Continued Guidance


I’m hit or miss when it comes to working out on Sundays. There is a YMCA near my church that opens at 8 a.m. on Sundays. Today I decided to workout before church services. I woke up feeling sore from yesterday’s 12-miler and I wanted to loosen up a bit. I figured 45 easy minutes on the elliptical trainer would do the trick.

Lynn, my friend and marathon coach was also working out. As we arrived at the gym she reintroduced me to a friend of hers who is also an experienced marathoner. Just prior to that Lynn mentioned she wants me to skip working out on the Fridays before a Saturday long run of more than 10 miles. Interestingly, the conversation between Lynn, her friend, and myself was about the importance of resting the day before a long run. Hmmm. They were clearly tag-teaming in an effort to get my attention.

As we began working out I grabbed the machine next to Lynn’s.  She was locked and loaded and she used our time together to give me further guidance about yesterday’s training error. Not only did she reiterate the importance of fueling properly during a long run, she repeated that she’s  tweaked my training schedule. From now on, the Friday’s prior to a long run (10 or more miles) must be considered rest days. She’ll allow me to stretch, but that’s about it. She wants me to begin a long run really rested. Further, on the weeks my long run is more than 10 miles, she wants me to have only two weekday runs instead of three. I tried to negotiate.

Me: Can I swim on Fridays?

Lynn: No

Me: Spin Class?

Lynn: No

Pam: About those two weekday runs. What if I run three days but at lower mileage.

Lynn: I’d rather you didn’t.

Lynn: I knew you were going to argue with me about this.

At least I’m consistent. I know Lynn’s right. I’ve got to keep my eye on the prize. What’s the use in preparing for a full marathon if I’m over-trained or injured on race day? And what’s the use of having a coach if I’m going to ignore her advice? That would be a waste of my time as well as hers. For today I’m willing to listen to someone who knows more than I do.

Yesterday’s 12-miler while almost fasting was brutal. Not only was I sluggish and dealing with low blood sugar, the temperature felt as though it was steadily dropping throughout my time on the course. As I write this, I received a very sweet and encouraging text from Lynn. She checked her stats and the seven-miles she ran yesterday took her longer than it did two weeks ago. She’s a very consistent runner, so she knows the weather played a key factor in her run as well as mine. She added:

“I think the wind and cold temps were working against us both! It not only took longer, it just seemed to take more effort as well. But you’ll be stronger for it. Face it, who else do you know ran 12 miles in temps that felt like 22 degrees, with wind from hell, snow, sleet and rain! Not to mention you did this all on your own…I’d say, ‘what a woman!’ You did it!”

Right now I’m still feeling physically droopy and lethargic, and that text was just what I needed. Next Saturday I’m scheduled to run 14 miles, weather permitting. I will use my head as well as my feet.

I can do this.

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