Remember when you used to just run for the hell of it?
I could devise my own plan, but it would probably include a lot of sleeping in, beer drinking and 1-2 mile runs, which will never get me to my goal of a 3:50 BQ time.
There was a simpler day when my running was basic and irresponsible.
- A huge beef stroganoff lunch eaten 20 minutes before a run
- Shoes bought clearance the day before a 10K at Kohl's because I liked the color. Couldn't walk for four days after. The kicker: they weren't even running shoes.
- No compressions t's, body glide, ear buds, Garmins, gels, fuel belts, cell phones, training plans, mileage goals per week
It was a carefree type of running that had no structure. I was slow. I couldn't go far.
There has to be a middle ground between beef stroganoff and marathon plans scattered all over my desk. I think it's called moderation. It's also called: RELAX!!!
For the love of God! We spend so much time buying the right stuff, finding the right plan, reading the right books, eating the right foods, that we completely over-analyze ourselves. This can only lead to three things:
1. Extreme self absorption
2. Extreme race anxiety
3. Possible PRs.
Yes, we do it for #3!!
I think of my first marathon back in January. Having never run very far, my only goal was to run the whole thing and to finish. Despite pressure to have a time goal, I resisted. I just wanted to make it to the end in one piece. I was not focused on pace and time. Hell, I had no Garmin or fuel belt. I thought PR stood for pretty rectum (well, not really but you get the idea). And I ran a great race and I had a great time.
Fast forward to today. I've got a time goal. And with that comes a burden, an urgency, a requirement. Sure it is self imposed, but it is all those things nonetheless. The question is: can you relax and enjoy the ride during training and still get a PR?