Week Two: It Doesn’t Matter

Last weekend I completed the long run for week one and also my first run for week two of marathon training. Multiple texts and real people suggest running the longer distances on softer surfaces, so I set out to do my 5 miles at one of my favorite lake trails. I lapped the lake twice, and then finished with my glute exercises. Yesterday, I decided to jump start week two a day early because this week is really hectic for me (it’s finals week at the university where I work), so any little bit of advance prep would help me out. I am glad I don’t have to try to fit a run in today.

Week one was all about getting started, visualizing the goal, and understanding how to develop an internal locus of control. Week two is about nourishing the internal locus. The Non-Runner’s Guide to Marathon Training suggests a mantra to keep the intrinsic motivation healthy. Any time a negative thought comes into play, simply respond with “it doesn’t matter.” For example, yesterday I was tired. I spent a little too long reading my book in the sun and was a bit tuckered from my long run on Saturday. “I am feeling lazy,” I thought, “but it doesn’t matter.” I got my clothes on, laced up my shoes, and went for a run. It was one of those tough 3 mile runs where the momentum never really picked up. My legs were sluggish. It didn’t matter. I was feeling a little bored with the scenery in my neighborhood. It didn’t matter. All that did matter was that I finished the run, came home, and successfully made a dent in Week Two.

Too often we validate the negative self-talk and downplay our achievements. What I like about this mantra is that it is a very quick way of dismissing thoughts that, if left to marinade, often develop into reasons why you can’t leave the house and go for a run. Heading into the second week makes this goal feel just a little more permanent. I am proud of that. I am proud of myself for doing this. Additionally, the gradual accumulation of mileage is leaving me with no soreness whatsoever (yet), for which I am glad.

saturday1

After my long run in the woods on Saturday. Done with week one, woo hoo!

sunday1

None of those excuses mattered. I ran.

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6 thoughts on “Week Two: It Doesn’t Matter

  1. I love that you have a mantra for your training! Right before I ran a marathon a couple of weeks ago, a friend ended her email with “stay strong and run happy.” I decided to use that as my mantra for the race and it really helped me focus whenever I had negative thoughts creep into my mind.

    Sounds like your training is off to a great start!!

    • Thanks for reading and helping to keep me accountable! I love “stay strong and run happy”–there is no point in running frustrated or angry!

  2. One of my favorite mantras is “Not all pain is significant” by Scott Jurek. The first few miles are usually where I’m working out the kinks, so if I can just work them out, it’s smooth sailing from there. Good luck to you too on your marathon training!

    • Yeah, I can pretty much guarantee that the first 2 miles of any distance are going to be filled with mental noise and distraction. When I get to about mile 4-5, I hit my sweet spot.

  3. That is the type of mantra I use with food all of the time. Oooh. I’d like some cheesecake. It doesn’t matter! I turn and walk away. Simple as that. Hm. I’ll have to try it with my negative self-talk!
    That book was really good! It’s the one with the reddish chair on the front? I’d go check, but we packed our books!

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