Motivation for Chicago Marathoners

Here we are, week 16 of training for the Chicago Marathon. In less than a week 45,000 runners will toe that starting line of a 26.2 mile journey through the Windy City. We’ve all been checking the weather reports religiously (obsessively) for the past week and it seems as though the weather keeps changing as much as our emotions. We’re nervous, excited, anxious, determined, but most of all we’re ready. Ready to tackle those dream-big goals. Ready to see what these 16 weeks have made us become. Ready to see how strong we are. Ready to see how brave we are.

I know I won’t be the only one standing on that starting line with sweaty palms, forcing the self-doubt out of my mind – I know I’ll be joined by 44,999 other runners battling the same doubts. But we’ve done the training. The 5 a.m. wake-ups. The 90 degree training runs. The endless 800m repeats, long runs, and easy recovery runs. The work is done, now it’s time to see what we’re made of.

Inside

{Monday Motivation} You Get Stronger

Yesterday I had an incredible long run. I am nervous to even write about it in fear I’ll jinx future long runs but I can’t not write about it. I had 14 miles on my schedule and I was a little nervous since I had to skip my long run last weekend. This would be my longest run since training for the Marine Corps Marathon last summer and fall.

Turns out, a little rest was just what I needed because this run was fantastic. I managed 14 miles averaging my goal marathon pace (9:09/mile to break 4:00) with a “fast finish” for the last two miles. I couldn’t help but smile and laugh a little when I finished the run. Why was I so nervous? There should be absolutely zero pressure on long run days. You should run at a comfortable, maintainable pace.

For me, my goal marathon pace happen to be my comfortable pace this past Sunday. This doesn’t mean it’s going to be my long run pace for the rest of training but if anything, it shows I am getting stronger. Happy running this week!

(Source: Pinterest)

(Source: Pinterest)

{Monday Motivation} She’s Running

I don’t know why but I loved this graphic when I saw it on Pinterest – for some reason it really resonated with me.  I can be unapologetically lazy sometimes. I can also be very Type A. A weird combination, I know. I try to train by the book but sometimes, life gets in the way. I try to “X” off all of my training runs but some days the motivation is just not there. This happened to me yesterday when I skipped out on my long run because the weather was just unbearable. Maybe this wasn’t really lazy of me. Maybe it was the smart thing to do. But the Type A Hannah was reeling inside, worrying that missing a long run would mean my training would suffer. Truth is, we’re only three weeks into Chicago training and there’s plenty of time left until race day. My fitness won’t suffer this early on and skipping out on yesterday’s run might mean being about to nail all of my training runs this week. I’m still running, sometimes I just stumble a bit.

(Source: Pinterest)

(Source: Pinterest)

{Monday Motivation} Love the Process

My running has been in a bit of a slump lately. If I’m being honest with myself, I think I’m out of shape. Since my bad race at the end of April, and the doctors appointments that followed (still trying to get that sorted out), I’ve had to take it easy. No speed workouts. No racing (although I did run our Heartbreak Hill Half which was a blast!). No pushing the pace whatsoever. I hate this! But with training for the Chicago Marathon starting in a week, now is not the time to push myself too hard and possibly get hurt.

During this “off” period though I’ve been able to get some other habits into place that I hope to continue with during Chicago training. I’ve been going to spin at least once a week and I’ve been running in the mornings. I’m learning to love my morning runs because it’s just so peaceful and the cooler weather doesn’t hurt. I’m loving spin because of the challenge it poses for me. I think I’ve needed these changes these past few weeks to get me more motivated to start training hard for Chicago. I know once I start my training plan I will be able to focus in and get inspired, but for now, I’m learning to love the process. Happy running this week!

LoveProcess

{Monday Motivation} The Marathon

I can’t believe Marathon Monday is already a week away. It certainly doesn’t feel like an entire years has passed since I spent 9+ hours in the press room following the horrific tragedy at the finish line. I still can’t really put into words how I feel about what happened that day. I joke that it feels like I’m giving an elevator speech every time I talk about it. But what I do know is that next Monday will be a great day for a race. It will be a great day for healing. And, it will be a great day for Boston. I want to wish the very best of luck to everyone in their final week of training (and tapering). I’m sending positive and calming vibes your way! Watch A Marathon

{Monday Motivation} The Finish Line

I’ve been slacking a bit lately on my blogging but it’s because I’ve been very busy! I’ve been training a lot for the St. Luke’s Half Marathon in April as well as busy with work, redecorating my apartment (priorities!), and I went on a four day vacation with my mom and sister down to Charleston, South Carolina. But no worries, I’ll be back to blogging soon hopefully!

With that said, I managed to run a local 5K yesterday and set an 11-second PR- without trying whatsoever. I’m not trying to brag at all but I went into this race thinking, I’m just going to run it for fun. I’ve been training for my upcoming half marathons so I’m not in 5K shape but I really did surprise myself when I crossed the finish line and saw the shiny new  PR on my watch! If anything it gives me extra confidence for the half because honestly, training hasn’t felt so great lately. Happy running this week!

(Source: Pinterest)

(Source: Pinterest)

{Monday Motivation} Love the Run

Ok, sometimes running does suck. Especially this winter. I went out for an easy 5-miler on Saturday and it felt like the hardest run of my life. It was 13 degrees out and breathing in the frigid air was less than enjoyable. But I got it done because that’s what we do as runners. Yes, I could have bailed on the run. Yes, I could have gone on the gym and ran the 5 miles while watching endless amounts of Kardashian episodes. But instead I sucked it up and went out for my sucky, freezing run. And you know what, I felt phenomenally better when I got back inside. So when I saw this graphic from Run Pretty Far on Pinterest this morning, I thought it was perfect for today. Here’s hoping for warmer, happier, and less suckier runs this week!

(Source: Pinterest)

(Source: Pinterest)

{Monday Motivation} Terrifying and Amazing

Last week my foot was finally feeling good enough to do my first workout of training for the St. Luke’s Half Marathon in April. My plan called for 5 miles with 3 miles at half marathon pace (8:00/mile). While the workout felt hard, I found myself thinking, if all goes to according to plan, in 10 weeks, I will be able to run this fast-for-me pace for 13.1 miles. That’s terrifying and absolutely amazing at the same time. Setting a big goal for yourself, whatever it may be, should be a little mix of terrifying and amazing. If it’s not, dream a little bigger! Happy running this week!

(Source: Pinterest)

(Source: Pinterest)