Thursday, June 23, 2011

Nearing Panic Mode: Introspective Dump

The feeling is similar to the one I'd get in college when an essay was due the next day and I hadn't started writing yet. Here we are, 14 weeks from the Akron Marathon without a run over eight miles or a week with more than 17 miles, and all efforts to kickstart my running have misfired. The days pass by.

All aboard the panic train!

I'm one of those people who says he works better under pressure. The truth is that pressure only gives me a better ability to shut out distractions when I work. The actual quality of the work is subject to debate.

Yesterday, I went through and tried to revise my training plan to something more reasonable, and probably devised something more ludicrous.

It's time to deactivate the early morning alarm because there's no chance in hell that I'm getting up to run before work any time soon.

I promised myself I wouldn't buy any shoes this year, but I keep thinking, "Maybe a new pair of shoes will make me want to run more!" Thankfully, the cheapskate in me reminds me that the maximum price for minimal shoes is fucking absurd.

It's time for something drastic, something that works. It's time for a paradigm shift.

Why am I doing this? Nobody wants to read a mope-fest. You want entertainment. You want action and humor. You want flash and sizzle. You want unnecessary exclamation points to show just how excited I am to be on this journey and sharing it with you on the World Wide Web! You want long sentences. You want me to finish this paragraph and get to the point. That's why I'm getting off the panic train right here.

We all know that the panic train makes a lot of noise, but never actually leaves the station. I'm going to take some advice from Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series: "Don't Panic."

What happens if I don't train enough? I spend $110 for two races that I don't do as well as have done in the past. However, the amount I'm running now is making me unhappy.

So what's the happy medium? Pretty simple. Let go of expectations and run more.

This is big year in my life. I don't need to add the stress of training for a PR on top of preparing for the wedding, increased responsibilities at work, paying down debt, saving money, playing the banjo and still trying to have an active social life.

I want to run the Akron Marathon because I love the atmosphere and it will be my fifth year in a row, which gives me some special perks in future races. I want to run the Buckeye Half because it's my favorite race and I want the sweatshirt. Plus, there's a discount for registering for both races.

Yes, I really want to PR both races, but I have to accept that my dedication isn't where it needs to be for that to be a reasonable goal this year. Besides, no matter what, I can call my marathon result a "Married PR."


Running Through Phoenix said...

Play the banjo AND have a social life? Mister, you might want to throw that one back in the hopper for a little more mixing. Seriously, good attitude. You will surely enjoy these races more and there is plenty of time to run competitively after this year.

Anonymous said...

Time can be rhetorical. My best and most enjoyable races were not my fastest ones.

Nitmos said...

It sounds like the Panic Train is making the long, slow trip to Fail Town. Count me in as a gawker on your collision course!

T-Bone said...

I do love the 'flash and sizzle' (though I had to spell check 'sizzle' - looked shady but it checked out), and I'm interested to see how your training goes.

Jess said...

I'm taking a similar attitude to running this year, doing my favorite races because I love them and not stressing out so much about time. I think your plan is a good one. It can be really hard to balance intense training with having a life.

Robin said...

I just finished one of my best races (in terms of fun) because I let go of feeling like I *had* to PR. The lousy CLeveland weather made training tough and it was great not feeling pressured. Go after that married PR!