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, I’m skipping my run tonight. And I’ll be just fine.

Do you get anxious about skipping scheduled training runs?

Another Fall Half?

Waay back in May, I wrote a post about Planning Ahead, toward the fall, and my training and race schedule. At the time, I felt like I had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen. Of course, as you’d expect, I have not exactly been following that plan to a T. I haven’t been to the gym for Body Pump or CXWORX once since May. I joined a running club, which changed my running days around, and I started doing run/walk intervals with my friend Emily once a week to coach her towards her first 5k. Best laid plans, right?

So now that things have changed so significantly, I’m not as freaked out about the idea of changing things up even more, namely by throwing in another fall half marathon. Most of you know that I’ll be meeting up with Team Can-Am at the runDisney Wine & Dine half marathon in November, which I’m disgustingly excited about. In my Planning Ahead post, I wrote about my conflicted feelings on training; specifically, that it might be a “waste” of training since I’m planning to run W&D solely for fun and character photo ops, not for time. So I’m thinking about running another fall half marathon, with the goal of doing my absolute best, whether that’s a new PR or not.

I know it’s silly to worry about “wasting” training. After all, I like running, and it’s good for me, so no runs are really wasted. But I feel like if I commit to a training plan, and work really hard, why then wouldn’t I find a race where I can focus that training towards a concrete goal? I suppose the alternative is that I could just half-ass my training for W&D, and then I wouldn’t feel obligated to run for time at all, but that’s no fun.

There’s also the part where races cost money, and I’m not sure another big race is in my budget this year. I’ve already spent a considerable amount on race entries, hotels, and flights this year, so can I justify another $50-$100, just to satisfy my need to do credit to my training? I’m not sure. There are a few that are happening relatively nearby, but would still require some logistical work. And then, there’s the RaceVermont Fall Half, which was my PR half marathon last year. The problem is, it’s the weekend before W&D. I suppose it’s not completely insane to consider running to half marathons in 7 days, especially if one will be rife with character stops and walking breaks, and the upside is that I would become an official Half Fanatic. Despite my concerns about exhaustion and potential injury, it seems to be the best option; I get a discount through my LCRC membership, and it’s a 10 minute drive from my apartment.

What do you think, should I run two half marathons on back-to-back weekends? Would you ever do that/have you done that?

Planning Ahead

I might be just a little bit Type A. I’ve already started crafting my training plan for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon in November. I won’t actually start “training” until August, but I’m trying to be more proactive and consistent where running and training are concerned. So far, I’ve done OK with running 2-3 times per week, cross-training when I can, and just “winging it” the rest of the time. But I feel like I could be achieving so much more with just a little bit of extra effort and planning. So my new goal is to run shorter distances more often, and try to actually follow a plan.

Also as you know, my schedule can get a bit crazy. I’ve really been enjoying all the free time I’ve had since Legally Blonde wrapped up, but I’m about to head into rehearsals for Chess, and while it hopefully won’t be as taxing, it will still require large chunks of my time, and severely limit my flexibility. I’m trying to come up with some pre-training schedules to effectively use my time for the rest of the summer and fall.  Here’s what things look like.

May – Maintenance

Right now, I’m just trying to keep running while enjoying the flexibility that will be going away come June. I’m running 3-4 times per week, not really worrying about distance or pace. Just aiming for consistency. I’m trying to hit Body Pump once a week, in addition to Pilates and/or CXWORX, but I’m not down on myself if I don’t make it. I’m just trying to soak up as much freedom and sunshine as possible while I can. Oh, and we’re moving in two weeks, so packing needs to be a priority.

June Through Mid-August – Pre-Training

As of June 1st, we’ll be in our new apartment in town, which brings with it a set of pros and cons as far as training is concerned. On the plus side, running will be one million times easier, because we’ll live right on the bike path. On the minus side, the gym is no longer on my way to and from work, so making it to classes like Body Pump and CXWORX will be more challenging–I’ll actually have to go out of my way to get there.

I’ll also be driving to Stowe at least two times a week (45 minutes each way) for Chess rehearsals, and I’ll have three total rehearsals each week, which means that my schedule becomes much more rigid. I REALLY don’t want to have to go to Body Pump at 5:40 am before work, but that means I’d have to start going at 10:30 on Saturday mornings. Will I do that? Maybe, maybe not. But here’s the tentative summer schedule:

  • Monday: 3 miles
  • Tuesday: 2 miles
  • Wednesday: 3 miles
  • Thursday: 2 miles; CXWORX
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Body Pump
  • Sunday: Long run (6 miles max)

Still striving for consistency here–running shorter distances more often, so that it just gets into my body and my brain. I’m planning to just get up and run before work most mornings, so that my evenings are free (aside from nights I have rehearsal). I know myself enough to know that in the summertime, when it’s nice and warm after work, I’m not going to want to run. I’m going to want to be swimming and BBQing and hanging out with friends.

Mid-August Through November – Half Marathon Training

I haven’t finished putting together my schedule yet, mostly because I haven’t decided what I want to do. On the one hand, I know I will be running Wine and Dine strictly for fun and character photo stops, not time, which logically dictates that my training schedule need not be intense. On the other hand, I feel like I’ve done a couple of half-assed half marathon training sessions, and I’d love to see what I’m really capable of, which would dictate a more aggressive training schedule. I could always run W&D for fun, and then find another fall half marathon to race, but I don’t know if I will a) have the energy or b) have the funds. Racing unfortunately ain’t cheap.

The super tentative schedule for Wine and Dine training looks something like this:

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: Short, easy run
  • Wednesday: Speed work (alternate tempo runs and intervals, throw in hills once in a while)
  • Thursday: Short, easy run plus CXWORX (core-focused, 30 minute class)
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Body Pump
  • Sunday: Long run

Once Chess wraps up in early September, I may change things up again so that I’m not doing Body Pump on Saturdays–I’ll be able to go back to Monday or Wednesday classes (or both).

So there it is. My plan to get me through the summer in decent shape without going insane. I have some additional thoughts related to all of this, which may or may not evolve into a post. We’ll see.

Do you have a “plan” when you’re not training for a race?

How do you stay motivated when you’re not officially “training” for anything?

Weird Week

It’s been a weird week.  We’re house sitting for a very dear friend’s mother, watching her dog and mother (so basically we’re grandma and dog sitting).  Fran (grandma) and Annie (dog) are lovely and we really enjoy staying there, but it’s been tough sticking to our normal routine.

Typically, I’d be walking 2 miles to work every day, but now I’m driving.  We also usually do lifting on Monday and Wednesday nights, but someone needs to be home to help Fran with dinner, and since I’m still running on Tuesday/Thursday, I’m on dinner duty Monday/Wednesday.  This means I’m not getting any of my cross-training days in, which stinks.  I definitely sleep better and am generally in a better mood if I work out regularly.

And on top of that, our gig just got extended another week.  Initially, someone was supposed to come take over on Sunday, but she needs emergency heart surgery (poor thing!), so we’ll be away from home another week.  It’s going to be really difficult staying on track when we’re not at home.

How do you keep up with your training when you’re on the road?