It’s been a tough week. I operated on 16 patients, including 2 emergencies from the ER, and saw about 45 patients in the office. I left my house at 6:30am 4 out of 5 days this week. The one “late” morning I left home at 7:15am. We celebrated my youngest child’s 4th birthday. And managed homework, instrument practicing, and all the other little joys that occur in a house with 3 young children. Needless to say I’m a bit exhausted this Friday night. And not just physically. I feel mentally drained.
The only run I managed this week was my hill repeats on Monday. While that was certainly a good work-out, complete with gasping for air and tired legs, it was a pretty short one. I added some crunches and minor strength training at home but this week has – fitness-wise – been a bust.
I’ve noticed that I struggle with consistency in training. I have good stretches where I don’t miss a run. And bad stretches where I’m lucky to run once a week. Obviously with the Goofy looming in my future and hopes of improving my overall times (obviously the Goofy is not the time to set PRs!), I need to figure this out.
And so I downloaded Jeff Galloway’s newest book, Mental Training for Runners. This is his book on MOTIVATION. How do we get ourselves out the door when every rational thought is screaming that we deserve a break? How do we keep running past the wall at mile 20 when everything wants to stop? I’m learning as I read.
The way that I’ve been training is to try to find 2 evenings per week for short runs and then an early morning long run on Saturday. What happened this week is typical of a “bad” training week. I had 4 early mornings. My rational self says I can’t possibly wake up any earlier on an early morning so I have to run in the evening, Monday I did my run but made the mistake of doing too short a warm-up so my overall exercise time fell short. Tuesday was a rest day (and Zachary’s birthday). Wednesday after work I had a meeting so I didn’t get home until after 6. No run because it was kid time. And I knew that Thursday’s schedule was a little light so I had wiggle room. Except that I had 2 surgical emergencies on Thursday in addition to my 4 scheduled OR cases. I left home at 6:30am and walked in the door after 7pm. I immediately jumped into homework and bedtime. Alas. And my excuses are totally legit. Unless I want to finish the Goofy or get faster.
Realistically I have already chosen a pretty bare-bones training plan. 3 runs per week with short mid-week runs. Optional cross-training (I fantasize about finding time to cross-train!). But the problem with bare-bones training is that you actually have to DO IT!
So part-way through the book I’m already realizing at I need to re-think my strategy. If I only need to run 30-45min per run for my midweek runs, could this be done in the morning? My alarm is set for 5:30am on my early days. I often hit the snooze bar. What about a 5am wake-up with no snooze bar? With the summer heat coming an early morning run makes sense. And if I have my stuff ready to go before I hit the hay, it shouldn’t be too bad. Hmmm.
It’s not that I’m being hard on myself. I want to run. I was genuinely disappointed that my week didn’t “allow” my runs. So it’s up to me to figure out a better way to get it done. I know there will still be missed runs now and again. But I think I know how to do better!