First, shout to new followers; there are quite a few of you, and it really means a lot to me.
So for those of you who are just tuning in, this girl is training for her first ever marathon. I finally officially registered for it– to be honest, I was filled with a lot of self-doubt and worried about dropping $165 before I knew I could actually do this. But I now know I can.
So I am following a training schedule that you can find here, but I haven’t exactly been following it to a “T.” You’ve maybe guessed that from the title of this post. You see, training plans like this one are great in theory, and putting it up on my fridge keeps me motivated to stick to it the best that I can, but what you have to know is that life gets in the way of 20 week plans like this. Sometimes you twist your ankle or get a bad bladder/kidney infection (both of which have happened to me during this), or you have weekend plans, or you just can’t work up the motivation to run on a certain day. It happens. You have to just move on.
Case in point: week 9 was one of my best running weeks. I was scheduled to run 12 miles, but since it was a few days before my birthday, I decided what the heck and went for 13.1, or a half marathon, just to round out my year. Ya know, just for kicks (don’t worry, I am rolling my eyes too).
Then Monday rolled around and I took off to run an easy 4 miles, only to feel incredibly fatigued with a throbbing soreness in my lower back, and had to cut it short by a mile. By the next night, it was clear that the lower back pain was coming from my kidneys screaming at me. I had a bladder infection that had spread to my kidneys, and I spent the rest of the week feeling weak and woozy, and definitely not in running condition. I used that time as an opportunity to get a Keratin treatment in my hair (look for an upcoming post about this) which meant that I couldn’t get my hair wet for 3 more days.
So there went week 10.
I spent most of week 11 on a road trip vacation, but did manage to squeeze in a good 8.5 mile hike, which I decided was a fine substitute for shorter week day runs.
That brings us to the week 11 long run– 14 miles.
I told myself that I could just do 10 since I had taken a hiatus, but the stubbornness in me decided to go for it, 7 miles up the coast and 7 back.
Along the way I got really hot (it was around noon, and I normally run at sunset). I also got really hungry and kinda tired. It was then that I decided that it was time to stop beating myself up about time and speed, and to just let myself walk. Either way, I covered the 14 miles on foot, and according to RunKeeper, I burned 1500 calories in doing so. It doesn’t mean that I have to put an asterisk next to the run (which I actually did the time I had to walk the last mile of a 10 mile run), or that next week I need to do it over again, or that for the next few weeks I am also going to walk off half of my run.
It means that I just had an off day. It means that I just have to move on.
When it comes to any type of training plan or schedule, remember that they are only suggestions. A skipped workout, an extra treat, a slow time, or a bad day are proof that you aren’t perfect, but you are human. I’ve had to learn from all of this that punishing yourself is a waste of time. With training, as with life, really, you have to just move on.