This is not what I expected to be writing about this week.
Before you panic, I’m not injured nor sick. Everyone near and dear to me is well.
Oh, and I’m not pregnant. That particular ship has sailed, thank all the gods that may be. I love my babies but I am d-o-n-e.
No, my surprise is much more mundane. What I’d expected to devote my entire post to this week was Saturday’s nine-miler and how I keep failing at the “fun workout.”
Long story short: Nine miles is a long way. I wanted to reward myself with a homemade cinnamon roll afterwards but was afraid I might barf, which would be a waste of a homemade cinnamon roll. I did get to run outside, even though I had to keep changing my route because it was blocked by heaps of melting snow. Still, I got it done.
“Fun workouts” are called for a few times on the TLAM: Finish It Half-Marathon Plan. SBS, Dimity, and Coach Christine Hinton offer up some ideas for the fun workout. Shoot baskets, they suggest, or play dodgeball. Ice skating would work. Hit a dance or aqua aerobics class.
These are all reasonable suggestions, even though I can’t quite think about dodgeball without painful flashbacks to sixth grade gym. Unless you count flinching and crying as a “fun workout,” dodgeball is off of the table. And if you do count flinching and crying as a fun workout, well, who am I to judge?
That’s a lie. I’m totally going to judge that.
Regardless, what their suggestions don’t take into account —and why would they?—is that I have a very narrow window to work with on Mondays. I have 45 minutes in the morning and that’s it. There is nowhere else I could squeeze anything longer than a pee break.
My YMCA is a small one. There are no classes scheduled during that window. As I’ve whined about before, the weather here is still frigid and icy. The options for “fun” narrow pretty quickly when I take all of that into account.
My kids, of course, think that I’m just against fun, which is why I can’t come up with an activity. They may have a point. When it comes to workouts, I like the reassurance of a plan. I don’t have enough experience with running to feel like I can just wing even a tiny bit of it. And being asked to choose my own fun feels a little like winging.
This is what fun looks like for me. Rather than leap on the elliptical or stair climber, I’ve been bonding with the recumbent bike. Given that these fun workouts usually come after mileage increases, it’s nice to sit down for a little bit, even while making sure I’m getting my heart rate up enough to sweat a little.
Part of me feels that I’m obeying the letter of the law on this, rather than its spirit. And what I’d intended to do at this point in the post was ask you a) what you’d do for a fun workout and b) if I’m slacking too much. Which I still hope you comment on, mind.
But I noticed something while taking the picture to go with this post.
I’m proud that I’ve worked through the first page of the plan. I was going to get all pinteresty on crossing off the days, like work in some scrapbooking stickers or origami or something. In the end, I went with good old red pencil and laziness. The slashes go in different directions because of the way the page was sitting on my desk.
After taking that picture, I moved the second page of the plan to the top of my pile of running-related paper. Something looked weird. See if you can spot it.
The race is on May 4, which means that the last week of training starts on April 28, which is what my pencil date on the side says next to week 15. That works. All is well through Week 7. But when you go back to the first page ...
... you notice that I failed to account for the week that starts with February 24.
I might have wept a little when I put all of this together.
So here’s the dilemma: should I pick a week to do twice or do I lengthen the taper or do some third thing that I haven’t yet thought of? If I pick a week to do twice, which one should it be: one with more mileage or with less?
Remember what I mentioned about my ability to wing it? If I thought the directive to have fun was unsettling, well, this missing week is downright harrowing. Please advise on both how to have fun and how to deal with this dilemma.