Training is a process. Sixteen weeks, eighteen weeks, or (insert number) weeks, it is a process. A training plan should push you both physically and mentally. No, this doesn’t mean doing a few logic questions after your long run. A good training program should ask you to do something just outside what you can do with any sense of comfort. Every training schedule I’ve ever done has been marked with several workouts that fell short of the expectations. It is these fails that lead me to the point of this post.
I always have to remember, it should be more about perspective than perfection. And I haven’t always had a lot of perspective. Way back when, I used to be insanely competitive. Once, a gathering of friends at a local park decided to take advantage of the beautiful spring day by playing some volleyball. Now, I am by no means an amazing v-ball player, but I can hold my own. Sadly, my desire to win found me trying to hit every ball that went over the net. Worse, I was so frustrated at my friend that I drew a small square in the sand and told her not to leave it—ever!!! She cried. I yelled some more because crying never helps. We still lost. All over a ‘fun’ game amongst friends. This is what a total lack of perspective can do.
Worse, it took me years more to tear my focus on perfection away enough to allow for a little perspective. But, perspective is a wonderful gift. It allows you to stretch a meaningful smile as you walk away after a difficult run which finds you shot of your goal. It helps you accept that times are slower in snow—always—even when efforts seems like it is more.
After five weeks of training, I do not have a single week which is not adorned with red. Alas, perspective says this is alright. I shouldn’t plan on being in marathon shape at week six, or there would be more six week marathon training plans.
Conditions alter times, perspective alters your ability to accept such times. So, before you find yourself berating yourself, I hope a little perspective helps you.