Over the course of a year, training is bound to have its ups and downs, with some weeks and months better than others. You can generally count on a month or two each year where something happens and you wind up totaling fewer miles than desired. It could be an injury, whether minor or major, life getting in the way, or any number of other things, but rarely does everything go precisely according to plan for any extended period of time. In golf terms, every now and then you just have to take a mulligan.
For me, January was definitely a mulligan. After a fairly lackluster end to 2013, I was excited to buckle down and really get after it to start the New Year. I was motivated and had my sights set on running a couple indoor track meets, hopefully culminating with a good performance in the 3k at the USATF Southeast Masters Indoor Championships in Winston Salem, NC, in early March. I was ready to go!
Things went basically according to plan for the first few days of the year, then the first mishap of the month occurred just five days in when I was forced to shorten my long run to only three miles thanks to an ice storm. Little did I know this would be a sign of things to come. The next week was solid, 68 miles with some good workouts, and I felt like I was on the right track. That’s when the wheels came off, however. After a few days of feeling “off,” I got sick and missed a full week of running. Already behind where I wanted and needed to be, that was pretty much that, not only for getting the year off to a great start, but also for having any sort of an indoor track season.
While I finally seem to be mostly recovered from being sick (it’s taken a while!), it looks like I’ll total less than 200 miles for the month of January with only a handful of workouts in the mix. Definitely not what I was looking for, but now I can do one of two things. I can sit back and feel sorry for myself, or I can refocus and do my best to make up for lost time. For me, the former is not really an option, so I’ll look to do the latter. I’ll have to be smart about it though, because trying to play catch-up is something athletes try to do all too often and is usually not a good idea. That said, I don’t really plan to have a surge in my training, per se, more just a return to what I should be doing and a focus on making sure I do all the little things so as to maximize the effects of the work I’m putting in.
Hopefully your 2014 is off to a better start than mine. However, if it’s not, there’s still 11 months remaining in the year to do something about it, and even the start of the spring racing season is still quite a ways off, so whatever goals were set at the beginning of the year should definitely still be attainable. Here’s to getting to work and making things happen!