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.