I Need a Routine…

Full disclosure: I started writing this post before I got final confirmation that I’d be running Vermont City Marathon on behalf of BibRave. I’d hoped that it would become official and I’d have a kick in the pants to follow a more consistent training plan, but without knowing for sure, I was feeling antsy. In fact, I still am a bit, because as we all know, I suck at following training plans. So these thoughts and feelings all still apply.

It’s no secret that my training hasn’t been going super well lately. After I made the decision not to run a PR attempt half marathon, I’ve just felt sort of like, “Meh, what’s the point of training?” I wrote about how I was going through some running ennui, but I feel like that’s not really the problem anymore. I want to run. I feel good when running. I’m just having a lot of difficulty making the time to do it.

At first, I couldn’t understand why I was having such difficulty. I mean, I trained hard all last summer and fall and ran an 18 minute half marathon PR on November 1. But then I realized–I hurt my foot right after that, and didn’t run for 6-7 weeks. At this time last year, I was in taper mode, and then didn’t do anything for over a month. I didn’t have a routine then to draw from or build on now, so I’m having to create one, and it’s tough. This is especially compounded by the fact that it’s getting darker earlier, the temps are dropping, and in Vermont, snow can start flying around as early as October.

At this time last year, the gym was on my way home; now, I have to drive at least 10 minutes to get to the closest location, and with Ben and I sharing a car, it can be tough to get where I need to go at the time I need to get there. Or because I have to go home after work to do the car exchange with Ben, I have a hard time leaving my nice warm, cozy apartment to drive to the gym for Body Pump or to use the treadmill. It’s dark when I wake up, and it’s dark by the time I’ve eaten dinner, so early morning and later evening runs are out, unless I drive to the gym. Yes, I have a head lamp now, but the idea of running in the dark by myself is not really something I feel good about.

I’m hoping that the reality of the marathon will help me get on/stay on track. I’ve already run twice this week, which is more than the last two weeks, so that’s encouraging. I’m also in the process of figuring out if I want to use the Higdon plan or if I want to hire a coach (like Susie) to create a custom plan. Of course, a lot of stuff depends on whether or not I get into Mary Poppins too, but I think being in the show could actually help me with staying on track. During Legally Blonde rehearsals (before my shin splints got bad from the jump rope), I was going to the gym and running on the treadmill 3 times each week before rehearsals, because the gym was less than a mile from the rehearsal space. I could potentially do the same with Mary Poppins. And since I won’t be jumping rope, I needn’t worry about shin splints. I’ll also be super focused on nutrition and hydration so that I stay healthy, both for the show and for training. Rehearsing for a show and being a runner really work well in tandem!  I smell another post on this in the future…

In a nutshell, despite my feeling apathetic about this half marathon training cycle, I think that having a marathon to train for will force me to find the structure and routine I’ve been lacking. After Wine and Dine is over, I plan to just run a few times a week, however long or fast I feel like, until I begin formally training in January. By then, I’ll know whether or not I’m in Mary Poppins, and will have a better idea of what kind of schedule will work for me.

Does having a goal race help you stay on track with training? 

8 thoughts on “I Need a Routine…

  1. txa1265 says:

    Here’s my opinion – goal races as training motivators are like diets. They are a short-term surface motivation that will not last and doesn’t plant the deep seed of running love and ritual into your soul.

    I could be wrong – and I am sure that for a large number of people I AM wrong.

    I can only speak for myself, and across nearly 27 years of running, no injuries, and the ability to just get up and go every day … what has motivated me is:
    – The way I FEEL when I run – it takes over my entire being and drags me into the healthiest version of myself.
    – The way I THINK when I run – I cannot say how many problems I have solved, papers I have written, experiments I have designed, code I have laid out, and so on while on my runs.
    – The person I AM when I run – I *loathe* the “cheaper than therapy” saying some runners use because it belittles those who struggle with mental health issues, but for me running is a form of primal meditation, allows me to be at peace with myself.

    So look inside of yourself for the real motivation … and then try to figure out a way to make it work with your crazy schedule! 🙂

    • DarlinRae says:

      I’m finding that to be true for myself as well. It’s weird, because I really do like running, but not too often or too long. I HATE long runs and only do them when training for something.

  2. SuzLyfe says:

    In some ways k feel like marathons give the opportunity for a more pervasive life change because, if you do it right and avoid burn out, you have more time to get those habits and structure embedded. But it also can go the other way if you aren’t careful. As you know, I love the training, but I wasn’t sure that I would! gives me some food for thought for you.

  3. Fallon @ Slacker Runner says:

    I love routine but just can’t get my act together lately. I need to rethink some things but I’m feeling super sloth like😀. Your marathon sounds exciting. That and a show schedule sound a little crazy though. 😃

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