Occupational Wellness: How a Marathon Impacted My Work

I’ve done a few of these posts, tying in how my marathon training was impacting different aspects of my life. It’s honestly hard not have a marathon impact your life. Now that my marathon is done, I wanted to take this time to reflect on how it impacted my work.

Pros:

  • If this did nothing else for me, it helped me get used to being the one setting goals and reaching milestones. One of the things I think I have struggled with the most in my professional life is the lack of structure. Gone are the syllabus days of college and grad school where every week was planned out for you by someone else. It is now my responsibility to plan my weeks out and get things accomplished. This marathon definitely helped me feel more confident in doing this task.
  • Helped me dream big. I still have impostor syndrome at work. I almost constantly live in fear for the day they all wake up and realize that I’m not actually who they think they are. I’m not this analytical, data guru. I’m just someone that somehow got this job. Signing up for my marathon made me feel that similar way, but actually accomplishing it and getting it done…man. I don’t feel like I’m a marathoner but I feel like yeah, I’m a runner.
  • Focused yet flexible. I had a focused goal with my marathon. However, as my injuries started to pile on, I need to remain more flexible in my training while still remaining focused on my overall goal. This is definitely something that I have seen myself get more comfortable with at work. I used to be very focused and anything that would throw me off my course would cause me to get distress. Now I’m getting better (I’m not great at it) at being able to be more flexible with my goals and my work that I’m doing.

Cons:

  • Towards the end, I was in physical pain. And being at work while you are in physical pain is not fun and I felt distracted.
  • I spent a lot of time thinking about my marathon and my marathon training
  • I spent a lot of time eating because … well … I was hungrier that usual

Ok, I’ll admit that I was really stretching for those cons but the pros were all heartfelt and honest. I really feel like training for my marathon and completing it was really valuable and useful for me. I’m really glad that I did it. Because there is nothing to give you confidence than knowing that you can push yourself to get up at 5 am every Sunday for 4 1/2 months and run by yourself and be the one pushing yourself to accomplish your goal.

I think my next post should be the impact of my marathon on financial wellness. Spoiler – I spent more money while training for my marathon!

Physical Wellness: Marathon Recaps for the weeks

Whoa have I been absent. Marathon training took a toll on me and being injured should have probably led to more posts but it did not. After getting injured during my 17 mile run, I somehow managed an 18 mile run at a 9:39 pace. I didn’t hardly do anything else that week except hobble around. The following week I set out to run 19 miles and within 1 mile I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I felt ill and was in intense pain. So I stopped and turned around. The following week I set out to do 20 miles. At 15.64 miles a guy lunged and screamed at me and freaked me out so much I burst into tears. I had no idea if this guy was crazy enough to try and attack me on  a main road or if he just thought it would be funny. I ended up calling Eric to come and get me as I was in no shape to continue running. I think the guy just thought he would be funny but I genuinely thought he was trying to attack me. And after some of the comments I have gotten from people driving by including an SUV of frat guys that did a 180 and started following me, I don’t think my fear comes from an irrational place.

I was frustrated beyond belief with what happened. I wish so much that I had kept on running and not let what that individual do get to me. It was slated to be my last long run of training. And now I was looking at going into my marathon with my longest run being 18 miles. I felt disappointed and unprepared. Then I decided that I would try for 20 again. This time Eric insisted on riding behind me the entire time to make sure nothing happened to me. For all but 4 1/2 miles that I did on the track, he stayed right beside me and made sure I was ok. I finished my 20 mile run at a 9:44 pace (3:14:42). I was slated to do a 10 mile run this morning but after going home early on Thursday and calling in sick on Friday, I vetoed that run. For the sake of my health, I decided to not to the run. I’m still recovering from whatever it is that knocked me out for a couple of days, but I feel loads better.

This week I will stick to my usual and start planning out what life looks like post marathon. What my workouts will look like and be centered on. Even now, a week out from my marathon I’m so thankful for what this has taught me. I feel re-energized that distance running is more my style. And I feel more determined to keep running distance. My lifting and cross training will reflect that.

In terms of goals for my marathon, obviously crossing the finish line is my primary goal. This past month has been riddled with injuries and illness so just finishing will be awesome. I have some time goals in mind. I’d like to finish between a 4:10 – 4:22 marathon. a 4:22 puts me at a 9:59 pace which all of my runs have been under that pace. I’m hopeful that my marathon will be as well. Whether I will run another marathon or not is not a question I’m ready to decide on but I have been seriously considering signing up for the Kansas Half Marathon which is a couple weeks after my full marathon. I’m not sure how I will be feeling and how I will be recovered but I may do it just for fun.

I’m hoping to return to some kind of blogging schedule soon. To be honest my days have been full with work, training, and spending time with Eric. I know I need to prioritize my blog more, but for the past couple of months it has taken a serious back burner in my life. I need to decide what I want to do moving forward.

Thank you all for your support during this time that I have been training and definitely look next Sunday or Monday for a full recap of my experience. If any of you happen to be running the IMT Des Moines Marathon, best of luck! If you see me, be sure to say hi! I will be wearing a highlighter yellow “Northern Iowa Panthers” shirt.

Physical Wellness: Marathon Training Week 14 Recap

Sunday:  14.19 miles at a 9:25 pace. Was supposed to be 16 miles. This was a painful run. 2 miles into the run I started feeling the twinges of a migraine. At 8 miles, my head felt like it was exploding. Plus I tried to do a different route so at 14.19 miles I ended up at the bottom of a seriously steep hill. I decided that I would walk up the hill and then finish up my last bit after. By the time I got to the top of the hill, my watch had auto saved my run. I threw my hands up and just headed home. All in all, I probably got close to 16 but it was a really rough run.

Monday:  Labor Day, rest day.

Tuesday:  4 miles of speed work in the AM, 1 hour of tennis in the PM

Wednesday:  I attempted to do lower body work. I got squats in and then realized that when I came in during a flash flood which soaked my bag, that my work clothes might have also gotten soaked. And if they did, then I would need to go home and get dry clothes. They were a bit wet, but I dried them with a hand dryer in the locker room. Also, walking from the parking lot to the gym in a flash flood is no fun, FYI.

Thursday:  4 miles with run club

Friday:  Arms and abs

Saturday:  rest day. 2 rest days? Well, my gym was closed on Labor day and I have been enjoying having my rest day before my long run. I make no apologies.

Wow has my blog taken a hit…I have only been uploading these snippets. Life has just been downright crazy these past couple of weeks. With my training, I am just trying to remain as healthy as possible before my marathon. I’ll try to upload some actually wellness stuff this week.

Physical Wellness: Marathon Training Week 13 Recap

Sunday:  15 miles @ 9:35 pace – felt strong and solid throughout the run. My first long run of marathon training where I finally feel confident that I can do this marathon.

Monday:  Arms plus standing on my feet for about 7 hours at an event at work.

Tuesday:  Nothing. My whole body was just swollen after a 15 mile run and then standing on my feet for so long on Monday. My joints hurt so bad. And it wasn’t from the long run it was more just that combination of everything. I was just a mess of pain.

Wednesday:  Legs and Abs

Thursday:  3.5 miles at run club trying out Saucony Kinerva’s (rep was there – I loved these shoes)

Friday:  Arms and Abs

Saturday:  rest day

It’s pretty sad that I didn’t even hit 20 miles this week WITH a 15 mile run in the mix. This week was rough on me. Mentally, emotionally, physically. It was rough at work because students are now back and I worked a huge event Friday and then that event on Monday plus our office was interviewing people all week. All of this combined to just cause a lot of stress that played itself out in my motivation. All I wanted to do this past week was sleep. I barely spent anytime with Eric. I didn’t want to be outside and have to interact with people. I just wanted to hide out in my apartment and not have to talk to anyone. It’s dramatic, I recognize that. But in my (lame) defense, I am highly introverted so a week of having to interact with strangers on high levels has really spent me. I know I can’t afford these types of weeks with my marathon quickly approaching, but this week happened and there is nothing more I can do about it.

Physical Wellness: Marathon Training Week 12 Recap

Sunday:  14 miles @ 9:36 pace. Felt strong during this run. I was nervous after balking the previous week and not getting the 13 in

Monday:  Arms and then attempted speed work until I realized that schools are back in session so football practice is going on after work. So I have officially moved speed work to Tuesday AM

Tuesday:  I learned that I cannot run on an empty stomach. I got 2 miles of speed work before my growling stomach took me back to my car and back to my apartment for breakfast. I thought I would give the fasting running a shot. I cannot do that. Lesson learned.

Wednesday:  Legs and abs

Thursday:  Defend Lawrence 5k and 30 minutes of yoga

Friday:  I lifted things and put them back down and I don’t really remember what I did.

Saturday:  Becoming a rest day for me. Plus I needed a day of locking myself in my apartment and not speaking to anyone. I worked a huge event for work Friday night and being around that many people for a couple of hours…I just needed to have some silence and not be around people.

I also learned this week that if I ever do a marathon again, I need to make sure that not only do I plan out my long runs but I plan out my miles per week. I can see now that it would have been really useful. I think I will do that for the rest of my training but I definitely wish I would have done that from the start.

Physical Wellness: Marathon Training Week 11 Recap

Sunday:  I was slated to do 13 miles. I woke up at 5 am to run and it had been pouring all night and it was still just dumping. I made it 7 miles before I called it quits in hopes to spare my feet some unnecessary blistering. No dice, I got home and my whole right sock was bloody. I was (and still am) disappointed that I didn’t suck it up and run the 13 miles, but I also know that running in shoes that are absolutely soaking wet isn’t the best thing. Big picture

Monday:  Arms in the AM, Speed (work) in the PM. I ended up doing 6 miles of speed work (I usually do 4-4.5 miles). I tested out ENERGYbits during this run (which you can read about and enter a giveaway HERE).

Tuesday: I’m not sure what happened this day but I somehow I missed out on actually getting a workout in…I biked to work (did 4/5 days last week) and walked to a meeting…I really have no idea what happened.

Wednesday:  Squats and abs in the AM, tennis in the PM

Thursday:  5 miles with run club which was really cool because we had a photographer following us taking pictures to use for the shop and for the Kansas Half Marathon. So I’m basically famous in Kansas now.

Friday:  Abs and calves

Saturday:  Rest day. I really appreciated this day.

It was a rough start to the week, but there were gems of workouts in the mix. I’m now in uncharted territory with running and training.

Physical Wellness: Marathon Training Week 10 Recap

Sunday:  12 miles at a 9:16 pace. This was my first running carrying not only hydration with me but also nutrition. It went well. I was really pleased with the run. I was about 1/2 mile away when a huge storm started rolling through. Literally right as I walked in the door to Eric’s, it started pouring outside.

Monday:  Arms/shoulders + speedwork. I tested out a new speed set and I’m not sure how much I liked it. I did my usual base mile of warm up 400, sprint 100 jog 100. Then I tried a new ladder. I did sprint 100, jog 100; sprint 200, jog 200; sprint 300, jog 300; sprint 400, jog 400 and then down the ladder again. And then my usual finish up mile of sprint 100 jog 100 for 1200 and a cool down 400. I racked up 4.5 miles with this workout but it was tough a grueling. The heat, my legs were sore, my body was fatigued….but I got it done.

Tuesday:  60 minutes of tennis

Wednesday:  ab/core work; legs

Thursday:  5-6 miles with run club (didn’t track)

Friday:  ab/core work

Saturday:  rest. Second Saturday in a row taking a rest day. Now that I’m getting further into my marathon training, I am seeing the value and need of a true rest day. Unfortunately for me (spoiler alert for next week), this rest day didn’t yield great results.

Overall, my body was beat up this week so the workouts were a bit “lax”.

Physical Wellness: Marathon Training Week 9 Recap

Sunday:  11 miles at 9:42 pace. This run hurt. I had beat myself up on this run before I even started. The miles did not click by. I looked at my watch and I was 3 miles in, I looked at what felt like 20 minutes later, and I was at 3.25 miles. This went on for the entirety of the run. When I just had 1.23 miles left of the run I had truly beat myself up. I sat on the curb and questioned why I was running this insane distance and why the hell I was going to run 26.2. I got myself back up and finished the run but it was difficult.

Monday:  Bench press (4x45lbs, 8x65lbs, 8x70lbs, 4x75lbs), Bicep curl (4x15lbs, 4x20lbs, 4x20lbs), Tricep Extension (8x25lbs, 8x30lbs, 8x35lbs), Shoulder press (8x15lbs, 4x20lbs, 4x20lbs) Arm Raises (8x 2.5lbs, 8x5lbs, 4x10lbs), Bosu Ball Pushups (10, 10, 10)

Monday Speedwork:  Warm up 400, 12xSprint 100, Jog 100, Sprint Ladders (Sprint 100, Jog 300, Sprint 200, Jog 200, Sprint 300, Jog 100, Sprint 400, Sprint 400, Sprint 300, Jog 100, Sprint 200, Jog 200, Sprint 100, Jog 300), 12xSprint 100, Jog 100, cool down 400. Total 4 miles

Tuesday:  1 hour of tennis

Wednesday:  Squats (4x45lbs, 8x65lbs, 6x85lbs, 4x95lbs), Hanging Leg Raises (22), Incline sit-ups (30), Leg Raises on bench (30), something else that I don’t remember what they are called (30)

Thursday:  4 miles with run club

Friday:  Incline Situps + Russian Twists (10xbody weight, 10x10lbs, 10x25lbs), Leg raises on bench (30), Penguins (10 each side w/ 35lbs – 3 sets), side twists (30x20lbs, 30x25lbs, 30x30lbs), Flutter Kicks on Bench (30)

Saturday:  Rest day

Physical Wellness: Marathon Training Week 8 Recap

Sunday:  10 miles, 8:46 pace (8:58/8:50/9:23/9:17/8:49/8:38/8:35/8:42/8:38/7:50) this is a run that will go down in my marathon training and life as one of the best runs I’ve ever had. I felt strong throughout the entire run. I felt like I pushed myself every inch but still had enough left in the tank to have an awesome kick at the end. The miles just ticked by. The weather was perfect. It was the most amazing run I have ever had.

Monday:  Arms workout (remembered my notebook, forgot a pen), speed workout (only got 1.5 miles in before the heat just killed me)

Tuesday:  Boom. Back started giving me major problems. I think probably because I tend to sit w/ my leg under me at work but at any rate by the end of the day on Tuesday, I was in major, major pain.

Wednesday: Let’s just say I’m an idiot. Because when you have back pain, do leg workouts is a brilliant idea, right? Pulled both hamstrings.

Thursday:  4-5 painful miles with run club

Friday:  I stuck to bench press. My back was feeling better, but my hamstrings were both still in a lot of pain and I was still walking funny.

Saturday:  60 minutes of tennis in intense humidity. I didn’t go sprinting after all balls and used this workout as just getting out there and being active after having back issues this week and pulling both hamstrings.

It was a painful week of training. And this is where the training gets painful and uncomfortable. I’m starting to get into uncharted territory but what’s really going to be painful is the weather. August in Kansas is hot, hot, hot, and humid, humid, humid. This is where I need to dig deep. Because come October, the heat breaks, the humidity breaks, and training hard in this heat pays off. The times are going to slow down but I need to stop making excuses and keep hitting my training.

Social Wellness: Pushing Myself

I’m contemplating writing a series of how marathon training has helped with my wellness. If so, this is part 1, if not, this is a blog post.

It’s no secret that I’m not great with the whole…interacting with people thing …

But through my training, I have been pushing myself more than just physically. I have been forcing myself to wave and say good morning to everyone that I see. It’s not much because, well there aren’t a lot of people out at 5 am, but every person that I pass (within reason, there are a few sketchy neighborhoods that I run through). It’s not making me any more friends (but I have always been in the quality over quantity group), but it forces me to interact with people more, to build confidence.

Who knew that marathon training could boost ones social wellness?