Thursday, October 25, 2012

A (Wo)Man With A Plan

***if you are new here, and have no idea what this is going to be about you have two intelligent choices:

a) Leave Now.

b) Start here, then work your way back, m'kay?

In my highly overrated, and largely ignored opinion, there are essentially two kinds of people in the world...those that give some sort of credence to astrology and those that believe it is hokum. As for me...well, there's something to it. I am a Virgo. No, wait, let me say that differently. I am a VIRGO.

I am picky.
I am analytical.
I am a perfectionist.
I am a fuss budget.
I am a worry wort.
I can be extremely rigid.
I am more than a little stubborn.
And God help you, don't make me be late.

Starting in May of 2012 I was also in possession of a plan.

Which anyone that believes in the powers and characteristics of the Zodiac can tell you is one hell of a heady combination.

Suddenly, instead of having a vague goal and a hazy idea of how to achieve said goal, I had a concrete! structured! blueprint for getting there.

Rules! Schedules! Requirements!
To a Virgo? this is the equivalent of SHINY!!! to a crow. Or cake to a fat girl. (I kid...but still, you get my point.)

Not even remotely surprisingly, I latched onto this training program with a hearty gusto and heaved a gigantic psychic sigh of relief...

...until I looked at it a little bit more closely. And realized that, rather than running 5 or 6 days a week, I would only be running 3, maybe 4. The other days were either allocated to cross training or, the shock, the horror, premeditated REST days. I immediately panicked.

It had been more than a month since I had gone for more than a single day without running. I hadn't managed to increase my mileage appreciably. How on earth was I going to do it if I cut back on my running?

The twin sides of my nature began an epic battle.

The rule follower said "But the plan says its OK!!! Follow the plan!!"

The worry wart said "We're all going to die!!!! There is no way this will ever work!!! Gloom...Doom..."

So the rule follower started the plan, and the worry wart cheated, by adding in small "fun runs" on the mornings that were supposed to be cross training days.

According to the plan, I was to run 40 minutes on Monday morning. This was a longer time than I had ever tried to run on a school day. My 2 mile course was taking me about 20 minutes or so, so this would be almost double. I was a little skeptical, buuuut...the plan said so.

I obediently set my alarm on Sunday night, and rolled out of bed and out the door, giving myself enough time to run 40 minutes. It occurred to me early on that, I had no idea where to run. I mean, should I just run the same route I had been running...twice? That morning, I turned left at the end of the street, instead of right. And I just ran.

And this is how I continued for a good long while...I would run first 40, then 45, then 50 and finally 60 minutes on Monday. Cross train on Tuesday. Run between 40 and 60 minutes on Wednesday. Cross train on Thursday. Run 20-30 minutes on Friday, and then do my "endurance" run on Saturday. This ranged from 5 miles, the first week, up to 20 miles in week 17. Around week 12, some tempo runs were sprinkled in to the training as well.

The first couple of weeks, I continued to "cheat" on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Slowly though, I gave that up. I realized that, I was running longer and longer distances in the morning, and at a faster and faster pace. On those off days? My body kind of needed the break.

The first couple of weeks, I also tended to psych myself out pretty badly, by looking too far ahead in the plan. I would come back, exhausted from an 8 mile run, and panic that, in a month, I would be expected to run 12! 12 miles! That's a whole 50% longer!!!! How would I ever be able to pull that off??? (Fire! Brimstone! Apocalypse!)

I remember the day that I crossed the double digit threshold. I ran 10 miles. It was July 18th and I was 8 weeks into the plan. I came home, exhausted, but proud. This was a major milestone. I was impressed with myself, but totally convinced that there was not a chance in the world that I could go further.

10 weeks later, I had begun the taper. I had a 10 mile run scheduled. It was September 22. My husband and I were discussing it, as he had by this point, started a 1/2 marathon training program of his own. I remember saying to him "Yeah, but I only have to run 10 miles tomorrow...its not a big deal."

Only 10 miles. What a difference time and a little fanatical adherence to a plan had made.

Before I knew what happened, it was October 4th and we were boarding a plane for Minnesota. Three days later, I would run my first marathon.

But that? Is a story for another day.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

Lol.... Gloom and doom loses for another day :) nice goin Scout!