It’s the middle of a week book-ended by two events. Last Saturday was the First Call Half Marathon and this coming Saturday is the Bridal Trails Winter Running Festival 50k. Neither of these are a big deal in my plan for the year, or even events to be really raced. In fact, I signed up for the First Call Half on a whim less than 12 hours before the start. The intention with both of these runs was to do some training in a setting where there is some support, ie aid stations. Convenient, eh?
Endurance events/training is something I do for the sheer joy of it. The trouble with then getting serious and starting to have goals, etc is that there is an ever-present trap. Getting serious means workouts begin to have intention. There are specific tasks in a given workout that are designed to produce a desired physiological change. But sometimes these tasks are less fun than just doing what feels good in the moment.
So what happened on Saturday? I started the run exactly on target, just slower than T-pace. But then two miles in the feeling of running on a cold, clear, beautiful morning got the best of me. The pace went WAY up and stayed there. I was having a blast! But I got trapped.
One could argue that I had a great day. I did. Taking seventy seconds off of a previous PR is a solid effort. But that wasn’t the plan and now I’m in a bit of a pickle. Instead of doing my intended workouts for this week, I’ve had to adjust into a recovery week just to have any hope of being ready to run again on Saturday. And that’s right, it’s the first week of the training year.
I’ll admit that maybe even considering running Bridal Trails is the same trap again. Given where I am now, it’s possible that the right thing for the week is to skip the 50k and get back on track toward the real targets for the year. But I want to run this weekend because it will be fun. So for this weekend’s training run, I’m getting much more explicit about the goals.
- Go for a long, moderate paced run. This could mean as short as 25k or as long as the full 50k.
- Have fun running with some friends and teammates.
- Possibly run a little farther than I’ve ever run before.
- There are NO other goals.
- The goals will not be amended mid-run.