Don’t Hate The Player – Hate The Game

Yes, my friends, that was my mantra as I walked home last night. You know, the walk that was supposed to be me still running. That good ol’ 8 miler turned out to be a 5.6 miler. Obviously I then had a nice bit of time walking back home to think about what just happened.

The plan said 5 miles. My plan. The one I stuck to the fridge to carry me to race day. But I was going to do 8. Why? Ohhhh because I always think I know better than the plan! Also I skipped a run this week due to sickness (and, yes, after I had written about how I was powering through my runs and laughing in sickness’ face!). So I let that missed run make me think that I could tack those miles onto my long run. Especially since my long run before that was a 7. Hey, that means 8 isn’t a big deal right?? Wrong.

But rather than beat myself up about what happened, I decided to be smart about things for a change and NOT spend hours wallowing about an 8 miler that wasn’t meant to be. It wasn’t my fault. It was because the mileage was too ambitious for me right now. In other words the impromptu game changes sucked. Not me.

This is why people make plans well before they start running. Because they are looking at the big picture. In my case this is Hal Higdon’s picture. He has a 2 week buildup followed by dropping back one week. Then the buildup resumes in a big way. Well this was my drop back week, only I wasn’t dropping back. And at almost 6 miles, I felt the unmistakeable pain from my internal warning system governing my left knee. And ankle. And hamstring.

Long story still long, I stopped. And I started the whole “beat myself up” process but then I stopped. Because why do that? I’m only “failing” because I was playing the wrong game. And Luckily I stopped before it could get worse. And I’m glad I learned this lesson at week 3 rather than later. I need to respect the plan I have committed to. I do not get to add or subtract mileage willy nilly or on the fly during my runs. I do not know better than the running professionals. Or as my race partner just told me “Just stick to the plan! There is no extra credit!

So now I can go into this next week and still hold my head high about having stuck to my last week’s plan for the most part. Yes I missed a run. Yes I am still annoyed by that. But not bad considering the whole family was sick for 10 days straight. I’m fine with it. And I’m gonna stick to the plan.

P.S. It was hot as Hades. Pretty sure that contributed to not finishing. Full disclosure: I didn’t get up early for my long run and instead went in the heat of the day. Felt like I was running in a sauna. Promised myself – No more sleeping in! Doesn’t matter that your toddler woke you up at 4am jumping on the foot of your bed! You will still get up at 530 to run! (ugh)

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