The past few weeks have been a little bit difficult. Life has gotten in the way of any fitness regime, and I am still under medical advice not to run. I have been feeling a run down and haven't been sleeping or eating well. Also feeling quite lethargic and lacking self-worth. It is strange that in the absence of exercise –a task that expends a great amount of energy – life can feel drab and leave you feeling with even less energy.
I have forced myself to pick up some books to read in the hope to find some motivation that I can connect with to get me over this hump and encourage me to get to the gym to do some non-running training. In a book that I started rifling through yesterday I found a testimonial that I related to. The following excerpt taken from The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer by David A. Whitsett, Forrest A. Dolgener and Tanjala Mabon Kole and reflects similar thoughts and feelings that I have had and over the past few weeks have revisited.
"… On the brink of middle age and 80 pounds overweight, physically my best years are behind me. I used to be quite an athlete, but until the time I started the training program I hadn't run in 14 years! For me exercise consisted of trying to keep up with the demands of three budding adolescents as a single working mother while finishing the last semester of my undergraduate degree. (It had taken me 19 years to get through college! The only other things I've done that long are wear the same bathrobe and breathe! Marriage, children, divorce, and trying to make a living have a way of intervening, and two decades can pass before you know it.) I work too hard, and play too little. I'm so busy meeting everyone else's needs, I forget to consider my own. I would like to take better care of myself, but most of the time I am just too tired to care. I have dreams, but little energy to make them happen. I usually just take life as it comes, rather than going out after it. And I want more, but I don't make it happen.
"Running a marathon was one of those dreams…
"… My family's lack of initial support had nothing to do with my current situation. I had done it to myself, and I had to accept that and take responsibility for getting myself out of it. In that mental moment, I started my training and vowed that I was not going to let anyone or anything keep me from doing this – including me. I got off the couch. I went outside and hobbled one block. One block – that is where I started! Nineteen weeks later I ran 26.2 miles!"
(The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer, Whitsett, Dolgener and Kole, 1998 pp 11-12)
This book that I have just started reading is based around a marathon training class that the University of Northern Iowa has offered on occasion. 15 weeks long and all who did the course successfully finished a marathon. I am looking forward to delving into the chapter to read other student's testimonials and stories and learn more about the training program that they embraced.
For me – last night I sat down and mapped out my goals for the next 15 months leading up to the 2010 New York Marathon.
- 10 October 2009 – 10 for Texas
- 15 November 2009 – San Antonio Half Marathon (NY qualifier)
- 17 January 2010 – Houston Half Marathon (NY qualifier)
- November 2010 – New York Marathon
There may be a few other activities between January and November next year, but my initial goal is to train for the two half marathons to run a qualifying time of 1 hr 37 mins that will provide me with a guaranteed entry for the New York race. But for now, it is baby steps to allow my current injuries settle down. Physio and yoga are on the cards for the next two weeks, a prescription for the body and soul.