With just 16 weeks remaining until my 40 miler , the heat is ON. The summers in St. Louis are NO JOKE. Last weekend’s 18 felt ridiculously difficult, as the heat index approached 90 by 9am. With this type of heat and humidity, it truly feels like I’m running in quicksand.
Not only is the summer heat in full swing, but it’s starting to settle in that I’m actually going to be attempting this huge effort in just a few short months. There’s no turning back for me! Before my training began, I felt about 50% sure that I could reach 40 miles, alive and unharmed. Now, I’m seriously down to about 25%! I’m nervous; yet somehow, I’m (slowly) moving on, with one foot in front of the other.
Other than the heat, I have to admit that my training is going well, overall. I’ve hit each of my weekly mileage goals, have remained uninjured (knock on wood), and don’t believe that I’m in danger of over-training yet. Another positive note is that I’m learning a lot, about every random aspect of my journey.
Here are some of those things that I’ve learned so far, during my first quarter of training:
- Lube up everywhere, especially in the summer. When chafing happens, it takes forever to heal and hurts like a mother
- During a run, I constantly monitor all systems, my breathing, posture, energy, and all others. If I notice a real problem, I try to deal with it sooner, if possible, rather than later. For instance, if my energy is in the dumps, I’ll take some caffeine packed GU right away.
- Give myself inner pep talks, as needed. I become my own Shred instructor in my head when I feel my energy slipping away. It works! I even start mumbling the words “You can do it!” “Keep it up!” or “One foot in front of the other!”. I’m sure I look and sound like a lunatic, but when you’re past the point of caring, it really helps!
- Never leave home with a cluttered mind. Yes, running is great for sorting out your thoughts, but when you have a million things to do, going for a run becomes a nuisance rather than an enjoyable activity. I try to clear my mind before my run so that I’m not rushing to get back or handicapped by my stress. This one is tough for me to do, as I’m running almost every day, and stressed the same amount, but it matters, so I’m trying.
In addition to sharing my lessons learned, I also want to remind myself why I’m doing this again in the first place.
- To test my strength and will
- To follow in my father’s footsteps
- To establish a legacy for my children
- To inspire my friends, family, and community
- To raise funds for the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, the USO (Charity Miles), and the World Wildlife Fund (Charity Miles)
- To have the entire day to sort my thoughts, reflect on my first half of life. Determine what’s next for me
- To bring my friends and family together to either run or celebrate along with me
Off I go! One foot in front of the other…