Friday, August 1, 2014

A little perspective

I am in a rut with my running and I wish I knew why.  I can attribute some of it to my frustratingly slow pace as of late and the fact that my legs have been cramping terribly when I do run.  With that being said, I have not run since before vacation and am a bit afraid to since my runs lately have not been stellar.  I intended to go for a run yesterday evening after the boys were asleep, but I really needed some snuggle time with the boys so I made some popcorn and we watched cartoons together.

In any case, I have spent some time this week working on building my leg strength back up because I feel as though this will help my running.  As I mentioned, I went to the gym Wednesday night to work on the elliptical and tonight, I went and rode the recumbent bike for 35 minutes.  I've missed riding a bike and I honestly could have spent much more time on the bike.  It helped that there was a t.v. screen on the machine and I got caught up in some episodes of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta.

In addition to ramping up my cross-training, I briefly mentioned earlier this week a thought of switching gears on my Napa training and mixing in a Hal Higdon plan.  I desperately want to get out of this rut and I thought changing things up would help.  However, today I received an e-mail that I think I was meant to get.  I receive e-mails from several local running stores, and today's e-mail from Fleet Feet St. Louis had a great article about 5 Common Errors in Half and Full Marathon Training.  The tip that spoke to me the most was tip #4 Knee-Jerk Overreaction:

Training is not linear. We will have good days and bad days (hence the reason Common Error 2 is on the list). As I said in that section, our schedule is a scaffolding to follow, not an ironclad contract to be followed at all costs. That being said, it is also not something to eschew. Our training program allows us to stay on target without wandering too far away from out primary goal. The problem is that all too often, when we have one of those rough days (or weeks), we scrap everything and change directions mid-course. Half and full marathon training is written with the intent of having good days and bad days. We can’t get too high on the good days and we can’t get too low on the bad days. The reason we need to stick with the program is that the rough patch is taken into account in the program itself. By overreacting, we miss out on the benefits that may just be around the corner. In the end, if we keep switching things up as a knee-jerk reaction, we end up missing the training effects of any and all programs. Training for a half or full is like the race itself: it's not a sprint. We have to train intelligently and patiently if we are survive safely and happily.

How true is this?  I have completely been overreacting.  Of course I will have good days and bad days with my running, just as I have good and bad days in life in general.  Instead of running away (ha) from the bad days, I need to face them head on and accept that they, too, are making me stronger, mentally and physically.  Patience has never been, nor will be, I fear, a virtue of mine, but I need to try to have patience with myself and my body.

"Running well is a matter of having the patience to persevere when we are tired and not expecting instant results."