Friday, February 5, 2010

Mentally Prepared or just mental?

My key run the other night went great; it felt so good to get a little bit of speed work for a change. My lungs and legs felt awesome throughout the whole zone 3 workout, although my lungs have been on crutches ever since.

I did my recovery run last night and some core/arm work. Total mileage so far for the week is 14 miles; tomorrow is my 14 miler, so that will be 28 miles for the week.

I am starting to get back up into my longer runs now, tomorrow 14 miles, next Saturday is 16 miles. The one thing that I have noticed is how calm I feel about the long run, which is such a difference from last fall when I first started training for a marathon. I would freak out every night before the run. Can I do it? What if I can’t make that mileage? What if I can’t make my goal pace!?!?

I think my calmness is because I have already conquered a big part of the mental game of marathon training. I have the confidence that I can do the mileage. When you’re confident, you can relax, trust your stuff and try to perform at your best. I don’t feel the pressure that I felt the first time around either. No one really expected me (miss gimpy lungs) to even get this far, so the fact that I am doing a 14 miler tomorrow is a shocker. We’ll see if I can go all the way AND how fast I'm able to do it.

Several people have asked me lately on some tips on how to become a vegetarian. While I am by no means expert at this, I do have a few tips that helped me.

1.) I gave up meat cold turkey the week in between my 12 and 14 mile run last fall. DO NOT DO THIS if you are training for a marathon! You are already putting enough stress on your body as it is; don’t shock it by going cold turkey like I did. Go slowly; maybe give up meat once or twice a week at first and then gradually thereafter. Or wait until after your marathon or big event and THEN start to cut out meat. I’m not saying that you can’t run a marathon while not eating meat; I’m doing it right now and feel great! Just be smart about it.
2.) Ease in by buying a few frozen entrees like Boca Flamegrilled burgers or spicy chicken or Morning Star buffalo chicken wings or riblets or the crumbles. Get used to these and then you can gradually try new things such as Tofu and Seitan. I personally like Seitan a whole lot better then tofu, I think that it has more of the consistency of meat. I still use the frozen "meat" crumbles for chili, tacos, and spaghetti.
3.) Have fun with it! Try a new vegetarian recipe once a week or one vegan/vegetarian product once a week. Last week, I tried soy butter AND grain sweetened chocolate chips and both of these are wonderful. Ask me for some great recipes if you want to try them.

Ok, that’s about all folks. I hope everyone has a great weekend of training. I’ve got a few blogs to catch up on, so see you soon!


Julie said...

Hi Tara,
Wow, you are doing better than me on the miles this week. My long run will be either tomorrow or Sunday..and when I say long run, I mean 10 miles:) If I am running alot of half marathons this season how many 10 milers should I be doing a week? Just curious. Anyway have a fabulous weekend my blogger friend:)

Molly said...

Love that confidence! You are so ahead of the game, good luck on that 14 miler!

I'm not a full vegetarian, but I go meatless several times a week. I love morningstar farms black bean burgers, with melted cheese and salsa, yum.

Katie A. said...

Oh that confidence is so nice, isn't it! Awesome job on the tempo run. You sound like you're really recovering well! Whoo hoo!
I eat pretty veggie already, although I am continuing to eat ground turkey about twice a week - I do need the protein for my high mileage weeks. But you're right, don't give it up cold turkey in the middle!! I love all the "fake" meat products - I sometimes can't taste the diffence.
Good luck this weekend, you're gonna rock it! Can Rick maybe ride along side of you?

Jennifer said...

Great comments about the veggie issue. I am not a veggie but I almost am as I eat meat only a few times a month. I love your comments about confidence, it really hits home for me right now. Good luck with this week's long run!

ESH said...

Morning Star black bean burgers are one of the best things in the world. I eat them every day for lunch. I went veggie for about 10 years and it was definitely tough to do as an athlete but not impossible. Enjoy the 14! I think I am going to be too snowed in to do mine!

Tara said...

Hi guys!

Julie-I think for my half training, I did at least two 10 milers and built up from there. I've heard that the rule is not only run as many miles during the week that you are doing as a long run. I only did 14 miles total this week and then am doing my 14 miler this weekend.

I've never tried the black bean burgers. I'll have to give them a go!

Katie- I'm going to run with Jill this weekend! My hubbie wouldn't want to ride beside me; I'd be too slow.

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

Hello Tara,

It's so exciting how quickly you are coming back from your illness (I'm sure it seems slow for you). I am happy for your calm and confidence with your return to training. Congrats!

ajh said...

I'm so impressed with your confidence. I don't always have it. During my last marathon I had false confidence for what I wanted to do so I have lost some confidence. I plan to get it back in my next marathon!

Meg said...

It's great to hear about your confidence and watching you heal up with such a great attitude and get back to your training has been inspiring. I can't believe you're already back to the long runs. Rock it girl or should I say, Rocket Girl!? Have a nice weekend!

Anne said...

I know all about "gimpy lungs" :) glad you're doing great. Good luck on the 14 miler, I'm sure it'll be a fantastic run!

Jill said...

Confidence is such a key component in a marathon (not that I have much. Hahah). I've found through all these years is if there is a problem with a run, there's an underlying issues there (over trained, achy muscles, not enough rest - the list is endless) and once you learn what these factors are, you run more comfortably and your runs become smoother. I had a crappy run on Thursday...why? Cuz I overtrained my legs on Wednesday. Anyway...I'm just babbling. I don't eat a lot of meat but I do like the benefits of chicken and not sure I could give that up. Maybe after I'm done marathoning.
See ya manana. :)

Marathonman101108 said...

Confidence = competence. Great job on your training, Tara.

kristen said...

just catching up....

I love that you "were keeping an eye" on him. So funny!

I'm so glad your training is getting back on track!

Kara is AMAZING, but truthfully, I agree with your hubby. As far as female athletes go - she's not that hot. Cute *maybe*, definilty not hot. More like boring. I'm more of a Anna Williard Lolo jones fan.

I love your confidence. It's always the name of the game isn't it. Sometimes it's there sometimes it's not. You sound on top of your game right now! Stay there.

Christina said...

Do you have a family you cook for also that was/wasn't willing to go vegetarian? My boyfriend is willing to eat some meals but I feel guilty not having a meat. Maybe I keep defaulting back to the meat meals because they are easier for me to cook. I think if I made a list of vegetarian meals and choose from them I could go meatless more days. I would love some of your main course recipes if you could share.

Christina said...

My brother moved to Erie, CO a couple months ago. How far away is that from you?

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

So glad you are getting back in to the groove and still feeling healthy.

I agree after you've done a few rounds of training, the mental fatigue is much lower which makes it all a little easier!

Slomohusky said...

Hi Tara, Been busy of late and I am trying to get caught up on my favorite blogs.

I concure greatly with calm-confidence feeling on the long runs. Had the feeling yesterday before my Surf City Half. I was running it with a co-worker of my wife. She was sooo nervous, and I can remember exactly what I was just 6 months ago through her. However, I was there acting like this is something I do every day. Which after doing an HM race a month for the last three months - I am getting close.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Jenn said...

It's funny how your perspective changes. All summer I would look forward to long run day because somehow it seemed less stressful than everything else on the plan! Have a great week!