Spring Break. Did you or do you have kids on Spring Break over the past couple or next couple of weeks? We did. Ours were off last week and my wife, who teaches in a neighboring school district is off this week. That means our kids are going back to school tomorrow and my wife is off for the week.
All of us at one time or another experienced a Spring Break, be it time off from high school, college, or a spring vacation from work. We may have worked during our Spring Break in college to pay the rent or pay for the party, but at least we looked forward and probably counted down the seconds till Spring Break occurred. Maybe we had a trip to a warm beach with tons of other young adults our age or maybe it was a vacation to a family destination. Or, maybe it was just some much anticipated time off. Any way around it, we looked forward to it and couldn't wait for the day to arrive.
I was thinking today that I am very excited for my marathon and talking about it so much this far out from the event. I sort of paused and reflected on it for awhile and wondered why that might be the case. Then it hit me. The reason that I am so excited and determined to train and go through the long process is because I actually set the goal. I have a plan. I have set the plan in place and taken action on it. I have a daily list of what I need to do and it is not a just go out and run, "it is good for you" attitude that drives me anymore. It is a 26.2 mile course through the most magical place on earth. (ok, well it sounds good right). As mentioned before I am very much a person that likes to have a plan and be able to accomplish what is on that list. A "Bucket List" so to speak. (One of my favorite movies of all time, check it out) Although I never thought that running a marathon would be on my list of things to do in my life, I can't think of a better thing to accomplish at this point in my life.
Setting a goal, making a plan to reach it, and then taking action on that goal is a big achievement in itself. Even before all the excitement of the ending, the actual planning and steps you take to reach your goal are really the learning experience aren't they? Just like when you anticipated your Spring Break or vacation and took all that time to plan it out, where you were going to stay, how you would get there, who and what you would see, and what you would do was all just a plan at that point until you took action on that plan. To me the excitement is just as much in the planning and training portion of the goal as the final completion. After all once you have gone through all the planning and are completing the event, soon it will be over. Yes you will have a sense of accomplishment. However, the real accomplishment is getting there and taking on the challenge of putting together just the right plan.
This being my first marathon, I can only make my best attempt at "the best plan" for my personal race. I can read books, share thoughts and ideas with fellow runners, communicate on blogs and bulletin boards, but really only time will tell if I can stick with the training schedule, run the miles without injury and finally run the marathon to the best of my ability.
Right now, I am happy...happy I set the goal....know the time of the event....know where it is....how I am going to get there....understand and started my training program...and most of all TAKEN ACTION. I think that is the biggest step to maintaining your strength, reducing your stress in life, and providing you a sense of happiness and well being. I am excited because I have a plan with a goal. A plan I am executing and a goal that I will achieve.
Have a plan? Tell me about it...leave it right here as a reply to my blog.
In my workout today I was fortunate enough to be able to run with a friend of mine. Matt Brown is a cancer survivor and a person who is very driven and motivated to reach the goals he sets for himself. Matt is running the Chicago Marathon this Fall and is currently training with a group of runners that are all involved with cancer in some way. Many of them are survivors of the horrible disease. We ran today on one of the paths here around my home and down around the Fox River. It felt really good to run with someone else for a change and be able to talk about our accomplishments. I did realize that I tend to want to talk too much I think and running forces you to talk in strides or in short sentences. Of course, if you do try to talk while out of breath, as I did a few times today, probably every other word comes out and Matt probably was wondering what the heck I was saying....LOL. Anyway, we shared methods of tracking our runs, and talked about where we are in our training and basic jibber jabber about running. We ended with a handshake and a commitment to run again in another two weeks on a Monday. Matt is heading down to Georgia with his wife for a short break and then back the following week.
On a side note, I also have a neighbor that I plan to train with but he recently strained his calf muscle and is off of running for awhile while it heals. He thinks he may be able to get back in line to run a 5K with me in May. We will see......
As of today I have been in training for two weeks. I used to run a few years ago and then every year when winter comes, I tend to stop running at some point. Yes, I have the winter equipment and a treadmill in the basement, but I think I use it as a crutch and just stop. Last year I didn't really start up again in the Spring and probably got in about 10 runs total for the year 2008. From 2003 to 2007 I started with the couch to 5K program and built myself up to running my long run of 7.5 miles in 2007. I always ran with a plan, but never ran in races in less you include a 3 mile heart walk in which I ran the complete 3 miles.
This year I have been motivated. Not only because I was released in July 2008 from my full-time employer and am looking for a full time job, but also because of a friend. My friend Matt, a cancer survivor, has entered to run the 2009 Chicago marathon this Fall. In fact he is running with me today for the first time. He unknowingly has been a major factor of getting me back on my feet and now I want to do this for myself. A sort of proof to myself that no matter how tough things get human determination and motivation can get you very far. I really am excited about the marathon and to prep myself during my training I have registered for a 5K in May and I am thinking about another 5K in April, next month. I ran 5K yesterday as a run/walk and this should fit perfectly into my training. I was also thinking about a 10K or a Half Marathon late in the Fall.
Todays weather, 37 degrees, with a high of 58. Perfect for running. Of course it is supposed to rain a little, but that should be fine. More to come later....
This blog is to track my daily thoughts about running. I will list my personal private feelings for the day, maybe talk about the weather and local events and simply the motivational factors on my way to training for the Marathon at Walt Disney.