Celebrating Small Victories – 4 Miles

26.2 seems daunting right now so I’m trying not to think about it. I’m just focusing on increasing my mileage slowly and safely while also building up leg strength.

Yesterday (Thursday), Mike and I ran 4 miles together in the morning. It was SO much better running in the morning for me. No stomach issues, less anxiety built up over the day, and cooler out. I stretched for a bit and had a little bit of water. I didn’t feel nearly as nervous as I did the other day. I tried to put my mind in the place it used to be before running – where I’d be excited to run and relax. It was extremely humid out so I brought my large Nathan handheld water bottle and drank the whole thing throughout the run. After mile one, I was already very sweaty (so was Mike).

I really tried to not focus on my calves. They felt fine but if I thought about them a lot, then I’d imagine them feeling tight, tired and ready to re-strain. So I distracted myself by:

– Singing along in my head to the songs on my shuffle
– Going through the races I’d done and remembering the crossing the finish line moment
– Imagining crowds lining the mall, cheering us on
– Remembering my relaxing, just-for-fun runs on the mall and my state-of-mind
– Focusing on my 3rd eye, which I learned about in yoga yesterday. It’s “located” on your forehead and helpful to visualize to really focus your thoughts. Sounds cheesy but it works to keep my thoughts from drifting.
– Going through the details of our recent vacations in my head
– Thinking about my plan for the day

The Washington Monument is conveniently 2 miles away so it was our turnaround point. With 1 mile left, I imagined seeing the One Mile Left sign at the Philadelphia Half Marathon (still not sure if I’ll run it – will see how much progress I make between now and then). I love seeing the One Mile Left sign during races, not because I want the race to be over (well sometimes) but for the extra surge of energy I try to find for that last leg. I love the feeling of finishing really strong and how that last mile flies by with the crowds cheering you on and all the excitement.

I cheered for myself (Mike cheered for me too!) when I finished the 4 miles! I felt great! Confident and strong. I am really realizing the power of one’s mind and the power of positive thinking. I think this is really training me well for the mental aspect of the marathon. I am working on changing my anxious thoughts to excited thoughts, putting my mind in the place it used to be when I’d go out for a run –excited, confident, happy. I’m going to shoot for a 6 mile run on Saturday, rather than pushing myself too much with 8 miles (my original goal). I don’t want to take any steps back mentally or physically.

Have you heard seeds are the new nuts? Mike and I are so excited that Costco is now carrying Somersaults! I first sampled these snacks at the Nike Women’s Half Marathon this spring in DC. The wide-ranging flavors include chocolate, salsa and sea salt. Costco just has the sea salt but I like how the seed flavor comes through so much with this flavor. Somersaults have as much protein as almonds but just half the fat!

Post-run snack!

Post-run snack!

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