The countdown has begun.
Yesterday was February 29 (Happy Leap Year!), giving us exactly two months until the big day.
Two months? Holy cow. Where has the time gone?
Since starting this whole marathon journey back in August last year, I've learned so much. There have been ups and downs for Phillip and I both, but we're learning how to overcome them and keep going.
Here's what I've got so far:
1. You can't let 'bad' runs bring you down. Any run is a good run, because it means you got out there and did it.
2. Keep a training schedule. Mark off each day with what you did, even if you took a rest day instead of the planned run.
3. Figure out your own running schedule. When I was trying to get back into my running routine back in January, I followed it religiously, but soon I started to feel like I was getting burnt out from running all the time again.
After the suggestion from a good friend, I scaled back on my quantity of runs. After some trial and error, I realized that when I run every other day, my quality of runs greatly improved. The best part - I'm much more excited to go on runs than I was before. Now my training schedule is used more as a guide than a strict regiment.
4. Participate in other physical activities. On days that aren't rest or run days, try to find other physical activities that you enjoy. Since I've scaled back on the number of days I run now, I've gotten back into yoga, Pilates, bike rides, soccer, hikes on trails, and soon I'll be joining a softball team. You've got to keep variety in your life so you don't get into a rut.
Fun photo from my hike at Kennesaw Mountain back in January:
Buckhead's skyline is on the left with Atlanta's skyline on the
right. Right in the middle is where we lived our first year here
together in Georgia.
5. Don't let a little rain keep you from sticking to your schedule. It's really not that bad.
But by all means, don't go out if it's storming with thunder and lightning. Be safe.
6. Listen to your body. You'll be more likely to keep up with your runs if your body is comfortable while doing it.
If you feel tense, try to release it and relax. If you feel tired, slow down to a jog or walk. If you feel pain, figure out the intensity of the pain. If it's just tight muscles, then stretch. If it's more serious, take a couple days and rest. Be kind to your body, and it will be kind to you.
7. Breathe. Deep breath in, deep breath out. The whole time. It really helps.
8. Pay attention to your running form. ChiRunning really helped me overcome my knee problem. I've written about it here and here. I sometimes catch myself slipping back into old habits, but the most important thing I really try to pay attention to is a) kicking back my heels, b) to breath, and c) to lean forward.
9. Get a running partner. Having someone to run with helps make the time go faster, and it's way more entertaining than the music you've listened to over and over.
10. Enjoy your surroundings! Find a place you love running in and soak in the beauty. Sometimes I take my camera with me on my runs just to take pictures of fun things that I see. Today was one of those days. You can read about it here!
As yesterday was the last day of February:
Total miles run in February: 90.6 (!!!!)
Farthest distance in February: 12.31 miles (farthest distance for me ever!)
Total miles since August: 477
Total calories burned since August: 45,384