1. THERE'S ALWAYS ANOTHER RACE
You are injured. You don't know what to do. THERE'S ALWAYS ANOTHER RACE. There are big races that matter. If Boston hadn't been Boston, then I would have not run that marathon from all the hip/groin issues that I had for TEN WEEKS (meh), but I felt that I had to continue pushing through it. I would NEVER normally do that. It's gone now though. HALLELUJAH PRAISE YA JESUS!
If you are wanting to complete a marathon, just take the time to get better and rehab. It's worth it and then you can enjoy your experience vs forcing something that is just not meant to happen and ending up even more hurt.
It's also not something to freak out about. Life freakin happens. If it was your best friend or family member, and you looked from the outside you would say "Girl it's not that serious. Just do the next race" and that's the truth. That's what you should do. If there is ever a situation that I'm freakin out about (and this is also how I dealt with body image issues back in the day) is that I would look at myself from a bystanders perspective or I would look at my situation from someone else. Would they say it was okay for me to be upset? If not, MOVE THE STINK ON. If it's an important race, then do your due diligence of rehab and just do what you can. But if it's real serious, there's always another Boston.
2. STRETCHING, MOBILITY, & FOAM ROLLING OH MY
Okay I am such a dang turd on stuff like this. I mean ...the worst. I am ashamed to say how I used to feel about this. I thought it was for woozies. HAHAHA! And I wonder why I have had a handful of injuries in my short little marathonin days. How stupid right? Good news is, I don't feel that way anymore.
The rule of thumb is: You do mobility work BEFORE your workouts meaning that you might rotate your hip in circles getting it warmed up. I have a little routine from hips to calves that I do before each run, and it takes me like 2 minutes. It's really not something that takes long but makes a huge difference.
The static stretching (hold 1,2,3) is shown to be best AFTER your workout. You don't want to do this on cold muscles as you could hurt yourself just in stretching. How bad would that suck? Whomp.
Foam rolling-AHH! It's like a deep tissue massage. It hurts so good! My husband is a foam rolling fool. He legit asked if he could take it with us on vacation. No, Tanner, you may not embarrass me with your foam roller. No. HAHA!
3. YOU CAN GET FASTER
Okay, if you want to be a runner and you want to actually improve your times, you gotta put the work in. I will admit that I get slightly annoyed when people just casually run 5K's and don't really train much at all but are upset if they don't hit PR's in their races. Hello duh. You have to work for those. Click here if you'd like to see my blog on getting speedy-er.
But I also think that when I was running for my first half marathon, I legit just thought that like whatever speed you were, that's what speed you were. Some people were lucky and could run faster and some people just didn't have it. While that is partly true (genetics do play a big role) but you can do speed workouts and tempo workouts every single week and continually get faster over time. During my last training cycle for boston, I got in maybe 5 total speed workouts because that's what hurt my groin the most and I felt it. My body was never used to going at faster speeds and if you don't use it, ya lose it.
4. THIS IS FUN
Legit, like it's really fun to be an athlete. No matter your discipline or sport of choice, this is supposed to be fun. I legit look forward to reading articles about running. I look forward to doing workouts and I absolutely love races to try to get better.
The rule of thumb in running if you haven't started yet is that it really does take getting past the 3-4 mile mark to really start to enjoy the sport of running. If you are just casually doing a few miles here and there, it really will just be something that is awful. It's not until you get past those points when you are able to sink into it.
5. YOUR BODY ADAPTS TO MILEAGE VERY QUICKLY
No matter how much you are wanting to run mileage wise, you can put in the work and you will be able to get to that point a lot quicker than you think. If you've never run a marathon before, you put in an 18 week training cycle and you'll be more than ready. Each week my body surprises me on what it is capable of doing and how well it progresses. The flip coin of that is that if you don't continue doing it, you will lose it so fast. If I get sick or am gone for 10 days on a trip, I feel awful when running on the return. It's the continual habitual running every day that allows for enjoyment and progression. Click here if you'd like to read up on my marathon training program (18 weeks long including strength training).
6. NUTRITION MATTERS
I think we all know this, but it really does. If you eat terrible one day and then you are trying to run a big workout the next day, you can forget it. Even if the foods that I'm eating are within my macros for the day, if it's like chips and crappy processed foods, I feel like junk. I've noticed a huge difference with 1-drinking water (which I suck at) and 2-eating whole foods (which I suck at haaaaa). I've started adding in a green smoothie everyday and it keeps my digestion so lovely and me feeling fantastic on my runs.
I could actually really start doing more of these because I have many many more things that I've learned that I think will be helpful, but I'll keep it short and sweet this time!