If there is advice that I would relay to anyone who is asking themselves whether they should take some time off from training – it’s the title of today’s blog.
It’s taken me a long time to get here, but it’s something that I should have done long ago. I started this blog back on January 8, 2008 as a diary of my exploits to lose weight and run myself into shape to do some things that I never thought possible. And I did. I ran my first marathon that June. Along the way I found myself running distances that would belie my couch loving body with the strongest remote control fingers in the world just a few months earlier. The gains (both speed and distance) were motivating. I tackled my next marathon a year later and make an amazing 30 minute improvement in my PR. Along the way I saw other PRs smashed and completed a Pfitzinger Training cycle, maxing out at 55 miles per week. What a transformation! I was pumped.
I set my sights next on the new and improved L.A. Marathon – through the streets of the city I was born and raised in. I trained. Hard. Along the way new PRs were set. The miles stacked up. I was ready. I hit the road out of Dodger Stadium and made my way to the Sea.
But somewhere along the way something broke. Not physically, but mentally. I finished. And then wondered – “What Now?” I tried to train, but the spark was no longer there. Many of you gave me some pretty sound advice – take some time off. I especially remember lindsay being quite adamant with that advice. You would think that 50 plus years on this planet would make me wise in my old age. But nooooooo. I dug my heels in and decided that I was going to fight my way through the doldrums. Bottom line is I watched my 2:07 HM PR become a 2:40 HM in Laguna Hills, a 2:32 on the streets of San Francisco, and a bone chilling 3:07 in Long Beach. I step back and look at some of my blog titles over the past few months:
- 3/28/10: Shifting Focus A Little
- 4/04/10: Trying trying trying…
- 4/23/10: Trying to Get a Streak Going
- 6/24/10: I Fooled the Old Brain Yesterday!
- 7/19/10: Let’s Try to Get This Right
Well, I think you get the point. I’m sitting here on the 15th of November, 20 pounds heavier than last March and unable to clock a 10 minute mile.. Hell, I haven’t seen 10:30 in forever. The bottom line is I’m exactly where I would have been if I would have just admitted that I was sick of training, sick of putting in the hours, and sick of the routine and just stopped for a couple or three months. Hmm. And I probably wouldn’t be almost two stone heavier.
So kids – don’t do like Dad does. Do like Dad says. Listen to your brain. If you’re asking the question, the answer is “Yes”. Discretion is the better part of valor…
*There is some hope. I put in a 5 mile training run on Saturday. It was invigorating. Made me look forward to getting out of the house on Sunday for 4 more miles. No pressure. No worrying about pace. Just checking to make sure my heart rate stayed in the aerobic range. I’ve got to admit – it’s been a while since I had the feeling I had after Saturday’s run. I finished last week’s training as well, and put 20 miles in the ledger. And feel fine.
- Monday: Scheduled rest day
- Tuesday: Run 4 easy miles
- Wednesday: Row 4 or so miles
- Thursday: Run 4 easy miles
- Friday: SRD
- Saturday: Run 7 easy miles
- Sunday: Run 3 easy miles
- Total plan: 22 miles