Friday, August 13, 2010
Sticking to the Plan, Man!
So, I have this marathon coming up in November, in case you haven’t heard. It’s supposed to be one of those eco-friendly races in Malibu. It’s small, somewhat hilly and right along the ocean. I have some family coming for a vacation and they will watch me hopefully run, not stagger, through the finish line. I have a nifty little training plan from Runner’s World which I have altered in a few ways to make it more Kate-like. Maybe tweaking it is just my way of having control. I tacked on an extra run each week and upped my tempo pace. According to my plan I am right on track, but then I start to question the plan and myself.
Am I doing enough? Will I even be prepared for this thing? Will my legs be able to handle 26.2 miles? What about my lungs?
I read several personal stories in conjunction with an article by Amby Burfoot about the ‘less is more’ method of training and how successful it can be. Many people shared that when they switched to a more conservative training plan they PRed by quite a lot. Some studies provided the same results. Even so, I am filled with self-doubt and worry. I start to strategize how I can get more miles in starting…now!
Being my first marathon, I want to take every measure to feel fully prepared when I stand on that start line with the pack of anxious runners. Maybe my plan is too modest and I will hit “the wall”, forced to walk it in. Or, maybe the plan is just fine. Maybe I will run faster than I ever anticipated and knock my own socks off.
After a crummy night of sleep I had a surprisingly killer tempo run last night. It was just what the doctor ordered to help rebuild my confidence. I ran much faster than I hoped and felt fantastic the entire way. I didn’t want to stop so I threw in an extra mile at tempo pace. Runs like these remind me why I began this relationship with running years ago. They keep me loyal and committed.
I guess we won’t know whether this training plan is my friend or foe until November 14th. For now, I have to trust the sheet of paper in front of me and trust myself. If I treat it like my friend, maybe it will love me back. If it doesn’t work out how I hoped, there is always another year and another race. Like they say, it is all about the journey anyway, not the destination.