Friday, July 24, 2009

What's My Plan?

It's friday morning and it's raining. Actually it seems normal to me as we have had so much continuous rain this year. I took Wednesday off from running and just swam some laps. This old body was pretty tired from the track workout and the last thing I want is an injury.

Thursday, I wanted to run an easy 4 miler with the Mrs. as it would be a perfect easy run for recovery. Well it threatened of rain (though it didn't) so the mrs just didn't feel like running. It's OK because she has been doing so well.

Funny thing though, I could have gone without her but honestly I was feeling tight and tired. I think subconciously I jumped at any excuse to just veg on the couch. I am doing a long trail run this weekend so I suppose not running a few nights in a row won't affect me that much.

I have been thinking about the hard workouts like track, if I put in so much effort that I feel like taking numerous days off after, am I gaining or losing in the long run? As hard as it was, as much effort as I put in, I still had fun and felt satisfied. Surely it would be viewed as a combination long run with the distance of 9.9 miles I put in.

It seems that after a "hard/long" a rest would be expected. Yet....something inside is nagging me about the time off, yeah I know it is only a few days but I feel a bit guilty, like I will be sorry as my performance will suffer in my next race.

I know that is not true in the common sense part of my mind. I know a few days will not make or break a runner. Somewhere deep inside this weird mind though there is a voice and it is saying, "you need to run more, harder, longer, or you will never meet your goals....stick to your plan"

Whait a minute! What plan? Honestly my plan was training for the 50k, I didn't really devise a plan for after, for the rest of the summer. Sure I signed up for some important races and I kept training.......but a plan?

The analytical part of my brain, which by the way seems to take over my life most of the time, suddenly realized that I had failed. I did not think about my goals, my reason for training, my need to feel good about my progress......I have been running without a plan.

It brings this cartoon image in my head of a bunch of small people dressed in very colorful atire, running around, waving their arms and chanting, " A PLAN!...A PLAN!...HE HASN'T GOT A PLAN!...OH ME, OH MY, HOW WILL HE GET BY!!

Do I really need to have a plan? At what point does a persons actions become fanatical and who decides what fits into that catagory? If I run because I enjoy it, it's a hobby. If I train and conciously plan for performance gains, it's a sport. If I begin to plan my running to intertwine with my life I am a serious runner. If I wrap my life around my running I guess that is finatical.

I find myself wondering, when did I cross that line? What day was it that I became a finatic? Do you think this is how drug addicts feel? They ramble through life enjoying their recrational drug use then suddenly one day they wake up and realize they are addicted. Their whole life now evolves around getting that drug....thinking only of the next fix.

I suddenly realize it is true, people don't ask me, "are you running this week?" they say "what are you running this week?" They know I am running, that is a given.
I don't wake up in the morning thinking, hey maybe I will run a race this weekend or maybe I'll train for a race next month. No.....I worry about the runs I will miss and the things that will get in the way of running.

I try to continuously work my schedule around running. I get discouraged when things interfere and I have temper tantrums when I miss a workout or a race. I think to myself that I can stop if I want and somedays I really want to......but I don't....I can't. I realize that I NEED to PR that next race, I NEED to run that longer distance, I WANT to climb that huge hill.

In writing this entry, I find I do have a plan after all. My plan is to run when ever I can, to get out there and enjoy nature while at the same time leaving the worries of everyday life behind..... even if it is only for an hour or so. I guess that is not such a bad it?

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