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Rest and Re-Direction

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

About a week and a half ago, I had a pretty big revelation. As I was previewing my next few weeks of training and worrying about the fact that my training hours were soon going to increase from 5 hours per week to 7 and 8 hours per week, I started to feel a little overwhelmed. I was sure I could figure out a way to make it work. But, seeing as it's been very difficult to make 5 hours fit into my schedule, I was nervous. And, frankly...I'm JUST SO TIRED all the time.

When I had skipped three workouts in a row, I thought, "Something's gotta give...because I can't continue to do nothing at all...and I can't keep doing what I've been doing either."

A lot of stuff has been changing in my life and I don't know why I was surprised when I actually thought to myself, "Maybe I should put the brakes on my training and drop some races this year." This was something I had never considered as a possibility. I had committed to this racing schedule and to my training and I was determined to succeed. I didn't want to pull back and admit failure.

As I thought more about things, though...it occurred to me that I have some very important relationships in my life right now that need special attention and care. I feel very strongly that I will make or break these relationships over the next 6-12 months. I absolutely MUST have the time, energy and money to take care of these relationships the way they deserve to be cared for. There will always be training and there will always be races. But...if I crossed the finish line of every race with a PR and didn't have these people in my corner, in my life...it would be the ultimate in personal failure for me.

So, I re-structured this year's races:

March 2013 (Tentative) - Indoor Mini Triathlon (Bloomington)
May 4, 2013 - Indy 500 Mini Marathon (Indianapolis)
May 2013 - Hoosier Fit Expo 10k (Bloomington)
July 20, 2013 - Color Run 5k (Indianapolis)
September 2013 - Bloomingfoods Breakaway 5k (Bloomington)
September 2013 - Fort4Fitness 10k (Fort Wayne, IN)
November 2013 - Monumental Half (Indianapolis)
November 2013 - Turkey Trots 5k

So, I started by letting the full marathon go. You can't train for a full marathon half-assedly. It is a BIG commitment of time and energy and, yes, money. My full marathon, and a few other races, would have also required travel (even more expensive). Frankly, the fact that I've done only one half marathon (and didn't even do that to the best of my ability) made it a little easier to let that one go.

Next, I cut back on some races that I was going to try to use to stretch myself this year. I cut my first sprint triathlon in July...in favor of focusing only on running for one more season. I am still deciding on my indoor triathlon in March (you have one hour to get as much distance as possible - 10 minutes in the pool, 5 minute transition, 20 mins spin bike and 25 mins running). I still plan to use swimming as my main source of cross-training during half marathon training. Because I like it...and it brings me peace.

I cut my Fort4Fitness half marathon down to a 10k. I thoroughly enjoyed running the 10k this past year and have no problem doing that course again in 2013. I have one more 10k here in Bloomington. I limited myself to two half marathons and every other race will be a 5k.

I feel so much more comfortable with this schedule. It is much more do-able, time-wise, and will still keep my life on the healthy track. I will still be training, but it won't consume my entire life, as it would if I'd stuck with my original plan.

As it stands now, I will finish out next week with my spinning and swimming schedule. Then, as soon as the new year starts, I begin half marathon training.

I'm getting more and more excited about getting back into running. I mean, that's really where it all started for me. And I'm also happy about the fact that this season will just serve to strengthen me for next year.

Said it before and I'll say it again: In training, as in life, the best laid plan will always be just that: a plan.
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