Although I greatly enjoyed making my marathon training schedule, the reality is that I thought it would be much easier to follow than it is turning out to be. I have been consistent in running my long runs every weekend, and track every Tuesday, but Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday are rather unpredictable. Take yesterday and today, for example.
Yesterday I was scheduled to complete my track workout for the week. Typically I run 2 miles at the gym, bike, and then go run 5 or so miles on the track - whatever workout I feel like doing on that day. Some days are definitely better than others. Yesterday, I ran my normal 2 miles on the treadmill at the gym (7:22 pace), walked a mile for stress-relief, biked a little, then headed to the high school track to meet the fast guys.
I actually got to the track 10 minutes early. This is practically a miracle, because i am always late. Always. I ran a warm-up mile with one of the guys as we talked about workouts. He told me he was going to do a ladder. Not having decided what I would be doing, when we completed our warm-up I decided a ladder sounded good to me, too.
Because I am one of the slowest that run track in the off-season, I typically do the workouts on my own. No one is really close to my pace, so it is my only choice. I started a ran a 400, then did a 400 recovery. Next, 800 with 400 recovery followed by 1200 with 400 recovery, mile with 400 recovery, 800 with 400 recovery and a 400 with 400 recovery and then a cool-down. I skipped the second 1200 because I didn't really want to run that distance - it is just a weird distance to run. Since I am my own coach, I decided that I could skip it if I ran a 5+ second faster 400 (which I did - 1:24).
All in all, Tuesday I ran just shy of 10 miles. Then today rolled around. I was supposed to run 5 miles. I started running and realized that I would rather die than run 5 miles. I was exhausted from Sunday's 19 miles and 10 or so yesterday. The result? I ran 3.5 miles and stopped. I am sure my legs will thank me tomorrow when they have to run 9 miles.
Sometimes it is not about following a plan, but listening to my body instead. Sure, I could have ran an extra 1.5 miles, but would it be worth it? No, not at all. I am hoping this (smart) training will keep me injury-free in the upcoming months.