COACH’S JOURNAL | 5-8-2020

Hi all! Welcome to the COACH’S JOURNAL posts on the blog! These posts are designed to be abstract conversations with you through my experiential streams of consciousness. The mission of theses posts is to humanize the training experience through sharing glimpses into my own training – the highs and the lows and my thoughts along the way. No sugarcoating here – if I had a rough training week, you’ll know. Why? Because we all experience that. My training looks different these days. This comes as no surprise to any of you – you’re right there with me adjusting to our newfound normal. We’re all feeling it out and adjusting as we go. So here goes.

First, I want to assure you that if you’ve been struggling with maintaining motivation – you are not alone. Maintaining motivation has been hard. I’ve been getting out the door regularly, but I’ll be honest, it has involved some self pep talks. Motivation ebbs and flows for everyone, I assure you that we are all having days where we are just doing our damndest to stoke the fires in our bellies to keep ’em smoldering until they can rage again. If you need a day to just… not – to stay in and take a nap and, well, just not – don’t hesitate to take it. It’s all about balance, one (or even a few!) days off will not sabotage your training. Most importantly, your mental health is just as important as your physical health when it comes to healthy, productive training.

Alright, now for training. So far my races up through June have all been cancelled/rescheduled and I expect that more will continue to cancel. To recap, my “A” race for this year is/was Superior 50 mile and I had planned 50k races in May, June, and August leading up to it. I was planning to continue racing after Superior this fall, depending on how I was feeling. However, everything is up in the air and I’ve just embraced that and am rolling with it. I’ve continued incrementally increasing my milage but my training focus has shifted due to life’s realities right now. I’m using this unexpected time to focus on finding enjoyment in training and developing some areas of growth I’ve identified. I’ve found this can be a great way to continue to feel productive and see progress without the objective results of races. For instance, I feel confident that my endurance is good, but I know I can work on my hill climbing and speed. I also happen to find a lot of joy in hill workouts. I love getting to the lookout atop, pausing for a moment to breathe and take it all in. I also think there’s a lot of value in choosing runs that bring you joy right now. Have something you could identify to work on during this time? This is the perfect opportunity! Get creative and find a way to incorporate it into your favorite training run.

I’m also finding it grounding to revisit my motivations for running. Running has always been a go-to for me through all my darkest, most desperate times – along for the ride to support me in emerging stronger and happier. Reflecting on this is calming and I’m taking comfort in reminding myself that the cycle repeating itself, and I will come out of this stronger. Consider placing some special attention on soaking up every bit of gratitude you feel while running right now. It’s truly amazing that our bodies are capable of these incredible feats of strength, stamina, and endurance.

All in all, my overreaching goal in training through all this is to not let a day go by without appreciating that I am so damn lucky to be able to do this. I’m wishing you continued health and hope you are enjoying some runs these days!

That’s all for now folks.

Keep on keepin’ on,

Melissa

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