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.
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?