Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Scratch those second-quarter goals

I recently had a pretty crappy run — definitely the worst one since my 5K dud or since any possibility of spring first emerged.

Because it was such a slog, I had plenty of time to re-evaluate some life choices and arrive at a few decisions.

These weren't the kind of decisions I spontaneously, angrily make while frustrated by a tough run ("I quit running!" being the most frequent). These were the culmination of a month's worth of observations.

The first big one is, my goal-setting has been far more ambitious than my goal-attempting.

It's obvious that some second-quarter goals were just not working out for me — namely "regain mental strength" (that one required a plan, more than just saying it) and "do 10 stair repeats in 10 minutes."

That latter goal was part of another big problem. My half-marathon training plan had too many pieces beyond the necessary runs: strength yoga, mobility, core, stairs.

Each workout seemed so overwhelming, time- and energywise, when I looked at my fridge.

I'm not denying the value of strength training, but realistically, some of these were just too complicated for me to follow through consistently.

So for the rest of the month, I'm settling for consistent stretching and foam rolling, with a few planks tossed in there. It's taper time anyway; hopefully I remember to keep it simple in a few months when I next work on a training plan.

As for next month ... I might not run at all.

That sounds extreme, I know. I could also quite easily do it: The temperature and humidity are both rising, and RAGBRAI is approaching far faster than I've gotten bike miles in.

Plus, if this month is any indication, trying to run and bike will just end up with my being frustrated that both are difficult.

I may amend it to allow for short, social runs, but at the same time, my friends who run are also doing RAGBRAI. There won't be much peer pressure, if at all.

And finally, I think I've finally committed to giving up on the spring half marathon for good.

Assuming no injuries between now and Saturday, this will be the third consecutive year I've done a spring half, and each time, the weather has dealt a different sort of wild card.

The unpredictability of Midwest spring might not bother me as much if I had less riding on its whims, like training for a 10K instead of a half marathon.


  1. Sometimes taking time off to refresh our minds and bodies is the right thing to do. More important is to stay active...riding your bike or other workouts will help to keep you in shape. When you return to running after 30 days you may find that overall you will feel stronger. I did that a couple of years ago after hurting my hamstring, did a lot of trail bike riding for about 30 days, and when I started back running I felt stronger an fresher than before. Keep up the good work and good luck. -Doug at irunnerbuzz

  2. That's very reassuring to hear! A lot of times my mind is ready for a break, but I'm afraid that I'll lose so much fitness (or motivation to get back into it, haha) that I'm reluctant to do so. RAGBRAI training oughta keep me busy in the meantime. Thanks!