Wednesday, November 02, 2011

My Race Season and Quadrants

Many years ago I took the Franklin Covey training on organization and prioritization (with the help of their data planner line, naturally). The training model broke priorities down into quadrants, with each of four quadrants being a combination of Important and Urgent and, also, Not Important and Not Urgent. Like so:

QI - Important and Urgent

QII - Important but Not Urgent

QIII - Not Important but Urgent

QIV - Not Important and Not Urgent

The sad fact is that, by nature, I really only care about items that fall in Quadrant One. It's just how I am. I live for putting out fires. Last minute cram sessions. Finishing Christmas wrapping mere minutes before sleepy Monkeys rise from their beds.

I want to be more organized and plan ahead and work diligently on projects, but I tend to default to "I have plenty of time, I want to do something else right now."

Not the best frame of mind for someone taking on a long term training program.

I'm really good and making bright, shiny training plans, copying them diligently to each of my various calendars and even color coding them.


Follow through, however, has always been my weak link and, let's face it, you just can't cram for a long race.

I'm not going to try to excuse it because it is what it is. This dysfunction in my system is as much a hurdle for me as the bullshit that plays out in my head trying to keep me from pushing forward.

It is what it is.

I'd been thinking about it for a couple of weeks now. I'd planned to make the final decision after this coming weekend's long run. But somewhere along mile 9 of Sunday's Lake Natoma Four Bridges Half Marathon I realized that I just couldn't do this for 26.2 miles.

Not yet.

And certainly not in time for this year's CIM.

I'm still too slow and still not quite strong enough as a runner. And I can not bear the thought of running almost an entire marathon after they've closed course*.

I just can't.

It was hard enough running a half marathon with three miles to go when they closed the course.

Just like that, my race season is over.

I hadn't planned to be in this space until December. I'm not entirely sure where to go from here. I have registered for two races in 2012 already, and am filling a calendar with possibilities.

Right now?

Right now I have nothing.

My plan, though, is to keep large chunks of my workout schedule the same. My long runs won't need to be as long, but I definitely need to work harder at hitting my speed and hill workouts, as well as strength training.

Maybe I'll activate my Crossfit pass. Maybe I'll try another hot yoga studio**. Maybe I'll sit on my ass, stuffing my face and gain 20 pounds.

I'm just not entirely sure. But I will be reassessing my plans, goals and schedule and probably neurotically documenting yet another training plan.

If I could just figure out how to keep myself on track, I'd be golden.

*CIM runs on a rolling course closure, which means that they open and close roads to regular traffic on a rolling system based on the total limit. For example, you have to run below 13:44 minutes per mile, so mile one reopens to traffic about 13:44 minutes after everyone crosses the start line.

**Does anyone else remember my spectacular Summer of Sweat plan and then how you never really heard anything about it? Um. Yeah. See Quadrant One.

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