16 Weeks of Training and the Countdown Begins

16 week countdown
I’ve been on a buying spree of late. All running stuff, of course.

Because a girl’s got to have the right equipment if she’s to train properly. Right?

Last month, I purchased a new Garmin GPS watch.

I told myself that I really needed it to help me train and to keep track of my running cadence, heart rate and speed…although I don’t think I really even understand  what “running cadence” means. But, it sounds good.

Nevermind that I’d been using Runkeeper for years to keep track of my activities and that it seemed to have worked fine.

A GPS watch would do a better job. DEFINITELY.

But even as I was using the watch, I couldn’t seem to stop using Runkeeper on my phone.

The app felt like a really well worn, soft pair of jeans that I couldn’t seem to part with.

So I didn’t.

I upgraded to the more advanced version of Runkeeper instead.

And if I was going to continue to use the Runkeeper app, then I had to have a belt of some kind to carry my monstrous iPhone 6S Plus.

I tried the FlipBelt for a few runs, but that didn’t work because the belt kept riding up my hips.

So after a few weeks of perusing the internet for something to hold my phone, I settled on the SPI belt – size Large, to be exact.  And that has worked famously.

Whether it’s a Podrunner running mix or a new Spotify playlist I’ve created, listening to music is a “must” for me when running.

Next on my list of important equipment was, of course,  ear phones.

The Apple earphones that I had been using just weren’t good enough. Not only was the sound quality poor, the earphones kept falling out of my ears unless I was wearing something around my ears to keep them in place. Kind of hard wear a hat in the summer time.

Thus, my last latest purchase has been the Bose Soundsport In-ear headhpones which I love, love, love. They stay in place. The sound is good. And, it also comes with a mic so that I can answer the phone if it should ring.

And now, the only thing to do is to get out there and run.

I’m shaking in my shoes

About a week ago, my trainer gave me the running schedule for the next 16 weeks.

I run on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The long run happens on Saturdays.

Ok. I’ll be honest. I’m freaking out a little bit.

The first 4 weeks looks like this:

half marathon training plan

Although I’ve only been training for a couple of months, I feel like I’ve been training FOREVER.

And when I look at this schedule for the next 16 weeks, I’m quaking inside. Here’s why.

In mid-April and May, I ran three times a week. That was already challenging enough.

Now it’s four times a week.

The max distance I was training for was 10 km. Now I’m training for twice the kilometers.

All kinds of doubts are floating around in my head.

I wonder if I’m even going to be able to complete the training.

Will my body hold up? Will I get injured? What if I’m too tired? What if I skip a day?

I’m anxious about traveling because I wonder how it will affect my training.

I’m anxious about taking a three-week vacation in Spain.  The terrain will be different from what I’m used. The weather will be hotter. They’ll be lots of sun.

Sigh. It seems that I’m anxious. A lot.  And let’s not forget to mention that running is really hard! Damn hard.

Thank goodness I’m not alone

I’ve started to follow quite a few running blogs lately because I’m curious to read about other runners’ experiences.

I wonder if there is anyone out there like me. And if so, do they have the same questions, the same self-doubts and the same experiences?

I love Google. It turns out that there are loads of women out there that are just like me.

Moms. Professional working women. First-time runners.

There are women who wake up before the crack of dawn to run before the full day gets started.

There are women who question if they can finish a race of any size.

These women experience the same aches. They experience the same pains.

They are positive. They are anxious. Sometimes they doubt. But they remain strong. Even when the going gets tough.

They give me hope.

Maintaining a positive attitude

I just started reading this book called “The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer” by David A. Whitsett and Forrest Dolgener.

The book tells the story of how two teachers at the University of Iowa started a “marathon class” where they trained 14 students, none of whom had ever run more than three miles, to finish a marathon.  All the students finished the marathon, except for one, which had nothing to do with the training.

The class met twice a week for 15 weeks and the students ran 6 days each week in addition to attending class twice a week. The classes covered topics such as cardiovascular functioning, proper hydration and nutrition, as well as about believing in themselves and using mental imagery to get through the long tough training days.

I just finished the second chapter which I think it very apropos to my topic today and I wanted to share with you.

The second chapter talks about how important it is to maintain a positive attitude. And that in order to have a positive attitude about the training and the marathon, the students also had to have a positive attitude about life in general.

They said that it was absolutely impossible to be positive about training while being negative about most other aspects in life.

And if you didn’t already have a positive attitude, it was important to start using a particular phrase when you caught yourself saying or thinking something negative.

Ready for it?

The phrase is “….it doesn’t matter.”

Running a marathon is hard. Your legs will hurt. The weather will be crap. And whenever a negative phrase comes into your mind or out of your mouth, you have to add “But it doesn’t matter” to the end because it really DOESN’T matter.

This same phrase applies to everyday life.

“My boss is really a jerk. But it doesn’t matter.”

“That man is really getting on my nerves. But it doesn’t matter”. 

By phrasing this way, they maintain that  you can overcome WHATEVER obstacles you face. 

The runners went from saying, “The wind is really strong today but it doesn’t’ matter” and “There are a lot of hills in this run, but it doesn’t matter” to…

“I love these hills and I love running into the wind.

Well, it can’t hurt to give it a try. So what do you think? Shall we?

Until next time….

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