If there’s one thing I’ve learned over my 18 years of running (wow, I’m old), it’s that there is no such thing as the perfect training season. Time and time again I’ve been derailed by sickness, injury, and often times just the hustle and bustle of life. Weeks away from possibly running a PR? Let me injure my knee. Got the big meet of senior year coming up? Let me sprain my ankle. Looking to really get into the best shape of your life? Let me throw my back out.
So, it was with no surprise that my latest training season has been nothing but fits and starts. Since starting in December I’ve missed multiple weeks due to sickness. I’ll run a great week, then get sick. Run a few more days, then get sick. My original training plan, thrown out the window. My next training plan? Meh. I’m on my third training plan now… lets see how it goes.
Amazingly, however, I have yet to get truly discouraged. Despite the setbacks and my constant struggle with SAD (seasonal affective disorder), I still have looked forward to every single “reload” that I’ve had so far this season. Why is that?
- Running is better than not running. It keeps me healthy and gets me outside into the sunshine, which is great for my SAD.
- You’ll have bad days, but you’ll have many more good days! My last run of 2012 was horrible. Had I let that get me down, I wouldn’t have come back 2 days later and had an amazing run!
- I have a goal I’m chasing. By signing up for the Long Branch Half Marathon in May, it’s given me a real purpose in my training. I am really focused on setting a new PR, and I know I can do it!
- It gives me “me” time. At work, I’m the new computer programmer who has to get things done. At home, I’m a dad to my amazing son and husband to my incredible wife. But when I run…I’m just me, a runner alone on the road, with a clear mind just putting one foot in front of the other.
So if you’ve been struggling with training, don’t stress about it. Every day is a new day and a new opportunity to get “reloaded.” Life is change, you just need to roll with the punches. Just focus on the positive, and feel free to steal my mantra: Find the Reason. Find the Courage. Find the Strength.