Sometimes, You Can’t Do It All

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I had a phone conversation with Coach Suz on Saturday. The focus of our chat was nutrition, but we also talked quite a bit about my little freakout from last week.

Historically, I have not been good about following The Plan, regardless of what The Plan is, whether I made it up myself, or picked it from one of the myriad options available on the interwebs. I’d always been at least fairly successful in my running endeavors in spite of not following The Plan, which sort of reinforced my general distaste for being told what to do.

Marathon training however, seemed so momentous from the outset, that I felt an overwhelming NEED to follow The Plan to a “t,” at least as far as running workouts went. After all, this is the MARATHON. And I’m paying for this plan, and this coach, so I damn well better get my money’s worth and do what I’m supposed to right? But when faced with the reality of the demands on my time (training, relationships, home life, rehearsals), I realized that I may not be able to do it all. And that freaked me right the hell out. How am I going to finish a marathon if I don’t do the training?

Chatting with Susie really helped me calm down. The basic gist of the conversation was, “Life happens.” As long as I do the majority of my workouts, and keep the long run sacred, I will be just fine. There will be days when I’m too tired or too busy to do my scheduled workout, and that’s A-OK as long as I’m generally keeping up with things. Just having “permission” to occasionally skip a workout already makes me feel so much better. I hopefully won’t need to very often, but just knowing that I can is a relief. Of course, rationally I knew that already, but my emotional side needed to be reassured, and that’s exactly what Saturday’s chat was.

I’m already putting this new-found reassurance into practice. Tonight is Taco Tuesday at a local joint, and my friend Sharon and I have been planning to go for over a month. I don’t see Sharon very often, and she can only do an early outing, which means running after work is a no-go. And so,Β I’m skipping my run tonight. And I’ll be just fine.

Do you get anxious about skipping scheduled training runs?

18 thoughts on “Sometimes, You Can’t Do It All

  1. allisonfiorini says:

    I get a lot of anxiety over this. But then I remind myself – like you said – that life happens. And a training plan is built on the principle that everyone feels 100%, 100% of the time. That is not real life. And we are not Olympic athletes who can dedicate every waking hour to training and recovering, so we do what we can. And you are doing AMAZING!!!!

    • DarlinRae says:

      Thanks, Allison! It can be hard to give yourself slack sometimes. I’m just trying to calm down a little and find the balance, at least until the show is over.

  2. charissarunning says:

    I have long been a proponent of having some flexibility in ‘The Plan’. It’s great to have one as a basic guide but it really isn’t necessary to get every single run/workout in. In a perfect world – maybe…but that’s not reality. Definitely give yourself a break sometimes when you need it and when other important life things come up they can take priority. Also, this is your first marathon…the biggest thing is that you’re prepared to FINISH the race, not wear yourself out focused on a certain time on the clock. Get those long runs in and a few runs scattered throughout the week and you will be good to go! You’re doing great!

  3. dgobs says:

    I’m like pre-marathon-training you… I have a hard time sticking to plans and don’t really enjoy the feeling of being told what to do running-wise. That said, when I was “training” for my half a few years ago, I would get vague pangs of guilt if I skipped training sessions. Not that it stopped me πŸ˜‰ I can appreciate how much relief it would be to have permission for life to happen! Enjoy taco night! πŸ™‚

  4. txa1265 says:

    I love all of the comments – you have a great crew following your blog πŸ™‚

    And they are all true – we are not machines, and as it is when I am planning an experiment at work on automated equipment I always have to account for the reality that sometimes even machines ‘just aren’t feeling it’! πŸ˜€

    But seriously – it is important to take a holistic approach to things, to realize that we all feel good or bad or whatever. The last time I ran a half marathon I did great through everything, but during taper I decided I’d had enough and did 7,5 miles the day before. Oops. Oh well – I felt great for doing it, and don’t believe it impacted the PR I hit one way or another. So why stress, right?

    The biggest part of this is to love it – while I think most runners like to dream that we hit the race and have such a momentous day that the US Olympic coach is on the phone telling us they made a slot for us to go to Rio! … the reality is that the only person we’re competing with is ourselves. And finishing a race feeling great and like you managed yourself well is so incredible … and doing it while still living your life is even better.

  5. irishrunnerchick says:

    Marathon training lasts forever – well 18 weeks – and it’s pretty impossible to hit every workout. Some days your body needs extra rest and sometimes running takes second place to hanging out with friends/husbands/family because, you know, it’s a hobby – something you do for FUN! I agree with coach Suz – as long as you get your long runs done and most of the rest you’ll be just fine.

    • DarlinRae says:

      I agree, and feel SO MUCH BETTER about things now. I skipped my run for tacos and cider and girls night last night, and I felt happy and energized when I got up for my 6 am spin class. Win win!

  6. Fallon @ Slacker Runner says:

    I freakin’ had a panic attack last night about the whole thing and I have 4.5 months to go! I admit your posts are helping me but my life is nowhere near as busy as yours is! I can never follow plans- it’s such a knee jerk reaction! You have been kicking ass so far and a missed run or 2 won’t change that. You’re doing great!

    • DarlinRae says:

      Aw, thanks lady! You have plenty of time to build your routine and figure out your plan. Just take it one week at a time. And I know what you mean about not following plans, that’s my usual MO.

  7. hellyontherun says:

    You are not alone. I think we all want so badly to do well that we feel we HAVE to stick to the plan or else we won’t succeed. That’s not how it works. One workout (or two or three!) isn’t going to be the reason we don’t do well in a race. And we can’t forget that we’re doing this for fun! It’s supposed to be fun! πŸ™‚ I’m glad you have this outlet and a good coach and and good friends to help calm you down–reassure you that you are going just fine ❀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s