Tuesday, October 24, 2017

GUEST POST: Unexpected Training Bumps by Amanda

The hubby and I are currently out of town. With both of our jobs being a little unconventional right now (we both work from home), we decided to jump in the #AdventureMobile and head to Joshua Tree for a little camping trip. I will be sure to catch you up on our adventure when we return, but I didn't want to leave you twiddling your thumbs with nothing to read in the meantime. I asked around and found the PERFECT guest blogger for today - Amanda (I mean, not only is she a joyful runner but she loves chips and salsa almost as much as I do, so she's gotta be awesome, right?! SPOILER ALERT: SHE IS!). So, without further ado, please join me in giving her a hearty CarleeMcDot.com welcome!

Hiiiiii! I’m thrilled to be a guest blogger this week, talking about what to do when the unexpected comes your way during a training cycle! I’m Amanda (aka “the running señora”), wife for 11 years, mother of 2 girls (7 & 5), and a preschool teacher. I’ve been “running” for the last decade or so, but picked up the pace while training for a sprint triathlon last summer. I discovered a new love and passion for this sport that drives & challenges me, and makes me endure setbacks. I’m attempting my first full marathon in just a few weeks in Savannah, but the road hasn’t been so easy.

The first 8 weeks of training were practically perfect in every way. I hit every split, interval, and hill, all while gaining distance week by week.

But one Saturday morning in September, I made it 18.84 miles when suddenly, my left knee/leg completely stopped going. I later learned I was struggling with a bit of ITBS. I hobbled back to my car sobbing and accepted that my perfect training cycle was now altered. Would I get to keep running and still keep my BQ goal in mind? Was I still in the game? Is it alright to eat chips and salsa every day to cope? (The answer to all is: YES.)

Because of injury and travel, what has followed in these last 6 weeks is probably the most unconventional method to training for a BQ at your marathon debut (Yes, I still claim that I want it)! But this is what I’ve learned from it all.

Injury takes time for recovery, but it doesn’t take away your value as a runner. After collapsing after the almost-19 miles that morning, I quickly learned that my body sometimes has to throw in the towel and recoup. I may not be running 50-60 miles/week of intervals and long miles, but I’m still working hard through whatever miles, coupled with strength and cross training. The training isn’t as intense nor as long, but I’m still running and moving forward.

Find your time. With two active daughters, a preschool teaching job, a family to manage, and other interests to foster, the days are busy. For me, running at pre-dawn is the best option. I wake at 4:15 am for quiet time, then I’m out the door by 4:50 am to meet up with friends or head to the gym.

When my husband was out of town for 10 days last month, I ran miles when I could, took my girls for workouts with me, and swam when they had swim practice.

It somehow worked, and I had a nice balance of hard training and extra needed rest. I allowed the busy days go by as “off” days, and tried to tackle a run the next time I could fit it in. Find a time that works best for you, and be flexible when the daily routine changes!

Traveling can make exercising difficult, but not impossible. At the last minute with 4 weeks before the marathon, I hopped on a plane and went to Honduras for a 10 day mission trip. At 4,000ft elevation and in one of the most poorest and dangerous communities in the city, I couldn’t lace up my shoes and run. In order to keep moving but not risk my life, I stacked up HIIT workouts throughout the week and dynamic stretching that kept me sweating and completely out of breath. My first run back on US soil was a strong and easy 7 mile progression with strides. Sometimes our physical location doesn’t allow us to run. And that’s okay – find something else to make it work. More than likely, it’s just a brief interruption to your regular training schedule.

No matter what: Keep the JOY. The rule is, if I wake up and “don’t want to,” then I don’t. It’s not my goal to resent the miles or the sweat. I run because I can, I love it, and it’s liberating – so why not be joyful through it?! One of my most enjoyable races was so phenomenal because I smiled, sang out loud, high-fived spectators, and cheered on the other runners. A positive spirit is contagious, encouraging, and life-altering!

So, whatever it is you have on your plate and however your training cycle is going, keep at it – even when the setbacks come your way. Keep your goals in focus, work hard, and just move forward. You’re bound to learn a few lessons along the way, and you’ll finish stronger from head to toe, no doubt.

Will you join in giving Amanda a HUGE round of applause?! I absolutely loved this post and her journey! I cannot wait to follow along on race day to see her become a marathoner! You know I'm pulling for her to get her BQ too, right?! If you love Amanda as much as I do, please make sure to follow her on whatever social media platforms you use!

                    Instagram: @amandaghent
                    Twitter: @ajghent
                    Facebook: Amanda Jackson Ghent
                    Blog: The Running Señora 

What do you do when something gets in the way of your training?

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