SHOW UP. EXECUTE THE PLAN.
It seems simple, right? You give yourself the best doggone running/life advice and you follow it. To a T. No excuses. No oh but like running 6-8+ miles everyday is way way better than any old 3-5 mile run. Who's really got the time or energy or motivation to make sure they're only eating in a caloric deficit of 500 calorie per day. The bigger the deficit the better, right? So, we're on week 2 of this whole half-marathon (I literally typed marathon and then had to go back and edit it, so is this like a sign of things to come?) thing, and things are going better right now than both weeks 0 & 1.
For starters, I have not fallen/injured myself since that fateful Thursday during week 0...aka the day before/week that I signed up for the big, bad, scary thing otherwise known as the half-marathon. I have definitely struggled a lot actually pushing myself to run x distance or x pace, especially that first week back to treadmill running after spring break. IT WAS THE WORST. Everything hurt and my form/pace was just off in some way. I desperately missed running outside, even the hills and especially the cute dogs and having random people stare at you as you run past them pretending that you're not about to just fall on purpose so you can take a break, lay on the side of the road/grass/sidwalk and start making sweat angels.
I ended up only getting in 20 miles last week, and the longest I ran was 4 miles. I know, I know. For some people, 20 miles over the course of 7 days and 6 runs is nothing to be upset/disappointed about. But, like, I love, love running long distances. So, for me at least, following up that hot mess/disaster of a 40 mile week with a mere 20 mile week full of pain, tears, and a wide variety of explitives said under my breath when things were particularly rough...felt like a huge step backwards. Like I really was stepping way, WAY too far outside my comfort zone in signing up for this half.
So, going into this week's training, I knew thing had to be changed. In literally every way. I needed to actually eat more food. Which, for someone like me who's struggled their whole life with body image issues and a pretty shitty relationship with food, is hard to do. When I'm stressed or just super busy with school work, there were some days where I legit had a protein shake post workout, a handful of jelly beans, and nothing else until like 12, 1, sometimes even 3. And I wondered why my workouts weren't going according to plan, why I had zero energy for school work, and why it took so damn long for me to recover. DUH.
Now, obviously my nutrition is not perfect, I will be the fist to admit that. And I'll also be the first person to use the whole college/dorm living situation as an excuse. I mean, it's not like I can just cook up anything to eat anytime I want. Or like I have a fridge/freezer full of food. Plus, let's be real, after working out for 3 hours, showering, and doing school work, who in their right mind has the motivation to change out of their pjs and climb down a thousand flights of stairs just to get food, no one...period. However, I have been making more of an effort to make myself eat something for lunch at like 12ish and then eating supper at the cafeteria between 3:30 and 4. I'm certainly not eating in just a 500 calorie deficit...but I'm at least making progress towards getting more calories in.
So, training wise...what has changed? Well, for starters, I finally had to switch up the music I was listening to while I was running...because I found myself just sticking to a pace and distance that felt comfortable when I was listening to the same playlist over and over again. So, for the past two runs (today and yesterday) I have been just putting my iPod on shuffle. And, finally, after way too long of making excuses...I am taking my own advice and actually having a real plan when it comes to my running...at least as far as treadmill running is concerned. Because, once I'm let loose on the streets, we all know I ain't settling for anything less than 6 miles at a time!
Until I head back home on April 3rd (first outdoor run is April 4th and you better believe I'm gonna bring my A game and leave it ALL out there on the pavement), the plan is to alternate between running long/slow and short/fast. For instance, I ran 5 miles (the longest I have ran on a treadmill in like forever on Monday at a 10 minute mile pace and then ran 3 miles today at 9:14 pace. I'm gonna just keep switching back and forth between the two, because I feel like it's a strategy that will work well/make treadmill running suck a little less.
Oh and by the way...LOVING THE NEW SHOES. I have literally zero past experience with Under Armour shoes...but man these Charged Bandit ones are like SO COMFY. Today was only my third run in them, but so far so good. No issues at all. No blisters or soreness. So...as long as these babies hold up, they will be my race day shoes! And they were only like $60! If you're in the market for some new running shoes or want to just simply try a different brand, I cannot recommend these shoes enough.
One more snippet about changes to my training and then this long, rambly, post is over! I have been putting two scoops of BCAAs in my water for like the past 2 or 3 days. I feel like doing this has for sure helped me to recover better from my workouts and my muscles have felt way less sore. I also ended up hitting three new arm PRs on Monday and a new leg press PR on Sunday. So, maybe it's the BCAAs or maybe I'm just getting stronger physically/mentally. Who knows?
Look for a new post on Sunday, because life has gotten a little too hectic for more than two posts a week. Plus, is my life really that interesting/entertaining that I need to blog about it more than that? The correct answer is yes! (But I'm sure you all will make it through the next month and a half until I graduate with just two updates per week!)