Sometimes life gets in the way of living. Responsibilities towards others can really interfere! But, eventually, there is a window of opportunity when I can focus on myself again. And here it is for me. Now, I can get back to my running goals.
After spending a winter of extreme commitment to running, I feel like a bit of a slacker running only 3-4 times a week for short distances and without any speedwork. During the winter, I did not miss a workout. Over the past few weeks, I can barely get one in. Fortunately, I would not say I am deconditioned. I would say I have maintained my basic fitness level with shorter, less eventful runs.
I am 3 weeks from official Richmond marathon training. And I have some time again. I gained so much during my winter training, and I want to get it back during these 3 weeks so that I am strong to start marathon training. Is that a good idea? Sure, why not. I can probably make a lot of gains if I do speedwork once a week and a tempo run once a week. I can use my old workouts. Will that benefit me in November on marathon day? Hmmm. That’s hard to say.
My marathon training team will give me a workout that will include all of the components necessary to achieve my goals. I just have to follow it. I am always very strong throughout the summer and I gain a lot of speed. But, I have the summer off from work. Once I go back in September, it gets a little tricky keeping up. But, it can be done. So, if I am not running my marathon until November, why bother with speedwork and tempo runs now in May before training team starts?
The first weeks when we meet as a group, you begin to see who you are pacing with. You start running with those people and making conversation and friendships. If I allow myself to start out in what I would consider my deconditioned state, I will be closer to the back of the pack than I want to be, and I will probably just stay there because I will become comfortable there.
But, if I am feeling fit and fast, I will push myself closer to the front and I will have the confidence to accept the challenge. Whoever said that running was mental? That person nailed it. Seriously. For the last couple of years, I have been comfortable in the front of the back of the pack. No more. This season, I am the back of the front of the pack! Hope that makes sense. I am realistic. I’m not a 6-7 minute miler. But, I have proven, since the Frostbite 15K in January, the Monument Avenue 10K in March, the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in April, and as recently as the Innsbrook 5k a few weeks ago, that I am an 8-8:15 minute miler.
Don’t let a little running respite discourage you runners out there! I know I won’t. I am getting back in the game today. I am going to get my body ready to work hard and long for a successful marathon training season, closer to the front. No more pulling up the rear for me!