Some things have happened this summer. We spent a month traveling. We got engaged (whoops, didn't mention it here)! I was promoted! And we started house shopping. And that's just the big stuff.
All summer I toyed with the idea of a fall marathon, but finally acknowledged that my window for getting in a solid training cycle had shut. I hadn't put in the work and I hate scrambling at the last minute, knowing I'm going to half-ass it. So I'm going to do the chill thing instead: I scrapped my 12-week, zero-to-26.2 marathon plan (really? what was I thinking?) and made a new one for a mid-March marathon (probably Tobacco Road), with a proper base-building period from now to November.
The next step was to take an inventory to see what I'm working with.
Fortunately, last night was the first event for a local track night that may or may not become a more regular thing (fingers crossed). Two bucks got me an entry for all of the events I could race, plus all of the blue Gatorade I could drink. I ran the mile (to get a baseline speed check) and the 400m (for fun). My mile time was 7:13 and I was running at the about-to-barf threshold, so, yeah...I have a lot of work to do. It's refreshing to face the facts and quantify what I knew in my heart was true: I have lost a lot of running fitness. I hope this track night becomes a regular thing so I can try it again and see some progress.
My 400m time was 1:24 and I had a little kick at the end. It seemed fast to me, but I guess that's because normally when I run 400s I'm doing a bunch of repeats, and they're usually at 5k pace. It was fun!
So I have a training plan and I know what my baseline is. Now it's time to do work. I love the ideas/planning stage but I get bored with the follow-through -- something running has helped me come to see about myself. I'm working on it, but nowhere in my life are the consequences of this more evident than in running. Anyway, I'm starting to veer into high-pressure, "my ability to get in a run everyday is a reflection of my moral rightness as a person" territory, which is its own brand of weird, self-defeating talk.
What can I do in the meantime to keep this ship on course? All the stuff everyone always talks about, I guess:
- Register for races to break up the time into smaller goals: I'm definitely doing the Medoc 10-miler in October, and probably also a half marathon if I can find one that won't break the bank.
- Bribes: Running gear, fancy socks, and other little running treats.
- Boiling the frog: I already feel better now that I feel I have more time. My training plan has reasonable weekly workouts and mileage I can see myself actually meeting. By the time things heat up I'll be back in the habit again. I hope.
Okay, so I'll check back in here in a while to see how things are going. I won't start weekly recaps until things get interesting. In the meantime, you can follow me on dailymile.