Wednesday, March 14, 2012

10 Days and Counting

First, let me say Happy Registered Dietitian Day! March is National Nutrition Month and today is the day to celebrate nutrition professionals.  Let's all hope that next year on this day someone will be wishing ME a Happy R.D. Day! :)

So it's officially 10 days until my half-marathon.  Most people in NYC are buzzing about the NYRR NYC Half-Marathon coming up this Sunday.  And although I do eventually want to run that race (the course just seems SO cool, starting in the park then hitting up Times Square sans the tourist mess!), I'm so relieved I registered for the 13.1 Series Queens Half instead.  It just seems not as big, not as much pressure.  In reality, I'm the only one putting pressure on myself, but even just the fact that my race is in Queens seems less intimidating.
10 days until we meet again, Unisphere.

Don't get me wrong-I'm super excited to run this race.  I can't predict how I'll feel that day, but I'm going to do my best to just run smart and ENJOY the run.  I do have a certain goal time in mind, but in all honesty my goal is to run the entire time. And to not be injured at the end or the days to follow! Earlier in my training, I revised my plan to ward off injury.  I cut back my weekly runs to just 3-4 days, allowing 2-3 days for cross-training like yoga or cycling.  Oh and let's not forget the day (sometimes two) of rest! 

My training last week.

Training has definitely not been easy.  It takes a lot of time and a lot of physical energy.  But lately, I've been concentrating on the mental side of it.  During my long runs, I use the miles where I'm struggling to talk to myself.  I repeat mantras like "one foot in front of the other" and "I run because I can".  I might look crazy, but I don't care.  It helps.  And as much as I hate to admit it, yoga has been helping a lot.  The stretching and sweating does wonders for me after hard run days.  Also, I'm starting to get better at this whole breathing thing.  You'd think I'd have that down by now since I've been doing it my whole life.  What has been most helpful is picturing my breaths.  I like tying my biology knowledge into it, so I picture the breath bringing oxygen into my blood and distributing it to all of my muscles.  Weird, I know.  But it works for me. 

What do you do to stay mentally strong during training/racing? Any tips or suggestions for me?

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