A Little Ramble

The other day Cheryl commented that marathon training is so mental. Now that’s the TRUTH. As much as I love running there are some days where the thousands of other things I am responsible for get in the way of my ideal run.

Let’s look at yesterday as an example. I had a to be up and out of the house early for a client meeting. I tried to take a selfie with Cecil before I left, but he didn’t want to look at the camera.

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I don’t always take selfies with Cecil, but this particular time it really amused me. You see, the client I met with is in the Pet Retail industry and the presentation I gave was (partially) on marketing to narcissistic pet parents who are part of the millennial generation. You might say I know a thing or two about that demographic : )

Afterwards my boss and I hit up our HQ for a minute before heading out to a lunch meeting.

Nothing like walking to lunch under the baking hot sun. As a runner I’m obviously not afraid of a little sweat, but I HATE sweating in my work clothes.


It’s all good though, the lunch meeting was interesting and I think I’m going to have some rather exciting career news to share soon. But I’m under NDA now so I won’t say any more just yet!

Around 3pm back to the office I went to catch up on the day’s work…since I was out of the office for a good portion of the day I didn’t get home until LATE.

I immediately grabbed half a bagel, threw on my running clothes and flew out the door. I hit mile one hard (it was speedwork night) but after that the full weight of the day seemed to come down on my shoulders and I fizzled out.

Isn’t it funny how one day a faster pace can feel easy and the next day that same pace is a struggle?

I really think whenever this happens it’s a good example of how all the things outside of running impact our training.

I was tired because I had to get up a couple hours earlier than I normally do. My daily routine was disrupted by the two meetings that had me out of the office a good portion of the day. I had to run later than I like.

All of these little things add up and mentally fatigue me as a runner. They bond together to form the little devil on my shoulder that says, “you don’t need to run faster, just slow down, it’s okay. Who care’s if it’s speedwork night? You’re not an elite runner, just go at a comfortable pace.”

I really need to learn to block that little voice out, it’ll make life so much easier! ; )

Sorry that I rambled a bit today and probably gave you TMI about my day outside of running. I guess I just needed to get all of that out on ‘paper.’

How do you silence the little voice that says “let’s just take it easy today”? 

Want to brag about anything? I’m in the mood to hear some positive stuff! 



  1. September 10, 2014 / 5:31 am

    I have had that same fizzling thing happen to me during an evening run as well. To get myself through that I usually tell myself that this is good practice for the late miles of a marathon when my legs are soooooo tired! I hate sweating in work clothes too, lol.

    • September 10, 2014 / 10:59 pm

      That is wise advice!! I will have to think that the next time I hear those little voices telling me to just slow down or stop early! Thank you, Heather!

  2. September 10, 2014 / 7:41 am

    First – I loved reading about other parts of your day. I always enjoy hearing about my blog friends “real” lives!!!! I can’t wait to hear about your upcoming career news!!!
    I’m right there with you – I don’t mind sweating at all in my workout clothes but I can’t stand sweating in real clothes!!!
    And, the negative self talk has been getting to me lately – if you figure out how to stop it let me know!

    • September 10, 2014 / 11:01 pm

      Sweating in real clothes is the worst! It makes me so self conscious. I KNOW how much I sweat when I run and I’m always worried that my real clothes might suddenly end up soaked too! lol. An irrational fear but definitely a fear!

      We have to cut the negative self talk! HAVE to!

  3. Molly
    September 10, 2014 / 8:02 am

    At least for me, it’s all about the art of balancing when I should and shouldn’t listen to the “let’s take an easy day.” For example, if I am sick or injured, it’s likely in my best interest to take it easy rather than risking more damage. I actually have the opposite issue right now…I’ve been recovering from some knee pain, and I always want to push it rather than slow down a bit.

    • September 10, 2014 / 11:02 pm

      You are so right Molly it’s all a balancing act! I definitely take it easy when necessary, like when I was sick last week, but I hate letting myself off the hook when I really don’t have an excuse. Although clearly I made up plenty of excuses yesterday for why i didn’t quite nail my paces!

  4. September 10, 2014 / 8:19 am

    I was having these EXACT thoughts this morning because today my tempo run felt as close to effortless as a tempo run can get! But just 4 days ago, I had a HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE run. I could barely manage a pace almost 2 minutes slower than my tempo pace. What the heck???? I guess we need not freak out about off days because it usually doesn’t mean anything other than we had an off day.

  5. September 10, 2014 / 8:20 am

    Yes! The day I’ve had really does impact my running performance. I read somewhere that your mental strength during running relies on how much ‘willpower’ you have stored up and it’s a finite resource so if you use it up during the day on small decisions (like whether to eat the cookie or to not eat the cookie…) then you’re more likely to give in during your run.

    • September 10, 2014 / 11:04 pm

      Oh, that is SO interesting! I never thought of willpower as being a finite resource but I can definitely see how that makes sense. I am such a type-a routine-loving person that yesterday really messed me up by the time I got to my run. I guess I had used my willpower up!

  6. September 10, 2014 / 9:22 am

    That little voice gets me every time lol. I tell myself “eh it’s not a race, no big deal” but I have been working on pushing through as well.

    Good news, I’m strongly considering my first ever trail race in November. I’m considering the 25k distance which has a big climb towards the end with about 800ft of gain. I’m soooop excited lol

    • September 10, 2014 / 11:05 pm

      That’s awesome! 800ft of gain is like a walk in the park for you!

      I’m so jealous that you’re gonna get to do a trail race!!

  7. September 10, 2014 / 10:56 am

    Sometimes I tell myself it is the difference between being inspired to do something, and dedicated. Inspired=when you “feel” like it. Dedication=doing it even when you don’t feel like it. So I ask myself, “are you inspired or dedicated?” Sometimes that nagging voice still comes back, and I usually chat with my husband (he is the most dedicated person to exercise I know!) He usually snaps me out of it.
    The truth is though, sometimes, life happens and you get done what you can. As long as it is the exception, a day of “bleh” work outs or a unscheduled rest day isn’t going to break a race! Go get them the next day!
    You have been working hard!!!!
    Something positive…The kids have their first meet tomorrow–They always inspire me! It is a GREAT way to kick off “ragnar” weekend–we leave 5:30am Friday!

    • September 10, 2014 / 11:08 pm

      I hope you have a blast at Ragnar and I am sure the meet will be AWESOME! That is really exciting!

      You know, I feel like at the beginning of marathon training I was a lot more dedicated. I hardly ever skipped a run or allowed myself to slow down on speed days. Lately I have been letting myself off the hook more because I’m tired or sore (or sick) and I wonder if that’s normal… as you get towards the end of marathon training maybe it’s okay to take an extra rest day if needed because your legs have been worked hard for months … or maybe I’m just getting lazy!

  8. September 10, 2014 / 11:05 am

    Exciting career news??? Can’t wait to hear about it. It sounds like you had a long, busy day that was a little out of the norm. Sometimes when we have a day like this, it’s OK to let the little voice in our head make a statement. You are usually someone who can go out after work and get it done, so for you to fizzle probably means that you needed to just relax and take an evening off. It’s almost better sometimes to just push the reset button and try again tomorrow. I have nothing to brag about, but tomorrow I am heading to Southern Oregon to visit one of my best friends for a couple nights. Lots of happy hours, movies, walks, pool time, and wine tasting in my near future. ☺

    • September 10, 2014 / 11:10 pm

      Ohhh that sounds so fun! Have a great weekend!!

      I think normally I wouldn’t feel too bad about yesterday but since I took all of last week off with bronchitis I just feel like I’m being lazy since my legs are well rested. Adam suggested that the bronchitis is probably still in my system (since I’m still coughing) and that my body may just be telling me I need more rest… but aside from the cough I feel normal so the whole thing makes me feel … annoyed that I didn’t hit all my goals yesterday.

  9. September 10, 2014 / 11:39 am

    I’m realizing more and more how much all of the outside stuff affects our running both mentally and physically. When I hear that nagging voice to take it easy I usually tell myself that I can cut it short. So like if I’m supposed to do 5 intervals and I’m starting to hear that nagging voice on interval #3 then I tell myself to get through at least 4. And then usually after 4 I’m like you know what I’m so close to getting them all done I might as well just do one more! I hope that made sense — let’s just say I do a lot of negotiating with myself while running!

    • September 10, 2014 / 11:11 pm

      Oh, I like the negotiating tactic! Thanks for sharing that tip! 🙂 I am going to have to use that next time, for sure!

  10. September 10, 2014 / 4:04 pm

    I definitely think the stuff outside of running affects our running big time! I know when I am stressed out or really busy running just feels harder.

    • September 10, 2014 / 11:12 pm

      It’s so true! I try to really “let go” of everything before I head out for a run so I can use it as time to clear my mind, but I guess it’s pretty impossible to do that all the time!

  11. September 10, 2014 / 7:22 pm

    As training goes on, it becomes SO easy to give myself an out…and I’m never sure if I really deserve an easy break or not!! But it’s totally true that sometimes you just have to listen to your body and relax your plan.

    • September 10, 2014 / 11:13 pm

      That’s exactly how I feel these days! At the beginning of the training cycle I was so dedicated to each run and now I am giving in so much more easily. I don’t know if my body is just tired from months of training or if I’m just being lazy!

  12. September 10, 2014 / 9:03 pm

    Marathon training is the most mentally challenging thing I have ever done. It is so easy to want to give up but the fact that we are strong enough to keep going just shows how strong we really are! Tomorrow I’ll be up at 4 AM to get in a training run before I’m in class from 8-3:15 and then work 5-10. It’s going to be a long day, but it will be worth it come marathon day. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger right?

    • September 10, 2014 / 11:14 pm

      WOW! Go Courtney!!! That is going to be a hardcore day! You’re right though, that dedication will definitely pay off for you on marathon day! The next time I want to slow down on a speedwork day or want to skip a run I am going to just think, “what would Courtney do” for motivation!

  13. September 10, 2014 / 9:07 pm

    I can relate to this post so much. Little changes in my schedule or day throw off my ‘set-in-stone plans’ for a run all to easily. For example, this morning I woke up with a sore neck and feeling way too tired to get up when my alarm went off at 4:45. So, I thought, hmm, why not rearrange my planned run to a later time in the morning? However, I know that making changes to the time or trying to do it later is a recipe for a crappish run for me (generally it feels like a struggle if I don’t get it in before 7am, or ideally be finished by 6:30).
    Plus the heat would be a killer still! Sweating in work clothes and having extra meetings would all add up to feeling less than on fire on a run, BUT you still went out there and ran! So that’s awesome!
    Hmm, to silence that little voice is a hard one. I usually remind myself that I have gone to all the trouble of putting running gear on and getting out there so I might aswell try and give it a go.
    Can’t wait to hear your exciting work news soon! 🙂

    • September 10, 2014 / 11:16 pm

      Exactly!! Yesterday there were multiple things that threw me off, but really all it takes is one little thing and I get frazzled! hah!

      How is your neck feeling now? I hope you’re okay!

      When I get home from work I always immediately put on my running clothes so I can tell myself I have to go because I already have my shoes on lol Great minds think alike 🙂

  14. September 10, 2014 / 10:23 pm

    I def like this post – nice to read your stream of thoughts! Can’t wait to year about the career change!!