Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Run Naked. In Your Dreams.

I’m a schedule type of girl. If I have a plan, I stick to it.

That is, until life gets in the way. Unexpected illness, out of town guests, ridiculous workload, sick kids. Gum surgery.

I ask myself: does my life get in the way of my marathon training or does my marathon training get in the way of my life?

We all know how it goes. You hit about week seven of training and it really revs up. You are putting in some serious mileage, which means you are putting in some serious time. Your long runs start to take up the better part of one of your weekend days. Then you spend the rest of that weekend day recovering. Your family wonders if they will ever see you in regular, non running clothes, or if you could just shower a bit more cause  you are smelling up the TV room. Your friends outwardly let you know they think you’re a bit insane.

Oh my God! Like, do you run everyday? Do you have a problem?

The kids get used to waking up with no parent around and fixing their own waffles. They know mom or dad will be back after they hammer out a quick 18. Or not so quick.

Even your dog looks at you longingly when you strap on the Garmin and tie the shoes. He knows you’ll be gone for awhile. If he didn’t have damn three legs and one eye you might take him along.

P1060900 He just will not stop winking at me. It’s gotta be dog harassment

In sum, training starts to take over your life, yet  you don’t want to miss a run. You miss a run, especially the almighty long run, and it starts to mess with your psyche. Crap. I only ran 30 miles this week. I was supposed to do 35. Shit. I cut my long run short. How will I ever arrive at the finish line the way I want to arrive at the finish line?

After all, it’s more than just getting there in one piece. We want to feel good. Maybe we have a time goal. More than anything, we want to be prepared. We all know what a horrid feeling it is to show up to anything unprepared. Like that test you didn’t study for, or that time you were in an accident (unscathed) and wore those purple granny panties with the skid marks and all the cops and paramedics saw them. You should have worn the sexy lace ones.

Then there are the pre marathon dreams. You know the ones. You dream you get up for your race and realize that 1) you’ve overslept, or 2) you didn’t train. At all or 3) you’re running the race naked.

How to deal with all of this training anxiety, that’s what we want to know. If you jack with your training or miss out on a few key runs, how much will it really matter?

Don’t ask me, I have no clue. But, what I’m learning is:

  • You shouldn’t over train to try to make up for what you missed
  • It’s not all about the mileage, but more about the quality and type of runs you are taking. Runs should be geared towards your goal race.
  • Even if your mileage is lower than you’d like, did you cross train a lot? Did you do tons of longer runs on trails where the effort and time on your feet is huge, but the miles are fewer? (example: my 11 mile trail run yesterday with 1,100 feet of climbing took over 2 hours!!)
  • How do you feel? Strong? Burned out? Sick? Frustrated? This is perhaps the best indication of how your body is responding to training.
  • Shut up and move forward. Your training is not all lost cause you missed some runs.

How do you deal with a couple weeks of not exactly following your training plan? Does it stress you out?

39 comments:

  1. Well running physically naked sounds like a nightmare to me! :-) I am way more relaxed the 3rd time around.... & honestly laugh at people who obsess over missed runs. Life goes on- don't be a douche-tastic runner and roll out!

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  2. I just posted about how much I miss a marathon training plan and how much it is a part of me - I'd do about anything right now to miss a scheduled run b/c I just want to have a schedule. All in due time, right? You'll never know if missing a scheduled run is going to have any effect on your overall finish line time but if you're tired or burned-out or stressed and you end up resting, I can guarantee it's going to only help!!! Mileage is just a number and we all respond to it differently - but you do what YOU gotta do to make it work for you. :)

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  3. Oh gosh. Right now, I am in KC because of a family emergency, and in the back of my mind, I keep thinking, will I get my 18 in?

    Then I realized life is more important. I will do it if I can.

    Thanks for writing this.

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  4. I hate missing sessions too but being anal about it isn't productive. I've missed one session in the last four weeks and rather than get upset I decided to enjoy the extra day's recovery.

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  5. it messes with me mentally but i don't think that it really messes too much physically. but since i'm such a wicked scheduled type person too i tend to get freaked out when i miss something!

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  6. Perfect...perfect. I hit a bad patch last week. There was a ton of training the week before and by the time I go to Saturday, the idea of heading out the next day for a long run was giving me serious anxiety. I made the decision to relax and sleep in...it was much needed.

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  7. training plan? What's that? I signed up for a half mary for this sunday... last saturday!
    My goal is to not die :)

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  8. The timing was right for this post as I sit here wondering about missing today's run/workout. I am taking the day off (plus tomorrows scheduled day off) because my ankle is hurting a bit after having to jump off the road yesterday morning to avoid being hit by someone not paying attention.

    Even so..... it is driving me crazy to miss this run, even though I know I need to!

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  9. So true! I have 4 weeks left till my marathon and I am feeling so burnt out. This is hard for me, because I do love to run, After my long run on Sunday 22 miles I am feeling like I never want to run again. I am trying to decide if I should take a few days off and hit the eleiptical or keep on the running schedule even though my runs suckin both speed and the way I feel!

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  10. I'm pretty sure you wrote this post for me personally! I've had a bad few weeks of training b/c I've been sick. So this week, I've been jamming in lots of miles b/c of course I am worried--and my legs feel like crap. Why do we do this to ourselves?

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  11. Actually I thing a missed run is much better than lots of horse-dung caliber ones. I seem to have become a horse dung connoisseur this season.

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  12. I am so happy you posted this! I had an amazing 10k this past Saturday, relished in it on Sunday, and then skipped my runs on Mon and Tues because I was busy/being lazy/it was really hot and i didnt waannnaaa. I was so grumpy and gloomy all day on Weds and I was dragging my feet but I put my running clothes on and forced myself out the door. The run was not the best, but I felt alive, I got it done, and my mood was about 5,000% improved! The hardest part this far into my training (I'm seriously on like week 12! I need to use shorter plans!) is staying focused. I feel like I've been running forever for a race that's never going to come. I try to remember that I have not only the past 12 weeks, but the entire past year that I've been running (I've been running for a year now! Unreal!). Whenever I start to second guess myself, my awesome husband always chimes in with "You've never been stronger than you are today". Those are some powerful words! I try to keep them in the forefront of my mind when I'm feelin' low!

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  13. very good post!! i agree that it's not about the weekly mileage but the quality of the workouts. i don't even add up my weekly totals, doesn't mean a thing to me. while i try not to miss a run, if i need to cut one short, i know it won't break my training.

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  14. Thanks, I needed that! I missed my 10 mile run last weekend because I was out of town and just never got around to running it...or never got up early enought to run it. I have been feeling down since then, but your post helped me a little bit. Hope to pump out my 18miler this Saturday!

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  15. Good post and soooo helpful for me right now!

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  16. It drives me crazy to miss a run. But I try to keep things in perspective. I tell myself that running is a HOBBY. Granted, a hobby I take rather seriously (maybe too seriously), but it's not the most important thing. It's not even in the top 3. Plus, I try to look at the big picture. At the end of the year, when I tally up my mileage, will it really matter if I ran 1000 miles or 1050 miles? No. Ok, so maybe I don't PR my next race - I can relax and know there will be other races. Plus, running is something I'm supposed to enjoy, not stress over :)

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  17. Man, thank you for bullet #3.

    Trail running - it feels like straight ass to me. BUt I'm so happy I did it. 50 is going to suck. hard. But the after party will be the best ever.

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  18. well actually, i'm dying to do a naked run!! so running naked doesn't sound that bad to me! :-) the closest naked run to me that i know of is in Vermont.
    Ryan and i are SUPER laid back about our training. we never stress over it, ever. i'm sure it's really annoying to those people who do stress. it should be a stress relief, if its causing stress then something isn't right.
    GREAT POST!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  19. I'm a planning kind of girl, too. I plan for EVERYTHING!

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  20. I've done a naked run in sub-zero temps. Yes, drinking was involved.

    Decades ago, I was known as the guy who won the workouts and lost the races, always pushing to do the most I could and never saving anything for when it counted. I'd obsess over training schedules (still do), but I was training just to train more. Now I plan, miss a workout - or ten - and start over.

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  21. and so much of it is mental... a more confident you will run a better race with the same training than a less confident you.

    so true about the dreams, hahaahah.

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  22. exactly what I needed today- thanks you, thank you!

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  23. Thank you. As I'm in the middle of training for my first marathon I spend a lot of time second guessing myself. Its helpful to hear I'm not the only one with these thoughts.

    AND the point you make about trail running is HUGE. We've been running a very hilly trail route lately and of course it slows us down, but I keep reminding myself that it will be to our advantage come race day.

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  24. It's funny bc I am in the middle of marathon training and really have not been working hard since the taper for my HIM....but it will be OK< will just readjust my goals. I no longer get upset when life gets in the way.

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  25. Thanks for posting! I just registered for a Half Marathon on the 18th! So what was SUPPOSED to be my first Half on October 24th will now be my second! Yikes!

    After I paid the fee (a birthday present from the hubby!), the anxiety set in.
    (1) Who the do you think you are? You're not Beth! You can't run 2 Halfs in two months!
    (2) You are no where near prepared!
    (3) What if you hurt yourself? Then what?
    (4) and What kinda moron asks for race fees for a birthday present. Jewelry, Baby!

    Well, thanks for the post. I feel much better now. One foot in front of the other no matter what!

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  26. I am a schedule girl too, I like to stick to mine as much as possible and stress a lot when I have to deviate. BUT I have learned that missing one or two runs will not ruin my training and sometimes make things better, great post!

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  27. Well said :)

    Even after a half dozen marathons, I still start to get panicky about my mileage about 6 weeks out from marathon day. For most of us, it's not about a blazing fast time, it's about the experience and finishing feeling good. Thanks for the reminder.

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  28. I am new to your blog, (and the running blog community)...but I have been running for a little while now. I am a lot like you when it comes to schedule's. When I was training for my first marathon- I wld get severe anxiety if I missed a run-or cut a few miles. BUT...as I train for the upcoming Portland Marathon next month, I realize its about how you feel- and giving yourself some slack, while still getting the job done. Thanks for the great post. I look forward to reading more of your running IQ.

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  29. Thank you for your words of WISDOM! I really needed this today! If you check out my last post you will see you much this meant to me! Thank you Thank you Thank YOU!!! GREAT WORDS TODAY!

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  30. Great post! I used to be really strict about following my training plans, and would try to make up the missed workouts. But, that inevitably led to more stress b/c I was exhausted all of the time.
    Now, I try not to worry if I miss a workout or two. It's really not that big of a deal in the big picture. Plus, with two young boys, I've learned that I just cannot fit everything in all of the time. My family will always come before my training, and I am o-kay with that!

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  31. I sketched out a bare minimum training plan so I can run the Denver half marathon in mid-October. I haven't even been able to stick with it. Having a baby means the baby is in charge of the plans. However, I am determined to do the race, so I just keep readjusting the plan and will do the best I can!

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  32. Ah, the weeks really are ramping up - I think it's probably "marathon training gets in the way of Life", assuming I don't prioritize running over people, heh. But, either way, I hear ya and it's getting to that point where it's all-consuming.

    20 miles this weekend will somehow fit into Family time at home, meaning I'll be up (w/ D on the bike, of course ;) ) around 5:30 to squeeze it in before anyone notices tomorrow...

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  33. I'm a new runner and so it's probably easy for me to say this at this point, but I absolutely LIVE AND DIE by my training schedule. I have everything planned out on my calendar and I don't let anything come between me and my runs. I'm the type of guy who has laser focus and cannot stand excuses, so I'll probably end up jumping off a bridge the moment I become sick and have to skip a run :)

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  34. Come one.... Admit it, you posted a blog post with the word naked in the title so that you would get more views.

    For the record, after reading the title, this was the most disappointing blog post ever.

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  35. I'm a c25k drop out. Obviously I don't have your problem ;)

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  36. Thanks for posting. I have learned a lot from the things that you learned...Truly experience is a great teacher, and I am learning from other persons experience..I love your post.

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  37. Thanks for posting. I have learned a lot from the things that you learned...Truly experience is a great teacher, and I am learning from other persons experience..I love your post.

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  38. Thanks for posting. I have learned a lot from the things that you learned...Truly experience is a great teacher, and I am learning from other persons experience..I love your post.

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  39. i'm so with you. missing scheduled runs sucks and makes me nervous, but sometimes you just gotta go with the flow cause that's better in the long run (ha ha ha)

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