Monday, September 26, 2011

The tale of the Milk Carton Runner

Missing for nearly two weeks.
I'd like to direct your attention to a couple of my most recent blog posts, one called Happy Little Accidents, and the other called Why We Race. These were perhaps the most gratifying and confidence-inspiring moments of my marathon training program. Being able to executed Yasso 800's at sub-goal pace, then followed immediately by a PR at my half-marathon tune up race had me in a great place mentally for the remainder of the marathon training.

Since that half marathon performance however, I've gone missing. Here have been my workouts:

9/13-Run through sickness" on my 12 mile run-only made it 6.5 miles
9/14-Sick with fever-supposed to run 6 miles

9/15-Sick-supposed to run 12 miles

9/17-Ran 17 of 20
9/18-Ran 5 of 5 Recovery
9/20-Up til 4am with a family member facing stage 4 cancer. Missed 8mi run

9/21-Rain (dainty flower) missed 11mi run.
9/ 4:45am? Yes. 9mi missed
9/24-Ran 12 of 17
9/25-Ran 5

In case you went to school in South Carolina, I've run 46 miles over the past two weeks, less than what I should have run in one single week at the PEAK of my marathon training. I am incredibly frustrated and mad at myself. Could I have rescheduled workouts from the morning to the afternoon or evening? Probably. Could I have run on a treadmill? Definitely. Did I? No.

In fact, I started my run on Saturday with all this garbage in my head, and it kept flowing non-stop. It was pitch-black dark outside (darker than normal) and nearly every possible negative thought that a marathoner can think went through my head..

"Why am I doing this?"
"Why am I up so early?"
"I don't have enough time to train for a marathon."
"Maybe I don't have what it takes...."

"Maybe half marathons are all I'm cut out for..."
"You're a fraud."
"What kind of a run blogger doesn't run?"
"You suck at this."

Wash....Rinse....Repeat. For 12 miles.

Is it any wonder I didn't make it any farther? It hit me while I was walking to cool down...

I let my yesterdays define my todays.

Remember the blog where I said that running was 90% mental? Instead of approaching the workout as a new day to start my marathon training, I approached the run encumbered by all this baggage of how much training that I've missed over the past two weeks. Let me tell you that's a lot to carry for a dozen miles. Some of this I couldn't help, some was self inflicted, all of it is real life. You can't help getting sick, you can't help family issues, you can help how you react...and let me tell you I've not reacted well.

I'm not an elite athlete. This is supposed to be FUN.

I completely lost sight of that fact.

So, I have a decision to make. There are 34 days left. What am I going to do with those 34 days? I can keep lugging around the baggage, and keep asking myself all of those negative questions OR I can put the missed workouts behind me, and approach the rest of them with a positive outlook while enjoying the remainder of the journey.

Tomorrow is a brand new day....I choose to treat it as such.


PalmettoRunner said...

I am not an elite athlete. This is supposed to be fun. Good mantra for those of us who are not professionals (let alone elites).

Good on ya!


David H. said...

I think the sickness gave you forced rest and now that it's come and gone and the fact that you've reset your mind, you're in a good place for the final month of training.

Tiana said...

Great post and great points- all things we need to remember. Even though we'll never be who we want to be as runners, we are still out doing what thousands of people aren't- running! Keep up the good work!!