Half Marathon Monday: Learning to Stop the Comparison

Comparison is the thief of joy.Image via Whitney Bangel

I’ve loved the above quote since the first time I heard it. Same goes for the following: “Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” However, these quotes have come to mean two different things to me. The first time I trained for a half marathon, the second quote was so applicable. In the beginning, I was frustrated by long, lean women who could sprint past me with ease. It frustrated me that I struggled to push through 4-5 mile runs. As I continued to train, I learned to focus only on my own progress. You have no idea how many years the women passing you have been running. How often they train. How many races they’ve run (or even won). Or whether, behind the pokerface, their bodies are screaming with effort. You only know the details of your own journey. One of my favorite things about the running community is that everyone supports one another, no matter your experience or pace. Even now, I rarely find myself comparing my progress to another runner’s progress.

But let’s revisit the quote above. Yes, it could refer to comparing yourself to others, but it’s meant something different to me in the last two weeks. I think of it as me comparing my current fitness level to where I was on race day at the end of April. Remembering my splits on race day and comparing them to where I am now has been frustrating, but it’s unrealistic to make that comparison. And it has taken the fun out of training so far. On Saturday, I decided to change that. Rather than push through 5 miles at a choking-on-humidity pace, I maintained a respectable pace and let myself take a few walk breaks. In the mental game of running, listening to your body isn’t enough. I’m learning to pay close attention to my mind and to respect my effort. It’s not fair to compare yourself after two weeks of preparation to the runner you were after four months of preparation. I have many more weeks ahead of me and look forward to feeling even stronger on my second race day than I did on my first.

This Week’s Plan of Attack

Monday - Run 3-4 miles
Tuesday - Run 4-5 miles
Wednesday - Strength @ Uplift
Thursday
 - Run 10K
Friday
 - Full Body @ Barry’s Bootcamp
Saturday
 - Rest Day
Sunday
 - Run 3-4 miles

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Cowl Neck Pullovers

Cowl Neck Pullovers

When I’m shopping with a gift card, I tend to let myself choose something that I wouldn’t otherwise splurge to buy. I had a Lululemon gift card from my birthday (thanks, Mom & Dad!) and stopped by the store over the weekend. My collection of tights, tanks, and sports bras is outgrowing a drawer in my dresser, so I browsed the street wear-style options they’ve recently been featuring and fell in love with the Serenity Hoodie. I’m all for comfortable basics that can be worn with activewear or otherwise. This hoodie is made of a material called Modal French Terry, which feels like clouds. It’s warm without being too warm for a cool summer day. The short sleeves also make it appropriate for late summer. Another comfortable feature that I’ve always liked when it comes to pullovers is the cowl neck that looks stylishly slouchy but is also great to cuddle into for extra comfort. Here are two more options, better suited for fall, from Nike and Cory Vines.

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Nike Women’s Half Marathon SF Training App

Nike Women’s Half Marathon SF Training AppImage via Nike

This week, Nike released its Half Marathon San Francisco training app for the plan that starts next Monday. The app can only be accessed by those registered for the race. I shared the DC app in the spring, but I’m very impressed with the updates that have been made. As in the spring, you’re first instructed to choose a training plan when you log in. You can choose between Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. While all three plans are 12 weeks long, they differ in the number of runs per week and miles per run. Details are below. Continue reading

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A Letter to My New Tennis Shoes

A Letter to My New Tennis Shoes

I bought you as a birthday present to myself. And because it was about time I upgrade my cross training shoes. I’m already excited to wear you to class for the first time, but there’s something to be said about the potential in an unworn pair of tennis shoes. I’ll wear you countless times in the coming months, so there are a few things you should know about newly 26-year-old me.

First, let’s get something straight. You’re not running shoes. I already have a pair that hug my feet while I put in my training miles. Whether at the park, on the waterfront, or down the sidewalk, they do work. But I’m not trying to say that you’re not important. In fact, I wouldn’t be able to wear those running shoes so well if it weren’t for cross trainers like you. You’re kind of a big deal.

I’ll wear you to the studio and while I sweat through intense workouts. I’ll wear you to squat, press, lunge, curl, and burpee. I’ll wear you on strong days and on days when I need you to remind me that I’m strong. I’ll wear you before the sun comes up, from the office to the gym, and while holding heavy weights. I’ll wear you during training sessions that make me feel like a beast and during ones that make me feel like crying. Or cussing. I’ll wear you when I feel confident and see progress and on days when I’m not so sure. We will have tired and insecure days, so be ready for them. On those days, you’ll take the brunt of my emotions because a workout is like therapy for an athlete. I’ll wear you with a lot of neon that won’t match. I might even wear you with denim if it feels like that kind of day.

While you sit sturdy and smudge-free in your box, there will come a time when I decide that you, too, are worn out. I’ll have imprinted my feet onto your soles so much that you won’t be able to support them any longer. By that time, I’ll be faster, stronger, and healthier. Until then, you’ll keep my body safe while I throw myself outside my comfort zone. And you’ll make me look like a badass while I do.

A Letter to My New Tennis Shoes

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Erin Condren Life Planner 2014 Giveaway Winner

I’ve been busy celebrating my 26th birthday (which is tomorrow) with friends over the last few days but wanted to pop in and announce the winner of my Erin Condren Life Planner giveaway. Drumroll, please.

Erin Condren Life Planner 2014 Giveaway Winner

Erin Condren Life Planner 2014 Giveaway Winner

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