Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fear of Commitment

The first time you train for a marathon, it almost doesn't matter what plan you choose.  If you're like me, your sole goal is to finish. Sure, you want your time to be respectable, but if you do poorly it's okay because you can always say, "well, it was my first one!"  But your second marathon....oh no, uh huh, no excuses this time.  You've done this before.  You should know better.  If you're doing this a second time, there are expectations.  Both for yourself, and others you tell about this momentous decision.  And by "others you tell" I mean everyone in the free world and beyond because dammit your entire life is going to revolve around training for this race.  So once you've crowed the news of your decision across the social media masses, called your grandma so you can hear how proud she is and told your parents (and in some cases, talking your parent into running it with you) you realize you need a PLAN.

There's just so much PRESSURE.  How many miles a week?  What should the weekly mileage be?  Should you incorporate strength training? Yoga? Speed work?  What will your nutrition be?  Should long runs be on Saturday or Sunday?

I was almost exhausted thinking about it. And in the last two months since clicking the little "register" button on the Run Disney website and paying the exorbitant amount of cash they extract from you in order for you to slap on a pair of Mickey ears and run through the Magic Kingdom, I've "decided" on four different plans.  I felt like freaking Goldilocks.  This one is too short, this one doesn't have enough weekly mileage, this one just doesn't feel right, this one offended me in some indefinable way and is now dead to me....I swear, people probably spend less time picking out names for their unborn children than I have picking out a marathon plan. I've even declared in this very blog that I had chosen a plan.  Only to input it into a Google calendar and decide I wasn't so into it after all.

But now the start date for Official Marathon Training is only a week away.  Next Monday (which is a "rest day," so super anti-climactic) begins my training for marathon number 2.  And I've decided on a plan recommended by the New York Marathon, identified in a somewhat demoralizing  fashion as the "First Time and Casual Marathoner" plan.  I'm not sure how I feel about being a "casual marathoner."  Regardless, it's a good plan. I hit several weeks at 40 miles, have three 20 mile runs and a nice mix of during-the-week runs.


  1. I wouldn't say it's a fear of commitment, it's more like the relentless need for perfection. And I can totally relate.

    Casual, shmasual. If the plan works for you who cares what it's called. Re-name it the bad-a$$ marathoner plan for all we care. :D

  2. I agree 100% that the first one is so much easier since you just want to finish. After that, it gets hard! :)

    I'll be in Disney too! Should be a great time!