I posted this week in regards to me joining a marathon club for the first time ever in my running ‘career’. I talked about my training style and how I hardly ever run with music. I also talked about how I usually always run alone. But I haven’t discussed how even after years of longer-distance road-running…getting going on a training calendar has its highs and lows.
I am the type of person who works better with a checklist, a calendar, a to-do. So as I prepped this craziness I have occurring the next year, I started making my first training calendar for my first half of the year, the Hypothermic Half in Lethbridge, Alberta. Planning out each day leading up to the race, I make sure my mileage increases appropriately, with proper rest days & long runs, and that I hit my peak distance at the opportune time. It gets me excited to run again! (Even if it is the death of winter!)
I get into a weird addiction cycle. Even though this ‘calendar’ is just a iPad created document with a stylus and Penultimate, I have to follow it. I get home from work at a decent time, get changed and done up for my run, and out I go. Before the training calendar comes into play, I find excuses to not run, stay at work longer and talk myself out of running…but the calendar gets me going! My long run this past week was Saturday-I ran 5.5 miles. I pumped it out in 50 minutes 17 seconds. i had a 9:08 pace. And I felt awesome. Then, Sunday, I got up at the ass-crack of dawn (at least as far as Sunday mornings go) and did my first Runner’s Soul Mararthon Club run. 4 miles-felt great! 39 minutes 12 seconds and 4.22 miles. Awesome pace for me on a training day!
Went into the work week feeling like the best athlete ever! Oh yeah-I felt like competing with my 18 year old self. But today, on my 4 miler, my legs felt like cinder blocks. It wasn’t windy, but I couldn’t get a good stride. I did exactly 4 miles, not a tenth more, in 38 minutes 24 seconds. And I was grumpy. I took a shower, put on pajamas, and have been sitting at the table marking papers, sitting on the couch watching “Parenthood” and crappily-wonderful HGTV shows, and sitting with my legs crossed. And they hurt even more. Point is…some training days are going to be incredible. They are going to make you even more excited for the insanity you are preparing for. Lets be honest… more often than not, you have these mediocre, blahhhhhhh training days. And those are the tough ones.
The ones that make you dread your run tomorrow in fear of it feeling even worse.
But that’s when you have to power through and focus on the reason WHY you are doing this. I am specifically doing these crazy runs this year in memory of my dad, and that keeps me going…but i also have to remember that i am doing these runs for me…to make me better, more complete, more disciplined. Not every day is going to be a record-breaker…more often than not, the days are disappointing, frustrating, cold, dreary and tough. The pain truly is temporary. Making it though the painful days makes the end even more rewarding.