For the past few days I've been struggling with decisions. Lots of decisions. Including whether or not my full spring marathon schedule (3 in the next 2 months) is good or whether it is becoming a burden. I was leaning towards "becoming a burden" and was thinking about talking to my husband about canceling our plans for the upcoming Illinois, Rockford and Madison marathons. I have a lot on my plate and really need to focus on some personal issues for a while and feeling bad about not getting my runs in is not helping me feel any better about life.
Additionally, I thought why on earth should I plod through marathons knowing that wrenches in my training plans will make my initial goal of a sub 4:15 on 5/15 almost impossible to obtain? I'm really not excited about the idea of "getting through" another marathon- I want to RACE one, doggone it! So why do 3 marathons sub-optimally trained?
But then I was inspired. Inspired by a few folks who told me MY running in part inspired THEM to start running, run more, and register for a race (3 different folks, 3 different goals). Running had become a significant part of my identity recently, but over the past 3-4 weeks when my running was seriously cut back, I didn't miss it all that much. I missed feeling good like I do after a run, but I had no desire to lace up my shoes and get in a good run (but I did plod along and run at least 1 mile everyday, no matter how I felt).
So after talking w/ these runners, I realized that trying to motivate others to run is a part of my identity that I want to maintain. It's important for me to be consistent with my running yet flexible in my running goals because the important thing is that I keep on going and continue to find ways to make running fun. I believe what motivates people about my running is not my race times or the lengths of my runs (okay, that may impress some people sometimes) but my enthusiasm for activity and exercise. So I should maintain that enthusiasm even though my spring races aren't going to go as originally planned.
So, I've re-vamped my training schedule. I printed out 3 new blank monthly calendars, made some MAJOR revisions to my running schedule and starting Monday I'll be off like a herd of turtles. Yes, turtles. Because my revision involves sslllooowww long runs given the fact that I haven't run long in weeks. And the first 2 marathons in my spring schedule- Illinois on 4/20 and Rockford on 5/15- will now be converted to training runs w/ the plan to run 20, walk 6 @ Illinois and run 22, walk 4 @ Rockford. Goal race will be Madison on 5/29. Exact goal to be determined!
This post is dedicated to the 3 peeps who recently motivated me- N, N and B- you may or may not know I'm referring to you, but thanks for reminding me that my running can affect more than just me. You've given me fresh energy to get back into a training plan!
Next week's schedule:
Monday: 15 miles slow
Tuesday: 1 mile, ab work
Wednesday: 1600m @ 7:49 (400m RI), 3200m @ 7:55 (800m RI), 2 x 800 @ 7:30 (400 m RI)
Thursday: 1 mile, JM video
Friday: 18 miles slow
Saturday: 1 mile
Sunday: Bunny Suit 5K