What motivates someone to pick a training plan and then stick with it? I don’t mean “try when it isn’t too inconvenient to get many of the runs done.” I mean “wake up at 4am is that’s the only way to get my training done” motivation. On some level I truly believe that if I were ever able to finish even 90% of the scheduled runs in my plan, I would actually go faster.
In the grand scheme of things I seem quite dedicated. I mean I work full-time as a surgeon while trying to raise 3 young (and sometimes difficult) children. And I’ve finished 3 half and 1 full marathons. Pretty impressive! And yet when I look over my week to week training, I miss a lot of runs. Or I cut short my long runs. I know my mother (who actually reads this) will tell me that I’m being a little hard on myself. But I don’t mean it that way. I’m trying to understand how busy people with real lives achieve running goals successfully. I’ve done pretty well but I feel like I could do better.
This was a week where I did better. Monday I debated going to running clinic vs. running on my own. Beautiful weather but sometimes just doing my own thing is easier. Instead I chose the group thing. We ran 2.68 miles with no walk breaks and I killed the big hill at the end. Pace around 12:30 min/mile. Awesome!
Tuesday I finished up in the OR a bit early due to a cancellation (child had a bad cough). The weather was gorgeous! I don’t like to run 2 days in a row so I walked 3 miles. I always using Disney time limits for pacing and beat the 16 min/mile requirement (thinking ahead to Goofy and possibly walking the half!). Wednesday was a freebie. Thursday was a bad day. Hugely busy and stressful. Left home a 7:10am and got home at 6:30pm. Exhausted. Dinner was ready and waiting. It would have been easy to succumb to the temptation to give myself the night off. But I didn’t. I changed into my running clothes and managed 2.5 miles using a run 5/walk 2 ratio. The pace was only so-so but that’s not the point. I ran.
This week I made myself plow through my training. With 12-14 miles on tap for the am. But what happens next week? Or when we go away for Spring Break? How do I keep the mental imperative going? What do I do when I try to schedule my weekly runs and my choices are 4:30am or 8:30pm? How many runs in a 12 or 18 week training plan are “optional”, especially when you use a 3 day a week running plan?
By the way, I ordered a book called Running Weight which may help me stop the weight gain!