My Cup of Tea (+ Our First Linkup!)

Oh hello, hi, and welcome to the inaugural Training for Tuesday linkup! In case you missed it, here are the "rules" — we can just call them Guidelines for Harmonious Linking. Tracy and I will be here for you on the last Tuesday of every month to talk about your current training goals, what you're working on, what kind of progress you're making, and all that jazz. Don't forget to grab a button and add your link below before you hop around to see what everyone else here is training for!

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If you've been following along for a while, you probably know that I started running around Christmas last year (December 26, 2013 to be exact) and I've gotten a few 5ks under my belt over the last couple months. But more notably, I'm running my first big race in October. I'll be running a half marathon (13.1 miles for those who don't know) in just under one month.

When I first started running, I laughed at the idea of running a 5k (3.1 miles) three months later. But I did that. And then I started thinking about running some other races — so I signed up for a few more 5ks. And then one day this summer I started thinking... maybe I could run a half marathon in the fall?

See, I'm a very goal-oriented person. If I have something in my sights, and it's something I really want to do, I'm going to do it.  So from the very start of my running career, I was making myself little monthly goals. I made monthly total mileage goals, distance goals. Then race goals. But when I decided I wanted to run a half marathon, I wasn't entirely sure it was realistic. But at some point over the last couple of weeks, while on a 9-mile run, for the first time ever, I started to feel like I would be ready for race day. I felt like I would be ready to run 13 miles.

And then this weekend happened. Saturday morning I set out for an 11-miler. I called it quits after just two. It was a perfect storm: my slight headache became a migraine minutes after I stepped outside. I was overheated from the get-go (thanks, Indian Summer). I hadn't stretched enough and my legs felt like lead. I packed it in and promised I'd do at least 9 miles the next day.

Sunday came. I stretched. I dressed for the weather. I queued up my playlist. I got out there and was just absolutely miserable. I was hot and cranky, because I'm tired of being hot. My shin was on fire — why? I have no idea. I've worked through stints of shin splints before; this was new and different. just... heavy. My body was tired. I was hungry. It was buggy as hell and that made me seethe. I was just not going to have a good experience on that run, so I called it a night after 2.5 miles.

And I came to a conclusion.

Most of the time, I run because I thoroughly enjoy it. I know I'm not alone in that, but I also know a good bunch of runners who don't actually enjoy running — they enjoy being fit and healthy and feeling accomplished after a run. I love being on the road with my headphones in. It's my time to work through everything: pains in my heart and in my legs. Questions I've been turning over for days. The uncertainties of my life are met with solutions, if they exist at all, during a bout with the road.
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That's where I started with running, and that's where I always want to be. That's not to say, of course, that of the million thoughts that race through my mind on a run, all of them are positive. They're not. We all have our "running sucks" moments, even while in the very act. But they're a drop in the ocean.

Over the weekend, I didn't enjoy my runs. So I ended them. I've trained up to 10 miles, which everyone says is "all you really have to do" to be ready for a half. I'm not sure I agree with that — I absolutely want to hit 13 miles before race day. I feel ready, and I feel confident, and I will give nothing less than 110% of myself on race day. I wouldn't know how not to.

But I'm done training for the sake of my training plan. I want to keep enjoying running as I always have and never lose sight of why I started in the first place nine months ago. So I've decided that from here til the half, I'll run as much, as often, as long, as hard as I want to. Luckily, on most days, I want to run long and hard. But on the days that I don't? I've decided that that's okay too. And on those days, I'll do my best for as long as it feels right... and then I'll go home, practice yoga, and make a hot cup of tea.
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Go ahead and share your training goal with the class now! We'd love to hear about whatever you're working on: to run faster, harder, longer. To increase your flexibility and touch your toes. To nail your first race or triathlon. To hit the next weightlifting benchmark. Whatever you're training toward, tell us!

And don't forget to hop around and spread some love, words of encouragement, been-there done-that advice, or a pat on the back. AND don't forget to mark your calendars — we'll be back with the next Training for Tuesday linkup on October 28! Get ready to share a new goal or update us on your progress. Good luck!
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Comments

  1. You're such a good writer :) Honestly I think that's why I stopped running in 2012 and have struggled to get back into it. In 2012 I was running so fast and hard and then I did a horrible 10 miler and I was so depressed. From then on it was 'I suck unless I do better than that' and it became a chore, and wasn't fun anymore. Before I knew it I hated running, like really hating not just love to hate it. That's why I don't want to push myself too hard this year, as well as the lazy of course. I want to enjoy running again, and I do. I love feeling strong, fit and healthy, I love feeling like I'm accomplishing something, and my mind seems to be able to think at a faster rate than if I'm just sitting at home. I am 10000% positive you are going to absolutely smash your half marathon!!

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  2. I'm so so proud of your accomplishment and you are going to rock this Half Marathon!! i think the reason I don't find enjoyment out of just running is because I'm not training for anything - when I was training for a race I felt like I had to work harder to reach those goals, but just running for the sake of running does nothing for me lo!

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  3. Look at you go! I really REALLY want to like running....but I just cant. Maybe one day I will try it again.

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  4. Girl, you are AMAZING!
    I injured my knee running a 10k 4 years ago and I had to stop running which was so sad because I was finally to the point where I LOVED running! I loved feeling strong! I loved knowing that I could just, run!
    I got back into it after I had Mia (nothing is more motivating than a post baby body, ha!) and I hated it at first, but once again, it felt so good to know I was strong! I slacked this last year and I'm only doing 2-3 mile runs. But that's okay because it's enjoyable for Mia and I. I need to love it and enjoy it or I will just quit!

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  5. Dude WHAT is going on with us?! I basically could have written this whole thing (conceptually anyway haha).
    I think you're way more prepared for your half than you think you are. I know things aren't going perfectly, but you've put in the work. You're committed. That's really all you need. Just do what you gotta do for the next four(?) weeks!

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  6. That's amazing girl!!! I'm glad you found something that you really love! That is how I feel about Barre. I never really enjoyed running....there were points during the run where I was like "yeah I'm feeling good" but that was like 1/3 of it.....the other 2/3's I was like cursing because I swear the wind was always against me hahahaha

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  7. This is amazing! Love it. I submitted my link but it wont be live until 12 am ... so dont click it yet :) I love this link up and cant wait to continue with you on it!

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