With one marathon under my belt and in training for the next I find myself comparing the two training cycles and the affects of training "in the know".
What I mean by this is, when I was training for Chicago I was a newbie to long distance and all things marathon training related. Sure I had trained for a Half but taking on the Full was a whole new beast and my longest run pre-marathon training was 14 miles. Each week as I counted down to Chicago and ramped up the miles I experienced uncharted mileage, aches never felt and plenty of toenails lost. Every week was a new learning experience. Every week I pushed the limits my body as I knew it, was capable of. I became an O.C.D. FREAK about my routines, I planned every detail; clothing, fuel, run, etc. down to the "T" and basically became obsessed with all things training. It was all I could think about. It consumed my life. If I wasn't running, I was talking, blogging or dreaming about running. If running had been a real person I'm sure it would have broken up with me and filed a restraining order.
Yet now here I am, still absolutely, hopelessly in love with running but I have a more healthy respect for it. This training cycle I'm more relaxed. I KNOW I can run the distance. I KNOW I can handle the training. I KNOW if I miss a run it will not make or break my training. This training cycle, while far more aggressive than my last, I am more confident of myself. I haven't had a crazy freak out. I haven't felt especially burnt out. I haven't been running around in pain and not telling anyone. If anything I've enjoyed almost every single run. Sure I've had a few that sucked for whatever reason and yeah, I've totally had some FAIL's with all the holiday's, traveling and getting sick but nothing spirit shattering. This go around I've realized sometimes life just gets in the way and we have to put on our big girl pants and deal with it. (Although admittedly this sentiment is mostly thanks to Spike & Coach EK)
It's not that I didn't have fun training for Chicago, ya'll know I absolutely did! It's just that I ran so much more restrained and cautious. This training cycle however, has been like a breath of fresh air, there's been so much freedom too it because I KNOW I can do it!
So what do ya'll think? Did you find that after that first initial marathon training cycle you trained better cuz you were "in the know"? How has running/training "in the know" affected you? Very curious to see what ya'll have to say on the matter so please weigh in!
That's it for me, I'm off to B.o.B's tonight for our 20 miler in the a.m. Have a great weekend and as always, rock those races and long runs! Good luck to everyone racing/spectating Phoenix!!! Catch ya'll on the Flipside!