First, some news:
1. My wife Nikki just bought a plane ticket to Prague and she is going to train and run in the Prague marathon with me! Woo-hoo!
2. I just purchased weight lifting gloves! Okay, this is not quite as super exciting as my first bit o’ news but I am excited about it because in my HIIT-it (High Intensity Interval Training) class, our trainer has us lifting and doing barbell work, which I think is bad-assed. A funny thing though — most of the women’s lifting gloved I came across had some pink and girly detailing.
I’m don’t have anything against pink girliness but come on! I found some black and gray ones, though, so I don’t feel my bad-assedness has been comprimised.
3. Within a day after my last blog, the Chicago Marathon sold out. Now, the only way I can run it this year is if I join through some charity organization, which will require me to fundraise a bunch of money in order to participate. I’m currently weighing my options and the various organizations, trying to decide if I should just suck it up and become a needling fund-raising friend for the rest of the summer,
or if one marathon is enough for me this year. Right now I am inclined to go for it, bacause I will be in peak training from Prague. So… anyone want to make a pitch for your favorite marathon charity? I welcome your persuasive suggestions.
So, it’s the end of week 6. The theme of this week has been “ten the hard way”
aka “keeping a training schedule when life gets in the way.”
I kicked off the week with a very laborious ten-mile run on Superbowl Sunday. The reason it was laborious was in part because it was 10-miles, in part because it was all on a treadmill, and in part (and this is the big part) because we had a spontaneous dinner party the night before with a few of our muckraking friends, and well, if you’re opening a bottle of champagne at midnight, the rest of the night kind of writes itself, doesn’t it?
But we (Nikki and me, that is) toughed it out and did what had to be done, and I guess I feel pretty good about that. But I am telling you, running those ten miles really sucked. And the 1,000 calories I burned in the process? Two words: superbowl party.
For the rest of the week, my training was a little off. I did my usual bootcamp class on Tuesday, but had to cut my post-bootcamp run short because of work stuff. Wednesday, I accompanied Nikki to the hospital for an outpatient surgery (she’s fine), that required us to be there at 5:30 a.m. and that interrupted my program for the day. Then Thursday I taught in the morning and had meetings the rest of the day and didn’t get home until almost 9:00 p.m., which left me with Friday. Friday I ran 5 miles on the treadmill (it was a cold and snowy and blowy day). I am happy to report that I did run those 5 miles pretty fast (for me), which is to say, I averaged about 11.5 minute/mile.
Tomorrow is this week’s “long” run, which is actually only 7 miles, because this is a step-back week, which occurs every third week in the training program I am following. Next week, however, my long run will be my furthest yet — 12 miles!
Dear Mother Nature,
Please let it be nice enough outside next weekend that I can run outside. I know it’s the middle of February and all, but can’t you just sprinkle some of that global warming magic down on us? Thanks! You’re tops!
Your Pal, Kathie
Oh, and wait — did I say “only 7 miles”? And isn’t that actually double the most I had ever run as recently as only six weeks ago? That’s cool.
But to get back to the idea of keeping a training schedule when life gets in the way (as exemplified by this week). The way I see it is, sometimes things happen that you have no control over (outpatient surgery, day full o’ meetings), and you shouldn’t be so rigid that your life can’t accomodate those times. But also things happen that you have complete control over (opening a bottle of champagne at midnight), and I think a good life also needs to have room for those things, too.
The challenge, in training, in life, is to not let these twists in the road derail you. That’s why we had to do that ten mile run on Sunday even though it sucked so very badly. With this training schedule there is a certain amount of flexibility about the exact order of things, with one important qualification. In order to be prepared to finish a marathon in 18 weeks, you must run the weekly long runs, no matter what else has to get shuffled. That is the absolute minimum standard for success. That is the one requirment that can’t be renegotiated.
So, you weigh your decisions and pay the consequences for your choices. You’ll find, of course, that if you make good choices, life will be easier for you. But if you make bad or questionable choices, that does not have to be the end of the line. You do not have to pack your bags and head back to the couch.
You are allowed to regroup and push forward, where life will continue to give you many opportunities to make good and bad choices, each one, in some way, bringing your closer to or further from your goals. You are in charge, and you have 100% responsibility for your success or failure. A set back is just that — a set-back. You push through it.
I don’t know why I am talking all direct address “you!” and all bossy, soap-boxy, self-helpy because honestly, I don’t know anything. I screw up all the time. I am, after all, both lazy and self-indugent. I, myself, am learning all of this stuff about focus and determination and discipline and goal-orientation. And I’m just kind of figuring it out as I go along, and even then I am probably only half right. So don’t listen to me.
This has been week six. Twelve more weeks to go!