On Monday’s post when I mentioned I was struggling with my training and runs and, well, life, Amanda asked a really pertinent question that I wanted to address before talking a bit more about my training plan.
My immediate response to Amanda’s comment was no way! but I wanted to take some time to actually think about it before responding. And so…..I thought 🙂
And then I thought some more.
After thinking this over for a few days, I don’t feel like the ultra is the wrong goal for me.
When I think about running the race I’m not stressed or anxious or overwhelmed. However, there area few reasons why I think I might not be nailing my runs.
The length of the plan
The Hanson’s plan in 18 weeks long. This is the longest training plan I’ve done, and while I agree it’s probably not reasonable to expect to train for a marathon in 12 weeks, I think a 16 week training plan is probably better for me. I also came into this program quite fit after just finishing a marathon, so maybe I should have considered that and adapted the plan better for me.
The lack of flexibility
I picked the Hanson’s plan because I liked the idea of running consistently – six days a week consistently. I was probably a little over ambitious about the number of runs I’d be able to reasonably complete over the course of a week. Looking back at my marathon training plan, I ran an average of 3 days a week, with a few weeks of 4 days a week. Expecting myself to run six days a week was possibly not reasonable.
Okay, so I hate complaining about the weather. My philosophy is “if you can change it, then change it; if you can’t, then shut it”. For some reason I’ve decided this doesn’t apply to the weather this year. I needed to confirm with a few people that I wasn’t mis-remembering previous winters as better than they actually were. I wasn’t. This winter has sucked. Truly.
While snow in May isn’t entirely unexpected, the winter that will never end, is. In 2011 I trained for a half marathon in shorts in April. I’ve worn shorts once in 2014 and that was a week ago. Two days later we had snow.
I spent a lot of time on the treadmill this winter, and I just feel like my ability to motivate myself to get my arse on the treadmill at this point is just gone. This weather has been a challenge and I’ve nearly exhausted my ability to deal.
Let me assure you that I’m 100% not complaining about living alone. For the most part, I enjoy living alone and I think I’ve adapted to living alone quite well. However, there isn’t anyone to pick up the slack. When I have a run after work, I don’t finish until after 7pm, then I need to shower and cook and eat and clean and still get to bed at a reasonable hour.
Yes, it can be tiring; the only person who can pick up the slack is me. This has been a challenge after a long day at work and knowing I still have a zillion life things to take care of in addition to my run.
I’m a princess
I say this somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but I’m a princess about a few things. The biggest one is sleep. It’s not unusual for me to be in bed before 11pm on weekends and I won’t wake up until 9am. Oh yeah, sleep and I are besties. When I read blogs about other runners sleeping in until 7am on weekends I’m always a bit amazed since I don’t really wake up until 7am during the week.
Yup. Princess. But I also know my body and my mental state and I know that I’ll start an anxiety spiral if I start sacrificing sleep.
I have 14 days left of training runs and then I’ll taper before my race. I’m 100% confident I can nail my runs for the next two weeks. Breaking it into a small chunk like that, I know I can handle it. Knowing I’m taking June “off” from running also helps. This doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll not run at all in June, but I’ll do what I want, when I want and go from there.
[Tweet “Hanson’s training plan, and why it wasn’t right for me via @cowgirlruns”]
I’m also resorting to bribery. I’ve ran Monday and Tuesday and taken my rest day (yaasss!) on Wednesday. If I made the remainder of my runs between now and when my taper starts on May 22, I’m going to buy myself hot rollers. I’ve been lusting after the T3 hot rollers at Sephora (thankfully for me they were sold out this weekend) so I shall use them to motivate myself to get my butt out there and run.
Back in the fall, I had earmarked Calgary as my shot at breaking 4 hours in the marathon – then I saw this ultra. I’m glad I picked the ultra as my goal race instead of breaking 4 hours. Why? Because with this winter, there is no way I’d have hit my training in order to break 4 hours. I also know I’ll be able to complete the 50k. This isn’t a time race for me, this is a bucket list race. So long as I finish in under 6:30, I’ll get my medal, stein and get to hit the gong since it’s an automatic PR for me.
Tell me: Have you ever attempted a training plan that wasn’t for you?
PS – you’ll definitely want to come back for tomorrow’s post. I have two videos of me in pink pants doing stretches. 😀 it’s going to be hilarious!
Disclaimer: Posts may contain affiliate or referral links. Your support is appreciated. Thank you!