Sunday, May 1, 2011

Taping the Garmin, Running by Feel and Over Another Bump

Before my run.  The girls were having a little pamper session with their dolls in the sunshine.  Everyone in Portland was feeling the sunshine love today!

I woke up this morning feeling kind of defeated.   I was scared to run my 20 plus miles today and thought seriously about taking a third day off and maybe even a week.  I was still exhausted and my ankle/heel was feeling just weird enough that I was so scared to do anything that might make it turn into a serious injury.  I wrote one of my dear blog friends and told her that I felt like I didn't even want to finish out this training cycle.  I seriously felt like quitting.  For several reasons:
* Fear of injury that would keep me from enjoying running for the soul food that it is
*  The time it would allow me to just be with my family and BREATHE without having to fit in my workouts that are getting increasingly harder
* The pressure I've been putting on myself to meet goals that I've set for myself
*  I'm just TIRED!

Of course I would never quit.  I wouldn't just throw in the towel.  I know this.  And I also know that I'm almost there.  I only have 4 or 5 more weeks until my marathon and I'm just getting tired.  This Matt Fitzgerald Plan is 24 weeks.  This includes the base building stages and it gradually works up to serious training.  But still, 24 weeks is a long time to have your eye on a goal!

I'm so thankful for my friendship with Jenn.  I wake up almost every morning with an e-mail from her that makes me smile, laugh, learn something, be inspired, etc.  I'm amazed that I've made such a dear friend through the blog world, e-mails, and text.  I've never even talked to her in person but I feel like if I did, it would be as if I'd known her all along.  Her e-mail to me this morning was just what I needed to read to get me over this hump and find my mojo again!  Thanks Jenn.  Here's part of her e-mail in response to my feelings of wanting to be DONE:

And this too shall pass.  I promise!   You're normal.  24 weeks is a VERY long training cycle-bound to have ups and downs.  A lot of emotion this time around for you coming off an injury and racing 3 big races already.   I could feel a REAL passion in you after your last race, a GREAT self-confidence!!  It's still there FOR SURE-just buried a little this week:)  Burnout is sometimes  temporary-busy week, so many factors.  I'm wondering if this half marathon and kind of thinking about whether you should make an actual race plan has just temporarily put you over the edge.....pressure from a self imposed "bar" that you now somehow need to meet.  Maybe I'm WAY off base and I'm stepping out on a limb here...This I know- Pressure can lead to a lack of confidence.  A lack of confidence can lead to a lack of desire.....  Your Mojo will come back if you LET it, don't force it!   You are one talented runner, Amanda.  No doubt about that!!  Thinking of you!

I think we can all learn or be inspired from Jenn's words because I know that I'm not alone in these struggles.  She's right on all levels and she nailed it about my self imposed "bar" that I'm setting for myself.  But, after my 20.5 miles for today, I'm feeling my confidence come back!  Thanks Jenn!

Taping the Garmin
I ran a total of 20.5 miles today.  My first 2.5 was with my daughter on our way home from the park.  She rode her bike and I ran along side her.  After that short run in the sunshine and 60ish degree weather, I was feeling pretty good and knew that I could do my long run.  So, I came home, loaded some music on my ipod (I usually run without music most of the time), battled my urge to want to take a long long nap, filled up my water and I was out the door.  

And I ran with Tape over my Garmin.  

I ran by heart!  This was AMAZING!  I just ran my natural pace that felt like base for me and trusted myself to just run without worrying about time or splits or anything.  I ran by feel for 18.13 miles and I'm convinced that I will be doing this again and again.  

I'm proud of myself for several reasons here:
*  My splits were overall very consistent...especially if you take the hills into account.  
*  The second half of my run was faster than the first.  This is huge for me!  
*  I listened to my body and I stopped at 18 and walked the extra mile home so that I didn't push it too much today.  

Here are my splits
Average:  7:53


Excited to have a week of enjoyable running where I listen to my body and embrace the art of BALANCE.  I have a half-marathon on Sunday as a tune-up race and I am going to go into it with a goal to enjoy myself and run hard.  No time goal.  Just to run strong and have fun! This works for me.

Stretching after my run.  Had to include this picture only because I think it is hilarious that my mom's dog decided to take a dump right when the picture was taken.  Mom, if you're reading this, Mo just wanted to get in a little bit of the action.  He knew I might be putting this on my blog and he wanted to help me out.  



  1. What an awesome run!! Can I be like you someday?!

  2. LOL... I thought you were putting this stretching picture on the blog to prove that you stretched! I hope the kids didn't step in it :P

    Great job on your long run, Amanda! I am so glad you made it fun and regained your confidence and your great outlook :) And how great is it that you have Jenn to give you such awesome advice/perspective?

  3. This is awesome! Good for you!

  4. You did it just right today. Took the pressure off and just ran how you felt - and you ran GREAT!

    Love the stretching picture. Mo took photo-bombing to new heights.

  5. Wow, what a great training run! I'm so glad you got the confidence-builder that you needed! I'm amazed how fast your "easy" pace is. Those are speeds I can hit in my speedwork occasionally, but to run them for 20 impressive.

    Cute picture of the girls and hilarious one of the dog...I mean, of you stretching with your furry scene-stealer in the background.

  6. Great run! The fact that you are conscious of how you feel goes a long way towards keeping yourself on track and not overdoing it. It is very normal to feel tired and burnt out when training.

    I am in awe of your times. Congrats! Now relax for a day or so, okay?

  7. Hey gorgeous! Great post, great run and great legs lady! ;-) I took the pressure off of myself this past weekend and although I was not very fast, I actually had a of FUN. Who knew!!??! :-)I am smiling in almost all of the pictures. That never happens...I usually look like a psycho path on the hunt! Have a great week!

  8. What an awesome run! I know I focus too much on my Garmin sometimes, especially on a long run. Great job!

  9. You're lucky to have Jenn in your life, she seems really wise and that was some really great advice. It's great to hear that your long run was enjoyable for you and that your body is obviously adjusting well to your training. The best races that I have ever ran I went into with the thoughts of enjoying myself and running for fun and not time, and sure enough my times reflect my attitude. 24 weeks is a rather long time, and you are almost at the end so keep your head up lady!

  10. Great results for running by feel - looks like you got your mojo working.

  11. ok...I read the whole post, but my favorite part was the dump...
    Not really (but it was close)...My favorite part was your joy over the run and listening to yourself and enjoying it!

  12. Love how the dog wants to steal the limelight! Great job on getting out there and getting it done. Sometimes it's all about getting out the door and then it all falls into place. And yay for no Garmin! I never where one--I really find value in learning to go by feel.

  13. That final picture is too funny! Silly dog.

    Yay for getting out there and running strong! I'm so impressed by your negative split with a taped Garmin!

  14. Thanks for this post. I'm 14 weeks into a 20 week program and about ready to lose my mind! And I always find it amazing what can happen without the garmin. Although I really like the idea of taping it. That way you can check the results!

  15. I love when my dog takes a dump right as people are walking by the house. Cracks me up every time! Glad I'm not alone in this ;)

  16. I just lost my WHOLE comment and we all know it was not short....DANGIT!

    Pretty lucky to have Amanda in my life too! Definitely a blessing in so many ways:)

    So glad you had a great run! Really GREAT pace with the elevation change and a negative split-NICE!! I swear overcoming a mental obstacle and just "doing" often reaps the greatest reward. I am really happy for the way I know you feel right now!!! Fun to have a little companion for a bit on the bike!

    Different strategies work for different people. Some thrive off numbers and specifics and some don't. I'm somewhere in the middle. Need the Garmin but don't always like to follow specific workouts-ha! The key is finding what works for you at this point and you did that today! Wise wise Ana Maria pointed something out to me awhile back out of Fitzgerald's book about running and confidence. Stuck with me! I will send you the quote.

    The dog-bahahaha! Sadly, up here in the land of the redneck, it would be more like one of my children in the background.....You look fantastic even after 20 miles!!

  17. Awesome job with your run! Sometimes we just NEED to put that tape over the Garmin!!
    LOVE the picture at the end..ha ha..that is just too funny about your dog!

  18. Your mental and physical strength both absolutely amaze me.

  19. Funny dog!!

    Good job on getting over the hump.
    I agree that sometimes just getting on the bike or just going to run is half the battle.

  20. Great job on the run! That is awesome of Mo to want in the picture any way he could get in!

  21. Mental hurdles are the hardest of them all. Way to go!!!

    P.S. I love the dog in the background. So funny.

  22. Nice job on the 20.5 confidence-boosting miles. Jenn's email is great!

    I really like the idea of running with tape over your Garmin. It would be nice to have the stats without feeling like you have to run "with" the Garmin.

  23. Jenn sent you such an amazng email!! So glad you 2 connected! Experienced, talented runners!!

    I love your mom's dog--nice timing!! ha ha! You look so freaking fit--I know I always say that, but you embody a "runner" in my mind!

    Rnning by feel! How amazing were your splits and overall performance! sub 8's would kick me and you knock it out like nothing!

    Take care of that spankle!!

  24. Sometimes I need a reminder on why I run, it is fun, challenging, and I like it. I can get so caught up in training or the goal that I forget what I am really running for.

    I run for me.



  25. wow, amanda. that is one heck of a run! I feel like I hit that "tired, I can't go one more week" feeling with both my marathons... that is why I think the 'true' marathon is in the training, not the actual race itself. It is such a journey and practice in mental grit. You are doing amazing and just lept over a huge hurdle. Almost there!! Love the pedicure party, btw...and the 'dump' picture too! LOL. have a great week!

  26. Oohhh good idea, I definitely need to start taping my Garmin!!

  27. What a great 20 miles. I glad you are getting your confidence back. We are our own wish enemy.

  28. hahaha. the dog. awesome timing! umm hi, you are like the size of my right thigh, except all stretched out looking thin and toned (unlike my right thigh). no wonder you and jenn are bff's - you both weigh 88 lbs! ;)

    great job on the run! 7:53 avg - impressive.

  29. Wow, I am blown away! You are awesome and taping the Garmin could be the best idea I've heard in a long time. Burn out sucks, but you've got this in the bag!

  30. funny!! I just wrote a blog post before I read this post and it sounds like you and I go through alot of the same emotions:( big hug for you. I am feeling overwhelmed and ready to be done with marathon training too. I hate that I put pressure on myself.....I am in dire need to learn how to STOP doing this! if you have any advice pop over and let me know...but thanks for sharing and for Jenns email too:) xxxoo you are awesome Amanda and so in touch with your're an amazing woman, mother and runner! we all look up to you! xo

  31. I totally love bloggy friends:)
    Tape over the garmin sounds scary but amazing!! Hang in there...burnout is never fun, but you've freaking GOT this! You're almost there!!

  32. Awesome run. Look at mile 15. Woo wee. Sometimes I purposely set up the data fields on my Garmin so it doesn't show pace. I go by heart rate mostly.

    I ran 18 on Saturday. 8:20 pace. You win. Again. But, since I'm a bazillion years older than you let's call it a tie.

  33. You look long and lean!!! I love the new header too.

  34. Such fantastic advice.. And a great run!!!!

    Looks like you ARE over the bump! Woot!!

  35. That Jenn is one smart lady, she always knows what she's talking about. I think you just haven't trained for a marathon in awhile (aside from Portland - and the evil injury); but once you get this behind your belt, things are going to go smoother as you'll have more knowledge of how your body reacts better.

    Glad things are looking up!

  36. AMAZING RUN!!!! HOLY COW WOMAN, you are going to kill this marathon. I love the idea of taping your garmin and running by feel....I will be copying you someday!! LOVE the picture of the dog ha! Negative splits...that is my goal in life!! Jenn is a wise woman:)

  37. You are so wise to just listen to your body and run by feel. But it's great that you had all the statistics to back up what you were feeling! 24 weeks is long, but you are going to be so prepared! Do you think you would shoot me an e-mail when you get a sec. I just have a quick question for you! jenrunpack (at) gmail (dot) com

  38. i love it! you got out there and learned to trust your instincts, your body, and your mind. what a perfect way to build that confidence for the race. you are going to CRUSH it!!! good luck this weekend.

  39. At the Eugene Half I realize I rarely looked at my Garmin. I was just enjoying the whole race so much that I was just running. Taking in all of the surroundings and feeling really good. I didn't run it as fast as I ultimately wanted, but I wasn't that far off. I'm thinking at the Hippie Chick I'm going to do my best to not look at my wrist, and just run. Perhaps this is the key to really enjoying ourselves more!