In running as in life, some things go according to plan, and some don't. In both endeavors, it's pretty important that we learn to adapt when the detours occur.
Here's a plan: I'm in a race, and at some point I simply run faster than everyone else and win the whole dang thing. Naturally, this plan is only a pipe dream for all but the very best runners at any given race. And it's almost never come to pass for yours truly.
On Saturday I lined up for the first annual MCRR New Years Eve 5K, looked around, and realized that my competitors were mostly kids and older folks. I found myself running with Bob Pokorny, Ladd Clifford and Alan Dravenstott. Ladd wasn't racing, and peeled off. Alan, who I believe is in the eighth grade, slowed just a bit at the turnaround, and Bob (who certainly could've beaten me if he'd tried) fell back to run with Alan. Suddenly there I was, all alone at the front. What do I do now? With Bob coaching Alan to try to catch me, I had to try to run even faster.
I beat the kid, Bob, and everyone else. It was a great victory. Well, I'll call it that anyway. What made it even better was the PR factor: my time was 17:49; I'd never even broken 18 in a 5K before. How did I manage this feat, you ask? I ran the course Jeannine Nicholson designed, and it turned out to be short by about a half mile. I suppose I can't count it as a PR after all. But it's still a win. And it was surely according to plan.
The plan for Sunday was to run Ladd's 5-mile New Years Day Hangover Run. That was all I was going to do because I'd also had plans to do the second annual Landis Loonies Marathon the next day. But then the weather warnings began.
We've been blessed, so far, with an extraordinarily warm and mostly snow-free late autumn / early winter. Everyone's been remarking about it, many saying things like, "We're gonna pay." When we did receive the weather warnings about January 2nd, everyone, including yours truly, was that much more afraid. The storm warnings didn't sound that dyer - just typical winter stuff. But they were enough to freak everyone out.
I began to think that I wouldn't want to drive the hour plus out to New London Ohio in a storm, just to run a little unofficial marathon. Since I'd be running five with the bunch a little later on Sunday, I decided to hedge my marathon bet and also run earlier with Debbie, Debbie and Michelle. Good to see Debbie Fernandez again. This earlier run amounted to ten parkway miles.
This put me at fifteen for the day. I could still conceivably still run the next day's marathon if the weather held. I'd been anticipating going into Panera at the end of the five as we'd done the previous day after the race. That's when Jeannine suggested that I run another hour with her and Bob.
Not that I've ever had any, but this was against my better judgement. It would eliminate any chance I'd have of running a marathon the next day, even though I'd been leaning more and more against the idea anyway. The extra seven or so miles actually went quite well.
I didn't, unfortunately, feel quite well Monday morning. Nothing special - just sore and tired. Certainly not well enough to run a marathon. And the funny thing was, the snow wasn't so bad. I think I could have made it out to New London fairly easily. But the damage had been done. It turned out that I couldn't get myself to run at all yesterday. So I went from a plan to running a marathon to a goose-egg in my running log.
Today is Tuesday. I ran twenty today to atone for yesterday's non-run. Ten out (in the snow which has finally arrived) and ten in (on the mill). It wasn't the greatest running, and it wasn't according to plan.
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