Athens Marathon Training: Settling Into Something

21 Aug

I’ve written several times about how I like to use words or phrases during runs or races to keep me focused and my mind from going into the deep, dark place a 3-hour run in 95% humidity can suck you into. This week was all about one of my favorite phrases: “settle into something.”

Mostly, I use this little phrase to help pace myself. During track workouts, I have the bad habit of sprinting the first two repeats and then struggling to finish the subsequent 4-6. So, I usually spend the first half of the workout encourage myself to “settle into something you can hold on to.” During long runs, I’m usually saying something to the tune of “settle into something you can run at for 3 hours.” And when it’s just a regular old run, the loop I like to repeat in myhead, “settle into something that feels good.” (And if you’re wondering why I talk to myself in the third person, read this interesting article about the maximizing the benefits of carrying on whole conversations with yourself.)

This week was all about settling into things– it was a dial-back week, so I didn’t have to focus on running longer, faster, or farther than the week before. I just had to settle into something and get it done. Maintenance phases of anything can be difficult for me, as I’m Type A enough to prefer increasing intensity… but not every week is for building, so I just kept focused on “settling in,” and tried to avoid making eye contact with the concerned passersby who heard me talking to myself.

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Athens Marathon Training Week 4: Settling into Something

Monday: I ended up doing my long run on Sunday last week, so Monday was a mostly rest day. I did a little bit of cross training– tennis lessons! I had a blast, but let’s just say I don’t think I will “settle into being Serena” anytime soon.

Tuesday: Solidcore Arms & Abs with James. Settle into suffering.

Wednesday: 70 minute run post-work — after several cooler days, the heat surprised me and slapped me upside the head. I am pretty sure I could wring out my body weight in sweat from my clothes by the time this run was over.


Thursday: Track day! I was not really feeling like getting out of bed and flinging myself around an oval, but I put on my favorite “get it done” shirt and got it done.  I had 6×800 on the schedule, with a goal of 3:45 per repeat. I ended up with 3:41/3:39/3:38/3:42/3:41/3:45. After the 2nd and 3rd 800s got away from me, I really tried to slow down and hit the pace on the head, which you can see took me a few more repeats.


I did some yoga Thursday night to try and keep these calves of mine loose, as well.

Friday: 30 minute run at lunch — this was an exercise in settling into soupiness. Blech.

Saturday: Finally–finally!– made it to my running group in time for the pre-run picture. I had 90 minutes scheduled, but I got my math all messed up and ended up running for just under two hours. Whoopsies. Luckily, I had great company for most of the route– thank you, Liz!


Weeks to Race Day: 12
Total Miles This Week: 25.7
Gains: finally back to getting in all my workouts
Losses: my taste bud’s innocence– Liz and I tried the margarita-flavored Cliff block, and I would NOT recommend it.


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