Plan Your Run and Run Your Plan

I like the title of this post! I saw the phrase a few minutes ago on the Cool Running website. I recently joined the Cool Running community on Facebook. I'm getting TONS of great information sent to my FB page every day. It's kind of like getting a new issue of Runner's World, except much more often! I devour that stuff!

But before I saw it put into words, I did it! Since beginning marathon training 6 weeks ago, I've made it a point to get my miles in each day. Running five days a week is a huge commitment, but so far, it's worked out. Today was especially tough though. My three-year-old woke up with a horrible cough and fever at 3:00 a.m. on Wednesday. I tried to comfort her and gave her medicine. She insisted I stay with her for the rest of the night. I can't say we got much sleep in her twin bed from 3-6 a.m.! I eeked out a slow two-miler on Wednesday afternoon, feeling every bit of that sleep loss as I stumbled, I mean "ran. "

Today, I needed to get in a five-miler to meet my mileage quota for the week before my long run on Saturday. Five miles on a treadmill is a little more than I can bear, so I planned to get up at 5:50 a.m. and run before my husband left for work at 7:15. I dreaded getting up at 5:50, knowing I'd still be a bit tired from lack of sleep on Wednesday. But I laid out my clothes and my Garmin and my shoes before bed. I actually forgot to set my alarm, but woke up right on schedule somehow. I didn't want to get up. I wanted and needed more sleep, but I forced myself out of bed. I had a quick breakfast (can't run on carbohydrate fumes from the day before--it just doesn't work for me) of 1/2 bowl of Special K and 1/2 cup of coffee. I got dressed and out the door at 6:20 a.m.

My neighborhood was very quiet. The sun was still low in the sky. My legs felt like they were made of lead! I walked for a good 5 or 6 minutes to try to get the blood flowing and wake up, but I needed to start running pretty quickly if I was going to get in my 5 miles before 7:15 at a gentle 11-minute pace. I was already short on time. The first half mile of running was so awful. I considered going back home. I felt like I was barely moving and looked down at my Garmin: 12:15 pace-- and I was struggling to maintain that! But I kept going. Then, suddenly, within a few minutes, I felt ok, then good. I looked down and saw a 10:15 pace. Much better. I guess it took that long for the coffee and carbs to kick in and for my legs to WAKE UP!

I knocked out 3.5 miles at a faster pace than I was supposed to be running in this base-building phase, then did four HILL REPEATS*. You know you are feeling good when you add unscheduled hill repeats at the end of your run! I was at the four-mile point and decided I'd better get back home so my husband could leave for work. My trusty treadmill in the basement would allow me to get in my last mile while the little one watched Dora.

So, as most early morning runs, it started out unpleasant and turned out just fine. I planned my run and ran my plan! What gets you out the door?

*I have been neglecting the hill-repeats. Most of my running routes have some elevation changes and hills, but today was the first day since June I'd actually gone up and down a hill repeatedly. In lieu of squats/lunges/leg strength training, I decided to do hill repeats this week. I plan to do them every two weeks if not more often.


Jennifer P said…
This post will get me out the door! My alarm went off at 5:35 this morning and even though I was awake, I just couldn't will myself to get out of bed. Thanks for the motivation (and the tip to join the Cool Running page!)
RunnerMom said…
Thanks, Jennifer. I guess I did will myself out of bed and to keep going when I wanted to quit. I practiced that a lot in marathon training when by the end of an 18 or 20 mile run, I was running on sheer will alone. All my energy was gone and endurance was gone!
Cyndi said…
I have had many times that I was too 'tired' or didn't feel like I had the miles in me. But I've gotten pretty good at pushing myself out anyway - I call it my 'autopilot runs', because I know once I get going, things will be golden after 10 minutes or so. I have learned for me personally, the feeling of NOT doing a scheduled run is worse than a 'bad run'. I can't take the runner's guilt ha that's what gets ME out the door! That, and if it's on the weekend long run days...I just log in to facebook and see everyone's 'wooHoo! 12 miles DONE, AWESOME" and THAT gets me out the door too!
Meg Runs said…
I remember the days of having to juggle mom-ness, wife-ness and running. Wow, it was so hard! Now that I'm an empty-nester, I get out the door because it feels so good. My legs might feel tired but I always know that after two miles I'll be okay. I just need the head-clearing, the sights and the fresh air. I ALWAYS feel awesome after running so I think about that too.
way to go!
Especially rocking those hill repeats!!
Teamarcia said…
I get up and out there because if I don't, hubby will be sitting in the driveway in his car waiting for me to return so he can go to work. Kudos to you on the hill repeats--I need to follow your lead!