Good thing the universe has decided to full support me in this goal by throwing several curveballs right at me and wasting no time in demanding I be flexible and receptive to change.
Training for Tuesday, I laid out my race plan for 2015. To briefly recap:
- March half marathon
- March 10k
- May half marathon
- November marathon (!)
- December 5/10-miler
- A bunch of 5k and 10k races in between
Over the last few weeks, I've had to revise my plans:
+ As a result of some running shoe woes and a too-intense-too-fast training plan (and two months of serious slacker behavior beforehand) I've had to deal with a stress reaction in my shins, which is basically somewhere between shin splints and a tibial stress fracture. I've done my research on stress fractures. There's basically one solution: rest. With the race schedule I had in mind for this spring, rest of that required length (several weeks) wasn't really an option. I scaled back for a couple of weeks as I straddled the "stress reaction" zone, terrified of pushing myself into the fracture zone.
Naturally, this affected my training. I didn't get as many speed workouts in as I planned. I didn't get all the long runs in that I had planned. I won't train up to 12 miles before the race; I'll train up to 10 as I did with my last/only half marathon. I will not feel as prepared going into RnR, and I don't know if I'll be able to run it in 2:00:00 or less.
+ The 10k that I planned to run in March, the same race that I ran last year — the 5k course then, though — to cross my first ever, ever finish line, the race I had planned to make an annual tradition... was cancelled.
Naturally, I started by freaking the eff out. Naturally. But after I took a few
Life happens. Races get cancelled. Expenses come up, pushing race registrations to the back burner. Injuries arise from trying to do too much, too fast, too soon. Priorities shift. Life happens.
The thing is, no one forced me to plan on running 5-10 races this year. No one forced me to to set a sub-2 half marathon race goal. No one insisted that my doing these things was the best, smartest, right thing to do. I decided these were the things I wanted to do this year. To be completely honest, my initial reasons for setting these goals were dubious at best. (Would it really make me so much happier to run a half marathon in 2:00:00 than it would to just be able to run it at all? Would it really improve my life to spend more on race registrations than I do on groceries this year?)
So why should I, the person who of sound and clear mind made these goals to begin with, not be comfortable revising these goals, as long as I am of sound and clear mind when I do so? Why should I hesitate to look at the current status of my body, budget, and schedule and ensure my goals are still serving me in a productive way, rather than providing more restrictions for my life?
I've spent so much time panicking about deviating from The Plan. And it doesn't matter what Plan is in question. But why? Why can I not be satisfied to run two half marathons, a full marathon, and a 5/10-miler this year? Why can I not be satisfied to shave 5-10 minutes off my first half marathon finish time as I go for my second 13.1 finish line? The only reason I feel like I can't is that I'm afraid to let myself be. I'm afraid of what it looks like — to whom? — if I abandon my goals, and afraid to admit that revising for unexpected circumstance is not the same as giving up.
So I have a new plan for 2015: Run the best I can, when I can, when I can afford to. Enjoy each mile. Remember that I'm running because I get to. Run the races I really, really want to run. Forgive myself for being a human who can't run in -10* wind chills or with injured legs or on black ice after sunset or over two-foot snow banks. Run because it's fun.
Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon Race Goal: 2:10:00
So that's where I'm at right now. Where have your training plans and goals taken you? Don't forget to grab the button and link up with Tracy and me today and the last Tuesday of every month!