running and 2.5 hour + long runs, is that running is a beautiful and simple way to solve problems. On a four hour run there is you, your running shoes, the pavement/ gravel/ path of some kind, and your mind. Yes, some people run with partners or in groups of people, but personally I’m more of a loner runner and I’ll tell you why…

When I’m running, I am finally alone with my thoughts. Running alone gives you a chance to get inside your own head (dangerous – I know!). While many people may say this is the exact reason they don’t run, this reason may be the #1 for why I do!

Did you have a bad day? Did something go wrong at work that you just can’t put your finger on? Do you feel like you misinterpreted what your professor said in class? Do you feel like your to do list is exponentially growing in your mind but you haven’t had the time to organize it? – RUN! Literally, run. 

Four hours is an awfully long time to focus solely on music and even if you do have a running partner, I don’t know anyone who can consistently talk and run for four hours straight. (If you can, you’re amazing – keep doing you!). So start attacking that to do list. Run through your week that has happened so far and begin going through your week to come and mentally walk through the past and prepare for the future. Take a half hour or so to think about the lecture today that you didn’t quite understand at first. Run through your last conversation with your coworker when you believe things went awry and misunderstandings began to happen. This time and thinking allows you to be productive mentally while you are simultaneously being productive physically in a health-conscious way.

Did you and your partner have a fight last night and you just can’t get it off your mind? Did something they say just really irk you in the moment? — With long runs you have FOUR WHOLE HOURS to pick apart the conversation and look at it from any angle possible. Chances are by the end of that run, you will be able to see where your partner was coming from and will be significantly less irk-ed. (I know, you don’t believe me – but I promise I’m living proof this can happen). In the early stages of my long runs I decided it was a good idea to do 13.1 miles on a Monday morning BEFORE work (think start time of 5:30 am). It was Monday morning and I was already stressed out. My job had taken a significant toll on me in the weeks prior and things began to feel like they were crumbling in front of me and I could not stop them. From an outsider’s perspective, the last thing I needed to do was spend over two hours running. With those two hours I could have instead – checked my email, responded to all outstanding requests from my coworkers, prepped my first lesson plan for my first class, schedule a handful of meetings, and much, much more. Why would anyone ever choose to use that same amount of time to only run?? Well, let me tell you – for the two or three weeks prior to that Monday morning run, my coworkers would ask me how I was feeling about everything work-related and my response was always “overwhelmed.” That Monday, after spending my two hour long run thinking about my life, thinking over difficult situations, mentally preparing my first class, and making a to do list in my head, I for the first time since the start of the academic year responded to my coworkers by saying that I felt FANTASTIC! And what a difference that made in the week to come!

So, for the pessimists out there, you are welcome to have your opinion and doubt that this story is real, but do me a favor – give it a try yourself. I hope you have the same wonderful experience that I did!

Posted in Mental Wellness

Go fast… but go slow…

As a runner in training, I feel like I constantly battle with this quote. Marathon running is not a joke and recently I’m learning – neither is marathon training. I’m not a speed demon. Honestly I’m lucky if I can keep with a 10 minute/ mile pace while running lengthy distances. Which means, a “measly” 17 mile run takes me close to three hours to complete. I repeat – THREE HOURS. That’s three hours of my Saturday or Sunday that I am spending running through streets, staring at houses, and dreaming among the trees. So, needless to say Jimmy Buffett sparked my interest with this particular quote.

“Go fast enough to get there, but slow enough to see.” As exercisers, I think we often focus on the end goal: completing the workout, getting to that desired number of reps, or finishing that race. The real question is – do we enjoy the time it takes to get to that finish line? Yes we watch the road go by as we race through our desired distance, but are we truly seeing what is in front of us? The beauty in nature, AKA the beauty in the journey, can be just as beautiful if not MORE beautiful than the destination or that feeling of completion.

Lately in all of my long runs I find myself thinking… Thinking about what I’m going to do for the remainder of my day, thinking about how  much longer it is going to take me to finish the run, thinking about what I’m going to eat for my meals that day. Then I stop and I begin to see what I’m running past and suddenly, the run flies by before my eyes. Before I know it, 17 miles are over. Being in the moment, even in a workout, makes the time fly. It makes you remember the beauty of what you are doing and the beauty of what is around you. It helps you appreciate all that nature and the world has to offer and remember that the world is much bigger than those 17 miles.

It’s not enough to just look when you workout, it’s important to actually see what is around you. Pay attention to the here and now before time passes you by. Enjoy the journey, not just the destination.

Posted in fitness, Mental Wellness

Love > Shame 

Step 6 in Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas’s Training Jounral – Body Image and Respecting Yourself

I am not going to lie to you all and preach at you that I am some perfect human who has never once shamed herself or her body. If I told you that or pretended that was even slightly true, I would be doing a disservice to myself and to you all, as are each of you if you are not admitting to the fact that in your past you have shamed your body.

Body shaming is not something to deny happened or something to be ashamed of admitting happened, but something to admit, embrace and move through and forward on from. It’s something that many people can relate to and have experienced before. It makes us human, just like a lot of the faults I have talked about previously, but it means we have something to work on. It means it is time to admit to these negative thoughts and work towards conquering them. If you can get control of your mind and diminish these negative thoughts – you can do almost anything!

This isn’t easy and this isn’t fun. It’s hard work! But it’s worth it, 100%.

Speaking from personal experience, no more than six months ago I loathed my body. I thought I was overweight, flabby, disgusting and unlovable. I thought the reason people kept walking away from me was because of my appearance. I thought I was pushing people away because of my thickening arms and cellulite-covered legs. Then one day, instead of staring at my image in the mirror and telling myself all the things that were wrong with my body, I stopped. I turned around, grabbed my workout gear and got my butt to the gym. Day by day I reminded myself that hating my body was going to do nothing for me. Hating my body was not going to make my arms get toned or eliminate the cellulite from my legs. The only way I was going to see progress was if I took action. And that day, six months ago – I did exactly that. I threw on my workout clothes, tied up my sneakers and ran. Now, I’ve been running ever since and I am starting to feel wonderfully about my body. (Key word – STARTING).

Six months have gone by in which I have been working out on average 5 or 6 days a week and I’m still not 100% in love with my body. But hey – I’m loving myself and my body 100X more than I was six months ago when I was doing nothing but hating on my reflection. I’m not saying start running today and it will fix all your problems. What I’m saying is – start working now so that you can begin your journey towards loving your body, because in order to change your thoughts, you need to change your actions.

#Live&LoveYourself

Posted in fitness

Just keep running… Just keep running… 

After almost six months of working out on a regular basis, utilizing my anger-driven fitness desire to it’s fullest potential, and pushing through a multitude of obstacles that threatened to derail my newfound love of healthy living… I can honestly say that I have grown significantly as an individual and as a fitness-focused woman. I no longer have hate in my heart for the man who crushed me and I have made significant strides in eliminating my hate for my body. Like I said last time – I’m human, I can’t say it’s 100% gone, yet!

This past six months has been a journey unlike any other. A journey that focused on me for once. A journey that put my health and wellness above all else. A journey that taught me strength, dedication, and determination in the gym and beyond. And finally, a journey that has only just begun.

A few short weeks ago, I began my official training for the 2016 Philadelphia Marathon. A few short weeks ago I vowed to myself that I would stick to my program, do what my plan told me to the best of my ability, and cross that finish line on November 20th. This is a vow I intend to keep and a promise to myself that means the world to me. Years ago, I told myself I would complete a marathon (26.2miles) before I turned 25. In March 2017… I will celebrate my 25th birthday and I will be doing so as a Marathon Runner!

#NeverGiveUp

Must give credit where credit is due – this is the lovely and informative book I have utilized to formulate and follow my first ever marathon training plan.

 

Posted in Mental Wellness

Anger Fueled Life Changes….

When life throws a wrench at you, do you duck and run away or catch that wrench and use it to spruce up your next door? In the past, I’ve ducked and ran, but not anymore. This time I caught my wrench and I’m sprucing up the next door perfectly before opening it.

Let me guess, you’re thinking, “what the heck is this girl talking about?”… That’s understandable. Well, let me explain…

Two days ago I experienced an unexpected break up. Did I cry and cower in the corner for a few hours? Of course! I’m only human! I was heartbroken… until it hit me… If there’s one thing that fuels me more than anything, it’s knowing that somebody has more control over my emotions than I do and I was not alright with allowing him to have that control. So, I changed my tune and did some research for break up advice on the internet, because who doesn’t Google an answer for everything these days? As silly as it sounds… it worked! The best advice I read was to use your emotions after a breakup to kick start a completely new workout routine, especially if that routine is anger driven…

 

Anger Driven Workouts ROCK! If you don’t trust me, next time your hate fire is flaring up.. grab your gym bag and hit the punching bag… because you’re about to KICK BUTT!