It's Hard to Follow a Plan

Signing up to run the LA Marathon seemed like a good idea in August, but now that I’m several weeks into the training I’m not so sure.

I’m part of the LA Roadrunners and we ran 10.9 miles Saturday for our weekly long run. It was not good for me. My knees hurt. My hips hurt. I was so tired the rest of the day. That night I kept asking myself, Why am I doing this? I don’t ever want to run again.

Well, I did run again on Monday and it was fine, but not good. I have asthma and it’s been very bad lately. On Tuesday, I was gasping for breath most of the day and went to the allergist. The advice he gave me applies not just to my asthma, but to running and to the rest of my life.

He asked me about my medications and how I was taking them. Well, I had been cutting back on all of them little by little. ‘I didn’t have asthma in my 20s and early 30s so why should I be dealing with this now?’ I had thought. ‘I don’t need to follow this schedule.’ I wasn’t following the prescribed regimen that had made me feel better than I had the previous 3 years and it had finally caught up with me.

Then I thought about running. I was well aware that I wasn’t following that regimen either. When I ran the marathon in 2007 I did most runs while pushing 2 kids in a double jog stroller. I was sleep deprived and overweight. I thought I was so tired all the time for those reasons. Now I realize I was so tired because training for a marathon is hard! It’s especially hard because I haven’t been keeping up with the training runs during the week. I can’t expect to feel good running 10 miles when I only ran once the week before.

Once again I thought about my 20s and 30s, “I didn’t have to train that hard then so why should I have to do this now?”

I think the biggest lesson I learned this week is to accept my new self. I’m turning 40 next year and my body is getting older. I have to keep up with my training and I have to keep up with my medication. I’m not in my 20s anymore. And as challenging as it might seem to me, I need to keep going.

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