It’s no secret that I record my training in one of Lo and Ro’s well thought out Believe I Am training journals.I am currently on my 2nd journal having already filled one with a year’s worth of training.
The benefits I’ve found in having a training log and, in particular, the Believe I Am training journal are almost too extensive to enumerate. However, the biggest advantage I have found to this journal (vs logging in excel or another online modality) is that it takes a holistic approach to the runner.
Goals and “physical” training, so to speak, are framed within the context of your life as a whole. The journal serves to remind me that I am a person first and runner second (well, really third, fourth, or fifth in my life, I have a few other things on my plate!), allowing me to me to find patterns in my life which, unbeknownst to me, have a direct effect upon my training. In turn, I’ve found ways to improve my training and racing without necessarily changing the details of my training plan.
Finally, the journal and company emphasize the power in turning negative thoughts into positive ones (“pulling weeds, planting flowers”) allowing for a phenomenon that I have observed in myself which I will call “attitude plasticity” (I’ll explain in a minute).
Why am I mentioning all of this?
Well, as it turns out, I’m running the NYC Marathon this year!
I signed myself up for the 26.2 haul on Monday – nothing like jumping in at the 11th hour!
To be honest, I had no intention or desire to run this year’s marathon (or really any marathon, #5krevolution all the way) until maybe two weeks ago. On a 16 mile run with Gia, I had a fleeting idea of “hey, maybe I could run another marathon.” And, fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view), NYRR allowed me to use my 9 + 1 credit that I had and the RC said she was cool with the idea. I’m feeling pretty fit, am actually excited about the idea (I know, what has happened to me?!), and realize this might be my last chance for the NYC marathon for a long while. So, I took the $256 plunge.
I’m left with 7 weeks to train and the #5krevolution is going to go on hiatus until January or so.
Initially, I was a bit reluctant to share my training for this marathon on this blog as I thought others might be upset I was allowed in at the last minute and was sure I’d have a bunch of naysayers.. However, I think the shorter build up, impending residency application seasons + step 2 of boards, and injury stemming from last year’s marathon leaves me with a mindset and story that will be different from others. It could be a cool story and, to this science gal, “fun experiment” that I ultimately felt warranted sharing with the online world (all 5 of you reading – hi, Dad!).
In the 4 days since I’ve signed up for the NYC Marathon, I’ve been amazed how my attitude has gone from “the marathon is too long and boring” to “what an exciting opportunity I have!” Attitude is malleable (“attitude plasticity” – I’m coining that). Thoughts and attitudes can be changed if, well, you change them. You have the power to change how you think about something which really changes what actions you take and the outcome of a situation.
I truly credit Believe I Am with allowing me a system to start understanding this and using my mind to my advantage. And, trust me, I’m not always good at it, but I’m working on it.
My goals for this years marathon are three-fold. They are somewhat vague and unmeasurable, but goals nonetheless:
1. To not be concerned with all of the concerns I should have. This hasn’t been too hard, thus far, as I have a more important concerns these days (residency interviews, school). Should I start to worry about something regarding the marathon, I’m going to write it down in the free-writing space of my Believe I Am Journal, cross it out, and then write down a corresponding positive thought.
2. To enjoy the challenge. The past two marathons I’ve run (New Jersey and NYC 2011), I’ve been almost obsessively preoccupied with the elusive Boston Qualifying time (well, elusive for me that is). And, I think it’s always soured the whole experience for me. I do have a goal “range” that I will use to train towards, but, I’m almost so unconcerned with time this go-round that I don’t even recognize myself. I guess turning 26 really mellowed me out and I don’t have the wherewithall to care. My main goal is to try my best and to enjoy it. Fairly simple, yet I’m not sure how I’ll determine “success” in the end. To be determined…
3. To be healthy at both the start and finish lines and to be able to jog a Jingle Jog in December. The only reservation that almost prevented my from taking the 26.2 plunge was the fear of injury a la last year’s IT band blow up. Since Monday, I’ve developed a foam rolling compulsion and have done more PT exercises that I’ve done in the last few months. I’d rather be able to run throughout my 4th year of medical school rather than finish this marathon (although both would be nice). Staying healthy is priority #1. I want to be able to run a jingle bell jog with little CGT in December.
So, I’m going to use the “bigger picture” and the free writing space to track what prehabiltation/preventative care measures I do and to track any aches or pains I might have to, hopefully, pre-empt any big flare ups.
At the end of the day, as long as I get that sweet orange poncho, I’ll be happy. I have grand plans of monogramming it (block initials with time underneath, naturally).
TELL ME: HAVE A BELIEVE I AM JOURNAL? USE IT? HOW DO YOU TRACK YOUR TRAINING? DO YOU LOG MORE THAN JUST WHAT YOUR WORKOUTS?
Ok, way past my bedtime. Good night! Until next time…