05 March 2012

Life, Interrupted

On Friday morning my alarm rang at 6:00 a.m. The night before I had cancelled my plans to run with The Jewish Stallion and Alain. I had planned to do an hour easy to recover from a fun tempo run with El Doce the day before. Alain and The Jewish Stallion were completing their tempo run that morning, but I was going to join them on their warm-up and then go off on my own and meet up again with them as they cooled down. However, I decided to cancel because I needed more sleep, and I would have to wake up at 5:00 in the morning in order to join them at 6:00.

Normally, I’ll get up at six if I’m not running early so I can enjoy a little alone time. On Friday morning, though, I felt sleep was more important than alone time. I turned my alarm off and went back to sleep. I finally awoke at 7:10 and told my wife that I was still too tired to get out of bed. However, we had two kids to get up and get to school. I finally had to get up.

By 8:30 I usually have the kids at school and where they need to be. By 9:00, if I don’t run at 6:00, I’m usually getting dressed and ready to run. Unfortunately, after a panicked cry, an ambulance, a call to a friend to watch my two daughters, and a quick drive to the hospital, 9:00 found me in a delivery room worried for both my wife, who is 35 weeks pregnant, and our not-yet-delivered son. Luckily, my wife should come home tomorrow, where she must remain unstressed and resting, and our son is still in womb, where I hope he’ll stay for at least two or three more weeks.

Because of these unusual circumstances, I was not only unable to blog on Friday, but I also did not run.  Sometimes life interrupts the best plans, and plans need changing.  I’d like to share with you some of the changes that I’ve made and offer two pieces advice.

I had to change my immediate schedule after this unexpected difficulty.  Instead of running only with my beginning running group on Saturday, I ran five miles on my own—I had to cancel the group session.  I ran these five miles to make up for taking the day off on Friday.  This five-mile run allowed me to hit my mileage goal for the week, but the run was not too strenuous and did not affect my ability to run long on Sunday. 

Because of the gravity of the situation my wife and I found ourselves in, I could not run too far from home, so on Saturday I found a 1.5 mile loop to run that keeps me within at least three minutes of my apartment at all times.  On Sunday morning, The Jewish Stallion’s wife was watching my kids while I ran for two and a half hours, so I parked my car at their house and ran many circles around that area in order to stay within reach of my car in case an emergency arose.

In addition to making immediate adjustments, I had to also change my overall routine--temporarily. Now, I always carry my cell phone when I run.

For the next few days or few weeks, we just don’t know, I will have to run knowing that at any moment my run could be interrupted for the birth of my son.  And I also know that at any time I may have to miss a day of running.  One thing I’ve learned from this is to be flexible with your training.  Routine is wonderful, and I think we need some order in our lives, but if we’re inflexible, we’ll be unable to adapt to a life that is not predictable.

Right now, I have decided to run every day I can.  Normally, I take off Mondays, but I ran four miles today.  I will certainly not over-train, but I will also not take a day off unless I really must in case I am faced with a day that I have to take off.  I will make slight adjustments to my daily mileage, and I may end up running a bit more than planned, but not more than I am capable.  I'll keeping things reasonable, and I won't let a fear of missing a day lead me to do too much.

This brings me to my second piece of advice.  Get out and run.  Everyone has a moment or two during the week when s/he will attempt to rationalize not running (or biking or swimming or lifting).  Don’t miss a workout unless you truly need more recovery (or sleep) or you are injured or sick.  You don’t want to have taken an unnecessary day off and then be forced to take an additional day off that you didn’t want to take.  You never feel worse after training.  So get it done.

To catch you up on my training, I am posting links to my run details for Saturday, Sunday and today.  As always, if you have any questions or comments about my training or questions about your training, please leave them in the comments section below.



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