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Friday, 17 January 2014

Training Weeks 1 - 3: A Disappointing Start

This year was supposed to be different. My enthusiasm and excitement for running was higher than it had been for the last two years. I had plans; train for a spring 3:45 marathon, then maintain the fitness into the summer and run the ENDURrun. It was going to be glorious, and I couldn't wait to get started.

Then reality set in.

I am now three weeks into my training schedule, and I'm barely getting in half the mileage I should be. The runs I have managed to complete outside have been difficult. The treadmill runs are been okay, I guess. Still, I can't help but feel disappointment, and my bad mental attitude is starting to creep back.

My Sunday long run. A tough slog.
I can blame the weather for some of it. For example, my long run two weeks ago was in an ice/snow storm on a Sunday night in the dark. No one can really do their best work slogging through ankle deep wet snow on uncleared sidewalks while being pelted in the face with ice. That was what I like to call a "character building" run; one of those runs that you fondly reminisce about when it's sunny and 25 degrees out. I'm trying to stay positive about things; I am, after all, only three weeks into an 18 week training schedule. 

It would be so much easier if I were a morning person. I follow quite a few running bloggers, and while their posts are very inspirational, it just floors me how early they get up to get their workouts in. Clearly it's why they excel in their sport, but I just CAN'T do it. I love my evenings, and my sleep, too much to get up early and work out. 

Maybe I'm going about this the wrong way. Rather than fighting myself and my own habits, I should try and work around them a bit more. One of the bloggers I follow, Iron Rogue, mentioned #wycwyc in his latest post. This movement was started by Carla Birnberg (aka MizFitOnline) and stands for what you can, when you can. The philosophy is simple:
Born from a longing to end perfectionist tendencies and the “start tomorrow” mindset, the #wycwyc movement reminds us doing what we can when we can is enough. There is no starting over, no magic day of the week, no throwing away the day. By doing what we can when we can we will reach our goals.
Rather than get upset with not getting in my 10km steady run in before (or during) work, perhaps a better solution would be to split it in half and run 5km at lunch, and 5km when I get home. Or, going for a brisk lunchtime walk around the neighbourhood. Something is always better than nothing at all. 

The other thing I've not done is do any other kinds of workouts. I had planned on doing some core work, but so far that hasn't happened yet. Again, using the #wycwyc philosophy, maybe I can squeeze it in at various points during the day, like before/after my run, and first thing after I wake up. 

While this week is not quite over (I've got a 6km steady run tomorrow morning that I will for sure get in), I'm going to give this a try next week, and report back on my progress. 

My training log is here, for those who are curious. You can also see it on Strava, and DailyMile

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