I keep telling myself this as I hit week 4 of my marathon training program. Thus far, I have been hampered by family obligations, medial tibial stress, a hectic work and travel schedule and now? Bronchitis. I could not imagine what it would be like to manage kids at the same time. Props to you who have children and still manage to train. Better yet – involving them in your training. You are inspiring my friends. I know that encountering adversity along the way of any journey should be expected – Injury, obligations, negative self-talk, boredom – adversity appears in all forms. Even in one’s familial support network. And some days, it’s just really tough to fit in a training run. I am trying though. As hard as I can. Because if I don’t make achieving my goals a priority I can’t expect anyone else to. Complex… I know.
Thus far, if I had to pick a magic three my primary struggles are as follows:
- Time Management
- Adequate and Appropriate Nutrition
I’ll address 1, 2 and 3 in one shot. Following a training program specific to my goal has been key. It hasn’t been a perfect fit, but a 65% commitment is better than 50%… or 1%. It also feels like I have a coach in my back pocket, and I suppose I kind of do. Training Peaks has been my preference thus far but I know there are a few sites out there that offer guidance for all sports. And after managing an injury while carrying out an excessively demanding work life this month? Knowing and seeing that 65% on screen feels pretty darn good. Yes, training has been tough, making time to train even tougher, but I came up with a few tricks to sneak my training in. Late night treadmills in random hotels in equally random cities are one, the other? I run home. I even figured out the right backpack to wear. I look 12, but honestly I feel 12 most of the time anyways and at this stage in my life, that feels like a blessing. Next month I a confident that 65% will turn into 85%. Nutrition and sleep are a work in progress.
With respect to the running itself, though prior to this month I had never ran further than 15km in my life (I’ve now hit a whopping 16km/10miles) my seemingly natural athletic strengths have done their part with only modest tweaking of my gate required from trail running to the road where my first event will be. The advice from my physiotherapist (by the way find one and make them your best friend) was “less tip-toeing through the tulips, more snoopy dancing”. Now, thanks to Craig, running itself is not so much of an issue.
Progress report? My LSD (Long Slow Distance) is as slow as molasses but I seem to be consistently getting that mileage in on a weekly basis… hey, they don’t call it Long Slow Distance for nothing! Just say’in. This Sunday is my next big one… 22.5km/14 miles. It might end up being me running 84 laps around a track because I haven’t quite figured out my shoulder season run gear yet, but that is just fine. I look forward to the introspection. Running has a real meditative quality for me that way. Feeling my feet strike and muscles engage – just listening to the rhythm of my breath and heart beat. Pretty serene, albeit a teeny bit boring initially, but I am finding my stride both mentally and physically.