After a big race passes, I always like to look back and learn from that round of training.  This time is no different.  Even though illness struck at a very inopportune time, I can still reflect on the training that lead up to that day, and of course, my mindset the day of.

Once again, I didn’t train well.  My conditioning was alright enough that it wasn’t a factor in my big old DNF this year, but it was nowhere near where I wanted it to be, and really, honestly, where it should have been.  I realize now that I get sucked into complacency and end up skipping way too many runs to be competitive when race day finally rolls around.

So why do I do this?

I think when my fitness level is high enough that I can go run 16+ miles at the drop of a hat, I get lazy.  I find myself thinking, “oh, if I miss this 14 miler it’s not that big of a deal…”  And then another week passes, and another, and suddenly it’s been two weeks and I haven’t ran a step.  And then race day is looming and I’ve barely done any long runs.  And that’s never good.

The thing that frustrates me is, if I can run a marathon with not that much training, how competitive could I be if I really committed to training and improving?

I don’t want to be a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-marathoner.  I want to be proud of my runs, and my times.  And it’s time to take a step back and build up my basics.  For me, that means letting my distance conditioning take a step back and focusing on shorter and more consistent runs, working on building my strength, and including some cross training and stretching.  I also need accountability, so I’ll post the weekly plan and daily training recaps here.

So what’s the plan for this week?

  • Monday
    • Run 4 miles (.25 miles in vibrams and will increase by .25 miles every time)
    • Crossfit (on my own – I absolutely LOVE it, but needed to switch around some stuff in our budget and can’t do it through the box at the moment – hopefully sometime in the future, because they are AWESOME) and stretching
    • Swim 1150 yards
  • Tuesday
    • Run 4 miles (.5 in vibrams)
    • Bike 10 miles
  • Wednesday
    • Run 4 miles (.75 in vibrams)
    • Crossfit
  • Thursday
    • Run 4 miles (1 in vibrams)
    • Bike 10 miles
  • Friday
    • Run 4 miles (1.25 in vibrams)
    • Crossfit
    • Swim 1150 yards
  • Saturday
    • Run 4 miles (1.5 in vibrams)
    • Bike 20 miles
  • Sunday
    • Run 4 miles (1.75 in vibrams)
    • Swim 1600 yards

I also need to make sure to log my food for a while while I readjust to my new schedule.  I always end up with an out of control appetite whenever I ramp up my activity, so that will help me make sure I’m on target (not too low, not too high).

I really want to be one of those people that just LOVES to go out and run, or work out.  But if I’m being perfectly honest, most of the time, I really hate it – when I start out.  But once I get going, it’s great and I feel awesome, and I’m so glad I did whatever it is that I did that day.  But most of the time I definitely don’t have that internal drive.  I just have to force myself to do it.  But that’s the hardest part.

At the end of the day, whenever I don’t work out, I always feel a little listless, frustrated with myself, and sluggish.  When I do work out, I feel great, and energetic, satisfied, and proud of myself.  So why is it so damn hard?

No idea, but I’ll just keep pushing myself one day at a time.  Eventually it will become a habit, and get easier to get going.  Until then, I just need to keep reminding myself of one of my favorite quotes:

You rarely regret the run you did.  You almost always regret the run you didn’t do.

Looking for other good quotes?  There’s a whole bunch here.

See you tomorrow!