Friday, June 4, 2010

Summertime - Sweating The Small Stuff

It's getting a little ridiculous. Can someone please turn down the outdoor furnace...please?

I've barely had time to get over the disappointment of missing a spring marathon before I'm blasted with the heat and humidity that is often associated with mid July in the city this past week. Seriously, what is up with that? It's barely the first week of June and my colleagues already feel as if I've had enough sun to pass as a Hispanic!

But aside from the ever climbing temperatures and the chariot of fire climbing ever higher into the sky, there is another way I can tell that summertime is indeed upon us. Interesting, this one does not involve the weather or even taking a look outside. Instead, I can tell that summer is squarely upon us by the e-mails, phone calls and twitter messages I receive asking for training plans, coaching advice, and general guidance for running a fall goal marathon. It is quite funny that even though I haven't yet begun to think about my own training for Chicago this fall, I've already been ironing out the details and putting the finishing touches on training plans for the same marathon for a few of my friends. Obviously, we have different goals (as my clientele, if I can them that, consist solely of those who have either never run a marathon or have just done one or two and looking to improve...in other words, I'm not dealing with any veterans or elite runners here!) But still, it is a challenge to schedule workouts and build a plan in preparation for a marathon that I know so little about. To circumvent this predicament, I've given out only 4 week assignments and asked them to return for the rest. This will give me some time to research the course, devise an appropriate training strategy and build my own plan before constructing one for others. I will also use this time to gauge their individual and personal commitment to marathon training. If they have problems sticking to a 4 week 4-5 runs/week basic regimen, How would they fare for 12 more weeks with more mileage and higher intensity?

My point in all of this is to relate how insanely crazy it is that so many runners are already planning for the fall when summertime, as much as it pains me to say, has barely begun. There is something to be said to living in and enjoying the moment, which I'm trying to do by taking a short interlude from marathon training and instead focusing on "Summer of Speed". There will be ample time afterwards to adequately plan, train and prepare for a marathon that is three to four months away. For if there's one thing that my traumatic misadventures this spring has taught me, it is that the training itself cannot merely serve as a means to an end. Rather, we as runners must enjoy and learn to appreciate the training as part of running, because in us, the process of transformation is just as important as the final result. We ought to never lose sight of that.

8 comments:

Running and living said...

This post brought back memories of heat induced nausea and vomiting, and coming back from my long runs dripping in sweat like I was caught in a rainstorm. Grr! I love summer but hate summer running.

EZEthan said...

It's great to live in the moment and all, but CHICAGO IS ONLY 18.5 AWAY!!!!

In all honestly I'm more excited about the training cycle than I am about running the actual marathon right now!

aron said...

uggg summer, NOT my fav season :) but i am trying to take full advantage of it this year, like you are. speed, enjoying the running, and not being completely tied to a schedule. so far, its so nice! although i have started working on my marathon schedule and my marathon isnt until DECEMBER! haha

marathonmaiden said...

i'm trying to embrace the heat and humidity as i cursed the cold winter too many times and basically begged for this weather haha

and i like how you're doling out the marathon advice in 4 week chunks. i think that it's smart for you (to keep having people need you ahaha as well as seeing how they progress and make adjustments) as well as for them (because i sometimes get overwhelmed when i look ahead in my training plans)

and i love the idea of a summer of speed but i have yet to actually get my mind and body on the same page and implement it!

Julie said...

Hi Lam,
I am sending tons of good luck and run suer fast vibes!! I have a feeling that you will rock your four miler this weekend for sure:)

Well, this summer is not going to be the summer of speed for me as I am off to marathon training next week:) I am wondering if it is going to mess with my speed and if I will be slower after the full marathon training? Does it take some time to adjust after the marathon to get the speed mojo back or will I be able to slide right back into it? Just curious?

Everytime you put something in your blog about the Chicago Marathon I get so mad at myself for not signing up fast enough! I would love to meet you Lam! I still plan on running in NYC sometime within the next two years:)

Good luck to you this weekend and take care!

The Laminator said...

Running and living - I'm with you. If I can enjoy summertime activities but run in winter conditions, that's my idea of paradise!

EZEthan - I'm totally about the training too! It seems like I've in perpetual training for a marathon that still hasn't come! Sigh.

Aron - Yes, I'm enjoying the downtime too. Although I have a feeling this week may be the last of that...Chicago training will probably start this week or the next, once I figure out what I'm doing!

Marathonmaiden - That's the exact reason for 4 week blocks. People have been telling me they get bored too easily when they see the whole schedule in front of them. That's why this year, I'm going to keep them guessing just a little bit.

Julie - No. The speed will be there during and after your marathon training. In fact, you'll likely get faster even without realizing it. You'll see!
I'm sorry Chicago is such a sore spot for you. You'll run it one day and New York too!

Anne said...

Great post! I hope you're taking your own advice and taking time to smell the roses these days :) :)

Jamie said...

Great post lam. I'm finding it difficult to take some time for me and enjoy running for what it is. I keep focusing on the next race, next training plan. Definitely the reason I'm a bit burned out. Enjoy your time away from a plan!

 
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