Sunday, February 11, 2007

"Daddy, How can we do Everything?"

Our 4-year-old daughter Haiden posed this question to me a few minutes ago while I was trying to close her door after saying good-night. This is part of her normal routine of stalling me long enough to get a few more words in before the day is over. "Can we go to Chuck E. Cheese tomorrow", "Is tomorrow a Haiden day (our code for my days off), or "Can we get a muffin tomorrow" are the other usual questions, but tonight's exchange about "everything" got me thinking about my training/life last week.

My grand plans of big miles, more doubles and solid workouts never fully materialized, and while while a tough week at work didn't make things any easier it isn't the reason I didn't run as much or as well as I'd originally hoped. I should be smart enough to realize that one week will not make or break me, and thinking of last week as a "comeback" after being sick and next week as a time to fine-tune before the upcoming 5K left we with the faulty idea that this was my ONE GOOD WEEK to train hard enough to be ready.

I can't do everything, not in a week. Trying to stuff every component of training into seven days is pointless. Effectively balancing months of training is the goal, and I should know that thinking in the framework of months and years is the only way to really "do everything". I think Mystery Coach gives me a little rope when I start thinking too much about the short term. The other week I emailed him my thoughts on following the same pattern during the seven days before my decent performances at 8K and 10 miles last fall in an effort to peak a bit for the 5K's coming up. I'm sure the coach chuckled at this, but instead of correcting me right away he let me come to the following conclusion on my own: Instead of looking at the seven days before these races, I should pay attention to what I was doing for the seven weeks leading up to them.

Enough drama about the "super week that wasn't", here's how it went down-

Mo: 10 miles, 1:06:25, 6:38 pace (second recovery day, feeling good)
Tu: 10 miles, 1:05:28, 6:33 pace, w/3 miles of 3/4 mile efforts at 5:55, 5:30, 6:00 and 5:15 pace
We: 13 miles, 1:30:20, 6:59 pace, quite hilly up into Sabino Canyon & back
Th: 8 miles, 52:28, 6:33 pace (short on time, poor planning)
Fr: 10 miles, 1:04:08, 625 pace, w/7 miles at 6:08 pace
Sa: 15 miles, 1:38:45, 6:34 pace, w/10 miles at 6:41 and 4 at 6:05 (added 1 mile to MP effort, good finish)
Su: 6 measly miles, 41:31, 6:59 pace, started slow
Total miles: 72 in 7 sessions

The bad: I was hoping for 90 miles, but missing out on two planned doubles and cutting the run short today hurt me.
The good: I'm starting to move along quicker on most days, the exchange workout and the back to back workouts all went very well and faster than planned. Hmm, think the "bad" made the "good" possible?

Again, one week isn't going to save me, make me or break me. The real cost of actually having to work serious hours is missing hanging out with the family. This morning Haiden awoke at 5:45 while I was drinking coffee and getting ready to run. I asked, "Don't you want to sleep some more?" "No, I just want to sit with you and talk," she answered. We sat in the dimly lit family room and I made up a story about a little girl and her younger brother riding all the animals at the zoo. By the time the rest of the family got up it was time for the three of them to head off to the fun run at the Valentine's Day race I had to miss (working again). Kiera and the kids placed high up in the double-jogging-stroller division.


Phil said...

At the end-of-the-day, it's those early morning talks with your kids that you'll remember. You still got in 72 great miles this week.


Michael said...

72 miles isn’t too shabby. What with coming back from being sick, having a long week and work and then “starting to move along quicker”, I think you’re doing just fine.