Training for the Illinois Half Marathon-Week 2

I feel like when I look back on this journey I’m going to laugh at myself. There isn’t a day that goes by that I wish I could run at a faster pace or run a longer distance. My natural instinct is to compare my progress to others and be hard on myself when I don’t align with theirs. In order to best manage that instinct I’ve been working on setting small goals for myself along the way.

Week 2 started off with a rest day on Monday, which was well needed! We had decent weather at the end of week 1 and I was determined to get in some running outside. A couple minutes down the road from us is Lake of the Woods. If you live in area, this is a beautiful place to check out. They have scenic trails that are various distances. Perfect excuse to get off the treadmill and outside! When I planned to make a trip out there for a couple runs, I didn’t think to factor in how the seasonal changes would affect the trails. Per usual, I began a nice warm-up walk to get loose. I came around the first curve to find a big ole patch of ice and almost ate it! Thankfully I was walking because that could have been a giant disaster. I decided it was probably a good idea to explore the trail walking before jumping into running. My takeaway from that experience was always do your prep work! Even if you could run the course with your eyes closed, always factor in the climate.

It may only be week 2 but I find myself learning more than I could have ever imagined! The bloggers I’ve started following that are also training for races, often speak about how everyone’s training process is unique. I saw a simple example of this on my outdoor runs. My body absolutely hates running in the cold. Which means my muscles love to cramp up and mentally test my endurance. I do my best to combat that by wearing layers and staying hydrated. While I was layered up I saw multiple runners with shorts and long sleeves on. I prayed for that man’s poor legs as he sped past me. It could be as simple as how you dress or the amount of miles your run a week. We are training our bodies the way we see best. That women running at 7mph a couple treadmills down, could be training for her 10th race while this is your first. While I may look like a clumsy first timer during stretching and the two ladies next to me are synchronized yoga queens, we all have our own unique routines that work best for us. However I do secretly dream of the day I can stretch my body without looking like a fish out of water. I understand that this journey is a learning process and I’ll figure things out as I go. In the meantime I’ll continue to get inspiration from other women on the same path and hope to one day provide others with the same guidance.

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Truly Yours,

Jer❤

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