Training for Houston

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The first time I ran a marathon I was 20; I never did more than 16 miles before race day and relied primarily on youth to get through the 26.2 miles.  There were late nights of being out until 3am followed by a hilly long run in Ithaca New York.  I was young...

The second marathon I ran, at 29, I took a lot more seriously; I did no cross training the first time around, which took a toll on me.

The third marathon, at 32, I was the most focused.  I was aiming to break four hours (ended up finishing NYC in 3 hours 50 minutes), and I more or less ate, lived, and breathed my training.  I had decided the year before this was my goal, and as there were no kids nor a business to run, this was my focus.  

This time around, my situation is completely different.

Time

There just isn't much of it. Between teaching 20 classes a week, training 5-6 privates, and yes, of course, being a mom, time is limited.  

Here are some ways I have dealt with the time crunch:

-Look at it as an incentive.  Less time means making the most of the time you have; you never know what tomorrow will bring as a parent so get done what you can today

-Work daily life into the training: On Christmas morning I was alone with Sophia; I brought her along with me in the jogging stroller.  Two days later, I wanted to get another run in but had limited help; so after I taught at Uplift I ran down to pick her up at her grandparents.

-Find what motivates you, focus, and commit; for me, I was motivated to run Houston in order to raise money in honor of Hunter Sterling, my client Stephanie's son, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. During my training, I found out that a close friends mother was also recently diagnosed.  Any time I start thinking about the "list" of everything else that needs to be done, I focus on this commitment.  

 

Weather

I have only trained for New York which means training through the summer and fall But as Houston is in mid-January, I have had some long runs in the cold.  

Courtney Collins and those at Jack Rabbit have definitely provided me with some guidance on how to dress running for the cold.  Since I run "hot" (it doesn't take me a long time to warm up) I have been able to get away with a base layer and my Sugoi Women's Versa Vest that I wore during the 2010 NY Marathon.  I find that the vest- without the sleeves- definitely keeps the wind away.  I also wear my Sugoi Subzero Scull Hat and gloves.  (and no, this is not a ploy for Sugoi, I just happen to genuinely love their stuff)

A couple of tips I got from Courtney that I will pass on regarding winter running; it will help not only on colder outside class days but also for you when you are walking outside this winter with your little ones.

-When you run, dress like it is 10-20 degrees warmer than it actually is to avoid overheating.

-Do NOT wear cotton as your base!! Cotton absorbs sweat and other wet elements and will actually make you COLDER.  Either a synthetic fiber or wool will wick sweat away from your body and help regulate your natural temperature. 

- Less is more; it is more important to dress appropriately in the cold as opposed to wearing tons of layers.  

 

Redefining Expectations

I am my own worst critic. Relentlessly hard on myself I find in ways it has gotten more extreme once I became a mom. I know many of you can relate; the guilty mom syndrome. Am I ever doing enough for my child/children? 

As I mentioned previously I've had limited time to train for Houston. Where I've previously spent months training I decided to run Houston two months out from race day. As I've done my longer training runs (20 and 21 miles) I find that I start getting negative toward the end; I start looking at the clock and although I promised not to worry about time, I know my personal best was 350 and of course the competitor within wants to beat that time.

Here is where I need to readjust: my life is completely different than it was when I ran my 350. Once we all become parents our lives are completely different. Recognizing this and readjusting expectations to reflect the new reality is so important yet easier said than done. It doesn't necessarily mean we can't achieve goals the same way we did; it just means we can only be the best within the current framework.

 

Leading By Example

First three marathons I did were not only before Sophia, but before I was a fitness professional.  My clients provide me with inspiration to be as strong and fit as I can.

But if that wasn't enough....

I have spoken often about being a role model for Sophia.  She loves running, coming to class and has even at times started to "co" teach with me.  But the conversation I had with her last night after my 18 mile run was definitely special.

Sophia "Mommy.  What did you do today?"

Me. "Mommy taught two classes and ran 18 miles"

Sophia: "Oh!! Good job Mommy! Did you shower after? You have to shower!"

I told her it was the first thing I did; before even eating!

 

There is still plenty of time to donate:

If you haven't already and would like to; any amount is much appreciated!