It’s been a full week since making the decision to drop down to the 15k. I can honestly say there are no regrets, and if anything, feel as though a weight has been lifted. The stress of fitting in those long runs with upcoming travel and work responsibilities looming on my schedule felt like an enormous boulder to be pushed uphill.
One of my first self-appointed tasks was to study a 15k training plan. Not one to follow any plan religiously, I do like to have a sense of how the mileage is laid out, and what targets I should be aiming for each week. Having been in marathon mode for, oh, the past seven years or so, it was remarkable to look at a structured plan for a shorter race. I quickly realized how much less time would be devoted to pounding away mileage; not to mention the prep for and recovery from those efforts. Upon having this insight, and with it the image of a blank canvas of a Sunday morning, I saw the potential of coming back to activities I love, but have had to place on the back burner these last several years. Hiking, golf, tennis, mountain biking, paddling . . suddenly I’m salivating over this new approach of embracing the shorter distances.
This week was spent acclimating to a new plan that doesn’t require running for hours at a time, and enjoying the freedom in doing more of what I love. Embracing a strong yoga practice, deadlifting, jumping on high boxes and running for 40-60 minutes at a stretch. It’s a different physical and mental challenge to work harder for shorter periods of time, rather than a moderate effort for longer periods of time, i.e., slogging. I will certainly be exploring and sharing how this plays out in the final weeks before the race, and how my meditation practice plays a role.
This new plan feels like I’m having my cake and eating it, too.