John 8:32 "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." NIV

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Transformation

On Saturday, as Bob and I were finishing our run, we were discussing my goals for the marathon and he said with a HUGE smile: "You have transformed into a runner."

What did he see that I hadn't realized? Well, to me it is no longer about getting the miles in. It is about how much my body can handle. I had got caught up in just racking up miles and miles. And until that Saturday, my body had cooperated. Was it just the treadmill fall? What is running on the concrete around the tidal basin? I DO NOT think so. I think it was a combination of everything. I wasn't being a smart runner.

I had great pleasure in bragging that I had run 1013 miles since January... that I had run 177 miles in August... that my weekly miles were in the 40s... but my body was NOT pleased. I was not resting enough. I was not listening to my body enough.

I feel extremely blessed that I was given a chance to realize this before it was too late. Before I didn't make it to the start line of the marathon. After all, it is a huge statistic about runners who never make it to the start line of their first marathon... something like 75% or even higher. I want to make it and I believe that I have the "right" plan now so I can not be a part of that statistic.

My goals for the marathon are:
  1. Finish the marathon
  2. Cross the finish line without injury
  3. Have fun and ENJOY the last mile
Notice, these goals do not have a finish time (although it would be nice to beat Oprah's time: 4:29:15 - seriously? But it is NOT in my plan... this year).

I am not sure I will ever want to run a marathon again... I like 1/2 marathons more, but if I do, I need to make this race FUN!

And in order to make this race fun, I have to prepare my body. I HAVE to rest when my body needs to rest (Remember, the infamous Saturday, was the first time my legs had felt tired - I was running too much during the week to finish my long run that Saturday and it was a sign that I ignored!). I need to warm up so my muscles are ready for the mileage. I need to concentrate less on speed and time and more one listening to my body.

How are YOU going to make it to the start line?

BTW: Did you know that I was doing giveaway? Click HERE to enter.


Heather said...

Great post. We all need to be reminded of that sometimes. Thanks.

Lisa said...

Have fun. That's really what it's all about, in my opinion. :-)

Anonymous said...

Keep listening to your body and you'll rock the marathon! :)

Elizabeth said...

I was injured before/while/during my first marathon training and basically ignored all the signs and made it to the start line injured and in a lot of pain.

It has taken over 2 years to be almost pain free, so I am glad you are listening to your body and giving it time to heal.

My next marathon after taking 2 yrs off is this Saturday, this time around I listen to my body, build in rest days into my program and followed a plan that works for my body which is running only 4 days a week with cross training and strength thrown in.

Still don't know what race day will bring but I know my body can handle it.

Good luck with your training and I have no doubt you will be fine for the marathon.

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

I LOVE you mindset!!

When I was finishing my third (I think) marathon I had to wait for a shuttle bus to take me back to the start line (yeah, I run marathons without family there to cheer me in sometimes). I was watching some people cross the finish line. I had finished with a smile on my face, arms in the air so happy that I had accomplished what I set out to do. Some (lots!) of the other finishers were (well, they looked like it) dying as they finished. No joy on their faces. No celebration after crossing. Gasping for breath. Looking miserable. Regardless of the pace they had set (they finished after me so they were not trying to WIN the race). I wondered why would they do that if they didn't enjoy it?!
You have more insight in your running then those runners. I spoke about being proud of your mileage, I think the real pride comes in doing ~ having the courage to do what you know is right for you.
What a wonderful example!

Pam said...

I had no idea Oprah ran a marathon until just now.

Rene' said...

This post was what i needed to hear today. I had been racking miles up as well, not resting because mentally I needed a daily run and now am having knee pain. I decided to take 3 days off this week and slowly build back. My marathon is not until November 7th and I know I will be ready, but there is something to be said for taking a bread sometimes and listening to your body.

teacherwoman said...

I love your goals... and number 3 is probably my favorite. So often we train so hard, that we barely take the time to enjoy the actual ride! :)

Melinda said...

I didn't realize that many people didn't complete their first marathon. And I also didn't realize Oprah ran that fast. WOW!

You'll do great!

ajh said...

I'm not going to make it this fall's start line but I hope I have learned my lesson for the next one!

MomRunningFromCancer said...

Great post Jen . . . and yes you are a runner!!!!

Kirsten said...

Good goals! Good mindset! Keep it up!