Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Non-Plan

This is my last official week of training before taper. << Insert minor panic attack followed by deep cleansing breaths here. >> The funny thing is, I haven't actually been following the program. You know the one my husband pain-stakingly created and revised a bazillion times in all its intricacy? (See: The Plan: Mission to a Marathon, circa May 13/08)

I had grand hopes and aspirations of following the program down to every last detail for 19 weeks and eventually starting the race confident that I could achieve my (insanely aggressive) goal of 3:50:00.

There are a few reasons things didn't go according to plan.

1. It has been a busy summer. I knew it would be, but it's amazing how hard it is to get into any kind of routine with parties most weekends, a few trips out of town and a handful of races thrown into the mix. Just to keep things interesting, I also played on two softball teams this year, which meant two or more games almost every week. And of course, trying to find some "down time" in the midst of all of this. Needless to say, I couldn't stick to the plan most weeks and often improvised to accommodate everything else.

2. I've never actually done speed work and decided early on that training for my first marathon and incorporating my first taste of speed work might not be the smartest idea.

3. I really wanted to enjoy the overall training experience. Sure, there will be many marathons in my future, but only one first marathon. Many of my "real" and "virtual" friends gave me this advice, and I'm glad I took it. It has been a very positive experience. I've been able to enjoy most of my runs and celebrate each new accomplishment and milestone without feeling like I'm killing myself.

So, with all of that said, I have not trained for any goal time for this, My First Marathon. Once piece of advice I have heard over and over again is to Respect the Distance, and I have done so. I've used the program as a guide for my long run distance and overall mileage each week, and have rarely strayed. I know I can complete this race.

I hope to enjoy even the most difficult of those 42.2 kilometres and I want to cross that finish line smiling whether it's in 4 hours or 6. And I know I will because I'm going to have the best support group of friends and family waiting for me on the other side and you, my bloggie buddies, rooting for me from wherever you are. What more could I ask for?


Melanie said...

plans are meant to be broken... the most important thing is that you are going into this with a great attitude and injury-free! you'll rock it!

Marci said...

You have done amazing with your training. I think you will do very well, and ofcourse the most important thing is just to enjoy yourself.

Road Warrior said...

I agree with Melanie. You've got yourself in the best position you can to enjoy the marathon. They may not all be enjoyable but the first one should be. The goal I heard is that you should run your first marathon in a way that makes you want to run another one.

Marcy said...

ROFLMAO! OMG girl, you are me! FIRST plan has my MP as being 8:49 pace (which is about a 3:50-3:51 marathon) The whole plan is based off of your 5k time, so anyway . . .yeah it's Speedwork? Um yeah, not there. Have I been following the plan? Uumm yeah not so much LOL. Had to take some time off, and I just shifted my focus. Why kill myself for my first marathon? I'm so with you, enjoy it! I know I'm going too ;-)

TNTcoach Ken said...

Ah yes, a plan. The best laid plan of mice and marathoners often go awry.....