Monday, August 1, 2011

Training Plan 8/1-8/7

First, a look at plan vs execution last week.

The Plan:
Monday: 3 mile easy run/walk
Tuesday: 20 min run & Yoga
Wednesday: 2 mile run
Thursday: 3 mile run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 4 mile run
Sunday: Yoga or Rest

The Execution:
Monday: Nada
Tuesday: 15 minute Elliptical Warm-up & Yoga
Wednesday: Zilch
Thursday: 15 minute Elliptical and Stretch
Friday: Rest (I'm good at those, remember?)
Saturday: Goose Egg
Sunday: Rest

I didn't want to write about last week because I feel like a failure.  I was lazy, pure and simple.  There are so many reasons that becoming more active is difficult, but no one ever tells you that the biggest problem is you.  Sure, plenty of magazines and blogs can give you helpful hints on how to stay motivated, but they don't discuss the possibility of a deeper problem.  It's not just motivation.  It's overcoming this sense of entitlement.  "I had a horrible day at work, I deserve to relax with a glass of wine instead of run."  Or "This really awesome thing happened and I deserve to celebrate...instead of run."  Or "I'm going to fail anyway because I was never athletic and I'll never BE athletic, so why bother?"

Last week was full of mixed emotions.  A really great opportunity for my career has presented itself, and I am beyond excited.  I was offered a position with a company as a marketing coordinator, and I did it on my own - not through connections or bribing or anything!  I'm so proud of myself and excited for my future.  Not to derail the running/training aspect of this blog but briefly - I never thought this day would come.  I've been in the legal field since 2006, and I've known it's not what I wanted to do since about 2007.  I've watched my friends succeed and grow and flourish in grad school and in their careers, and I never felt half as accomplished.  I've been applying for marketing positions since May of last year, and it's finally paid off.  I can't tell you how happy I am.

Also last week, I officially registered for the Athens Half Marathon.  Let me tell you what that means to me.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday - I could have, and pretty much did, bail on my training program.  There was always an out, since I hadn't registered yet.  I could wait for the Thanksgiving Day half, or the Publix half in March.  But Friday, I registered, and that's that.  I will be in Athens on October 23, and if I don't train properly, I could really hurt myself.  I didn't do my run on Saturday, because I had a million errands to run, cleaning to do, and a birthday party to attend.  I decided to move it to Sunday and try out my new apartment gym.  (Side note: I had decided if I liked the gym enough I would cancel my schmancy gym membership).  I'm not going to lie - when I woke up Sunday morning I was a little hungover from the party, and then Eric and I had a heavy brunch.  I decided that the best use of my time would be to edit the 394857239471 photos I promised to have by the end of the weekend.  Eric, however, needed to use my computer to take an online exam so I watched 3 or 4 episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 

When Eric finished his exam he gave me a hard time for wasting 3 hours watching TV. when I could have been to the gym and back already.  He asked me if I was still planning to go.  I sheepishly said yes, but I didn't want to go alone.  I didn't want to go at all, and he knew it, but he had the ace in the hole.  I HAVE to train.  I have to.  I can't just show up to a half marathon only having the ability to run 3 miles.  So we went.  It started out well.  I ran at a good pace for me (12 min/mi) for about 5 minutes.  I slowed to a walking break and turned to ask Eric for some water when the treadmill just stopped.  I flipped out.  I couldn't get my time or average pace back.  I couldn't get it to start again.  Nothing.  I was so angry.  It's hard being unathletic.  Those numbers make me proud, and trying to run without them a) makes it easier for me to cheat myself, and b) makes it difficult to see what my actual progress is.  So I gave up.  We walked home, and it was awful.  I was fighting back tears because I knew how stupid I was being, but I wouldn't go back.  
I read a lot healthy lifestyle blogs, and these girls are ATHLETES.  They can run distances I can only dream of at paces that seem impossible to me.  Several are training for half Iron Mans or Olympic Triathlons.  One just became and Iron Man last weekend.  I can't even run 4 miles on a treadmill. When we got home, I chastised myself for allowing failure.  It's as simple as that.  So today starts a new month, the half marathon is 12 weeks away, and I have a chance at redemption.

Here's the new plan:
Monday: 4 mile run
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday: 2 mile run
Thursday: 3 mile run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 4 mile run
Sunday: Rest or Yoga

I'm obviously not giving up my gym membership.  My apartment has two gyms and both are beyond subpar (broken and outdated equipment, lack of AC, etc).  It's possible that in the winter, when I've acclimated to running outside, I may drop it, but until then, ACNE will be my second home.

I knew this would be difficult; athletics, sports, they never came naturally.  But it's so much harder than I thought it would be.  And it's not running, and it's not just making the time.  It's me.  I am my biggest hurdle.

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