After my first half marathon, I figured out that it actually is pretty important to make sure my body had recovered from the race before I got back into running hardcore. In the post from my last half marathon, I dug into a little bit of the mental aspect of distance running. Since my second time around running the 13.1 distance, I've been finding that recovering on the mental side of it has been a lot more difficult than the physical.
Long runs can be pretty grueling. Anything over 6 miles can start to be mentally fatiguing before it gets physically exhausting for me and this has been even more evident in this recovery period. I've even had three mile runs that are really taxing on my mindset. The hardest part, as it always has been, is getting out the door though.
I don't know if it's the fickleness of the weather or if it's all tied to the mental side of my runs, but it's been tough. Fresh podcast material has helped out with keeping my mind engaged with other things and being back on a running schedule has been beneficial as well. Putting myself back into a mode of knowing days and weeks ahead of time what I need to do is a huge asset to my training. As I've said before, I don't do well if I'm not on a run schedule.
Most of all, the training schedule gives me a format that allows me to just focus on grinding it out. Unlike physical exhaustion, I don't need to worry about injuring myself if my only problem is just not feeling it that day. The only risk is getting burnt out, but I expect that my competitiveness will end up pushing me into more and more training as time goes on rather than my laziness convincing me that running isn't worth it.
Knowing that I want to run a full marathon sometime in 2016, I've started on the Hal Higdon intermediate 1 training plan to make that happen. Now, it's not a question of if I'm running that particular day, but what day and how much and that's big.