A very big part of training, and the commitment to training, is learning to respect the process.
There’s technique and strategy behind every run on the schedule, and it is also built for a runner in good health and weather in good conditions. While most of the time, we can make up for the fluctuating variables (the good health and good conditions) – sometimes we have to respect the part of the equation thats messing the whole thing up.
This week I woke up sick. My throat hurt, my head was pounding and I had no energy. I was supposed to make up for missing my long run the day before because of the unbearable heat. I quickly realized 8 miles was not going to happen, but maybe 6?
As the day crept on I realized 6 may be too much — how about just 4? Ok – fine fine, got my sneakers and went out the door. I even told myself to not bring my Garmin so as to stay focused on the miles rather than the time. Joke was on me, 17 minutes into the run my throat felt like it was closing, my head was hurting and I was sweating way more than I should have been. Feeling like an idiot, I walked back home, stopping at CVS to get Gatorade.
I was so mad at myself when I got home, I refused to log the 2 short miles I had run, as though to “punish” myself for the carelessness.
My point is — we have so much respect for our training plans and our goals, but why do we lose respect for our own bodies and their safety? Similar to running in the sweltering heat — why would I choose to run when my body has bigger battles to fight than getting my ego through 4 miles?
Learned my lesson really quick after that sobering walk from the West Side Highway. Come Tuesday, I knew I was still in no shape for my speed run and canceled my Nike Run Club, which totally bummed me out since I really look forward to all my appearances at Mile High Run Club. Finally, on Wednesday I felt good enough for some low impact strength in the form of barre, which I did mainly to quiet my nerves for being lazy. The hungover thighs were a positive side effect of a job well done.
And, today, Thursday, I gave myself the A-OK to jump back into training and off I went for my 5 tempo miles and they were AWESOME. All this nonsense about losing fitness when you rest is all bologna. It’s proven that it takes at least 10 days to loose progress when you’re training and I cut it pretty damn close with 6, but, hey, I ran some of my fastest, strongest miles today – so nothing but RESPECT there.
The next 12 weeks are going to be crazy. Saying goodbye to lax and lazy summer days, hello to travel, new jobs, new running locations and (THANK YOU OMG ILYSM FALL COME QUICK) new weather. There will be weeks that come under mileage, and I very surely doubt some that will go over, but as long as I keep my cool, I have no doubt I’ll be able to have the best NYC Marathon experience. How many sleeps to go?