I’m pretty sure I’ve drafted a run/fitness/diet/workout/life plan at least 6 times in the last month alone. And here I am at the end of April and haven’t started a thing. I could say that nothing seems to fit or that I’m not excited or motivated by anything, and that’s true. But there’s also something to be said for throwing away the plans and doing something! Anything!!
I’m in another burnout. It’s the end of the semester and end of this school year and I’m tired of all the juggling. My fall marathon is way too far away to light a fire under me either. Instead of jumping into my “run 30 miles per week” plan, I’ve almost abandoned running altogether. A few miracles have gotten me out the door for a 5 miler or two. I’ve purchased new run shoes, new training books, run motivation books, runner biographies, you name it. The weird thing is that they’ve helped me, but helped me to take steps back rather than forward. For instance, after reading Meb’s book, Meb For Mortals, I decided to stop attempting to fill up my run calendar again and to focus on making myself a fitter runner. In other words, less races, better training. And of course then I started drafting more and more and more plans.
I’m not saying I don’t have good plans. These are plans laid out by experts and when I’ve tried them in the past they’ve always delivered. Now I just need to execute all of them together and stay committed. Easy enough, right? … Not so much. If something happens that prevents me from executing a plan perfectly or delays me or detours me, I abandon all. I think I’ve come to worship the plan in an unhealthy way..
Back when I was at my fittest, I didn’t have weekly mileage plans. I didn’t have a weekly diet plan. I didn’t have any plans. I just tried to get outside and run as much as I could or wanted to. Every day I tried to eat healthy and not too much. Those were my guidelines. It was so basic. I’d have coffee and doughnuts some days even. Other days I’d just go out and run 7 miles on a whim. How many did I run total that week or month? I had no idea! What was my pace? Hmmm, don’t know! The only time I noticed pace was when my race results told me. I don’t know why I’ve since become obsessed with having a plan. I’m so far from the fitness I used to have and yet I have far more plans and knowledge than I did back then.
So what’s the problem? I’ll tell you what I’ve come up with… I’m always preparing and not going. A great mentor once told me that…. Ok, just kidding, it was Dark Helmet. But it’s great advice! If I just ran when I wanted to and stopped putting rules on myself that I ultimately rebel against, then maybe I’d be better off!
I’m not saying I’ll abandon my recently completed plans and charts and such. But I want them to act as more of a guideline when I find myself willing but unsure of direction. And in the absence of that, I’m hoping I just get out for a run or hit the treadmill for a run and do what feels natural. I’m hoping it all comes together more once I finish this semester of school and exams. I’m going to do a lot more forgiving and a lot less criticizing – of myself. My last 5 mile run the other day was amazing. The weather was great and I felt great and I ditched my watch before I took off. I just ran the pace I wanted to and the distance I wanted to and it felt so good. I need to stop trying to control it so much… and that is my only plan.