I know that my body has the potential to do great things.
That’s not entirely true. I know that I should believe my body has that potential. What I know is that my body used to practice collegiate volleyball four times a day and was still able to dance its way to dinner across campus. What I know is that 10 and 6 years ago, my body grew two small humans from cells and then recovered from two very traumatic births, four years apart. What I know is that my body has carried me through difficult and very joyous chapters of life and I am incredibly grateful.
As I prepare my body to run 13.1 miles for no other reason than I want to prove that I can & I really like Disney bling, science tells me that I need to teach my body how to carry me that distance. To get there, I’ve read lots of magazine and blog articles, pinned lots of lists from influencers, and followed both elite athletes and social entrepreneurs. And the thing that seems to be common among all of them is this: when you ask your body to do new and challenging things, you must provide your body appropriate fuel & rest to do the things.
My goals this week were specific to this knowledge: I set a goal to get hydrated (drink at least 64 ounces of water a day) and rest well (7 hours of sleep each night and little to no caffeine). Those seemed like two *relatively*
easy foundational things I could do as I begin to increase the number of daily miles I run each week. Straight forward. Small steps.
How’d I do?
I am a hydrated boss that usually needs to pee every hour, on the hour. The rest? …not so much.
But here’s how I’m feeling 7 days into creating a foundation for half marathon training, because, yeah, I’m the girl that needs to build a foundation before she can even start training safely:
- I feel focused
I tracked these stats for seven days in a row, which is seven more days than I’ve ever tracked these stats before in my life. Sleep is tracked by my trusty FitBit Versa, but the water I had to keep up with and input all on my own. I’m nearly certain I consumed way more than 478 ounces of pure H2O, but I have no idea how many ounces of water go into my water bottle, and just went with the 16 ounces I assumed based on other water bottles that look similar to my water bottle. Very specific and scientific. Could definitely hold up in a court of law.
- I feel energized
Despite not getting enough sleep three nights last week (hello, neighbor who had a nervous breakdown for the entire neighborhood to hear at 1 a.m. on a weeknight), I actually felt pretty awake each morning. I chalk that up to not having the 2 very large cups of iced coffee after 10 a.m. and am noting that I likely won’t set caffeine as my goal for next week. The removal of caffeine besides morning coffee + an intentional 10 p.m. bedtime created a morning that I am really grateful for. Didn’t nail the goal; still reaping the benefits I hoped for.
- I feel tired
Didn’t I just say I feel energized? Uh-huh. Post workout, I am tired. Like, crawl into bed for an entire weekend and not talk to anyone tired. I think this one has more to do with my not fueling my body correctly. (WHO KNEW that nutrient rich food provides building blocks for those muscles I’m challenging in my distance and strength workouts?! Oh… everyone else? Cool. Cool.) In coming weeks I’ll be reading up on best foods to put into my body that will help my muscles feel less exhausted by the end of a workout.
- I feel optimistic
Last Sunday I ran 5 miles straight with very minimal walking (read: listening to my body and slowing down in the 90+ degree heat), and I did not need 3-4 days to recover. Just one. One day to recover from the longest continuous distance I’ve ever run in my entire human life. I can see the goals I need to focus on and the ones I need to press pause on before diving deeper into that data. Caffeine? Mornings may need them, so I likely won’t set that goal again. Sleep? I need to do better and will continue to hold myself accountable.
The bottom line? I can do hard things and I can show myself grace when I don’t crush every goal. Because what I’m really practicing each week is the focus, determination, and tenacity it takes to conquer the one goal I’m chasing this season: finishing the Disney Princess Half Marathon and celebrating with my sister in Disney World.
Onward: New week… new goals….