1. Stress Less.
Sounds simple enough, yes? No. Life is full of unavoidable stress, so I'm mainly addressing the burden we place upon ourselves with regards to our endurance training.
Does this sound familiar? "I have a mile repeat track workout today, tomorrow I'll do a recovery run at 8 min pace, followed by a long run on Sunday incorporated with some marathon tempo miles..." Stop. Set down the GPS and back away from the running log. I said put it down!
We all have goals, PRs that need breaking and courses that need conquering. Admittedly these things are so much more difficult to accomplish from the bench... Have I got your attention yet?
I am speaking from experience, my ass has left permanent imprints on the benches at my high school and college tracks. In fact, I even had to install a bench at home to handle the overflow of ass-time. Sorry for all the "ass"...perhaps a clever symbol substitution will depreciate the vulgar value. Rewind and replace all with "a$$" and proceed.
We stress too much about our expectations for each run and the subsequent fallout after those expectations aren't met. This places unnecessary burden not only on our delicate psyche, but I believe on our bodies as well. Weak minds yield weak bodies, just in the same way that stubborn minds yield broken bodies. Find a balance.
Don't stress about how far you think you need to run on any given day, and don't put too much stock in any particular pace you think you need to hit.
I leave my house each day and run by the seat of my pants. Get out the door and feel great? Sweet, let's run 10 miles and push the pace. Throw on the shoes and feel like a hot steamy pile? Who cares, drag a$$ for a mile or two then call it a day. One day, or even one week, will not make you...but it can break you. Training for 50 miles, I knew I had to get certain distances in or else I wouldn't be adequately prepared, as is the same for your training I speculate.
Run how you feel, and don't stress. There are times to hold 'em, and times to fold 'em...the more willingness you have to LISTEN to your body, the more appropriately you can respond to any given scenario.
Am I running super fast times? H-E-double hockey sticks no! But I can assure you that I am inching closer to those desired times by running as opposed to sitting. Rigid training programs will work for some - injury-immune folks, profesh runners already in bangin' shape, and those looking to get fast...fast - but for the rest of us we need to practice some patience. I'm the worst offender in the real world, but in the running world I've gained considerable perspective in being patient. Try it.
Now for a sprinkle of real-life updates. It seems I will be staying in Seattle (hooray) and that I have found my niché. "Hindsight is always 20/20", "you never appreciate what you have until its gone", and other clichés that sum up being blissfully ignorant...
Until the next installment of "As Amanda's World Turns" I bid thee farewell and happy running.