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I Need a Plan

I work better with a plan.  This holds true in most areas of my life.  I like to have at least a loose schedule for the weekend’s plans, I need a to-do list to be organized in getting things done, and when it comes to diet and fitness, a plan is a requirement.

I’m noticing that if my diet and fitness aren’t “on plan” then I am distinctly “OFF PLAN” and that’s not a good thing.  Motivation wanes, poor diet choices replace the good ones, and it just slowly falls apart.  Being “on plan” doesn’t mean perfection or even rigidity, though.  It’s come to mean having a goal and planning the choices that help me get there.  Scheduling training runs and other fitness activities doesn’t mean they happen 100%, but it means I’m motivated to do them rather than finding excuses I don’t need to.  A plan helps me succeed.

My diet’s gotten way off track in the last week or two.  I’m not “on plan” with what had been working for me, so I’ve kind of given up and not bothered at all.  Making all these poor food choices,  I don’t feel good, and I know it’s not good for me.  I can’t seem to just step away from the junk food, make better choices one at a time, because I don’t have a plan, and I need goals and some structure.  So here’s the plan, what worked well for me before, and I’m confident will work well again.  Back to my regular breakfast of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and sliced fruit, or a protein smoothie or oatmeal.  Fast, easy and nutritious.  Snacks back to fruit and veggies, carby things just get me mindlessly snacking and don’t pack the same nutritional punch.  Treats are for special occasions and to be enjoyed, not eaten because they are there.  And water, WAY more water.  I’ll feel better when I’m eating welldiet, and I’ll perform better.  I’m even thinking about cutting out dairy for a couple weeks.  I hear some people find a real improvement in their skin with this change, and I could certainly use some improvement there.

Since the TC10k, I’ve taken a couple weeks off of running.  My back and leg still don’t feel right, and I’d hoped a break from running might heal me up.  I think going “off plan” with my running is dragging my eating off plan as well.  Hopefully starting running again will settle things back into the routine I’ve been into the last few months.   My leg is still bugging me, but I’m working with a physiotherapist and she says I can still run, so run I shall.

Focus on the Positive

I had a rough training session this morning.  My coach set me up with a plan even he admitted would be tough:

50-55 minutes Pyramid Speed Workout
10 minutes warm up jog and then 1 minute hard, 1 minute recovery.
1.5 min hard, 1 minute recovery;
2 minutes hard, 1 minute recovery;
2.5 minutes hard, 1 minute recovery.
3 minutes hard, 2 minutes recovery.
Go back as 2.5 minutes, 2 minutes, 1,5 minutes and 1 minute hard. On the way down keep recovery times as 1 minute.

I couldn’t quite do it. I felt bad at the first failure point (walking half of the third recovery interval), sad at the second one (recovery interval in the middle of the 3min) and frustrated by the third.(walking half of the 2nd to last recovery interval) Sure, it was a hard workout, but the coach gave it to me, so he believed I could do it. He’s not really been wrong before, pushing me to accomplish more and more, but understanding my abilities. This felt like a failure. Three failures in fact. I came home discouraged and sad.

As I got ready for work and started my day, I thought more about his morning’s session. My legs have that familiar heavy and tired feeling that comes from working them hard. I may not have followed the plan to the letter, but I managed most of it. I didn’t stop and give up when it was a little too hard, I modified it for the moment, and then dove back in. I completed the workout, with small modifications. That’s not a failure, that’s just a change in plans, and persevering when the going got tough. Clearly my mental running fitness has been improving as well.

Good Run, Wendy.