Friday, December 27, 2013

How Do You Get Back On Track?

It didn't take a brilliant statistician to figure out that this would happen.  The last couple weeks, my plan has been shot!  Oh, I definitely got in some "carb loading" (and fat loading).  I had envisioned some very high mileage weeks and some guilt-free binging on Christmas cookies, candies, and eggnog (you have to run 20 miles to earn a carton of eggnog!).  Of course, I still managed to do the binging, but I hardly got to put all that "rocket fuel" to instead it just turned into flab. 

Between the ice, snow and the hustle and bustle of the holidays, running has been very minimal.  I would say I did just enough to keep from completely undoing all my training.  I ran a couple 10 milers and a couple shorter runs.  Considering what my plan was for the last couple weeks, this is a bit depressing.  So now the question comes, "What is next?"  That is pretty much life isn't it?  You have to forget about the failures in the past and try to get yourself aligned in the present so that you can still have a successful future.

Well, I guess there are three main choices.  You can give up, make up, or pick up.  Let me explain:

1. Give up (not an option for me at this point!)

All too often, this is why we quit our training, or whatever it is we had planned on doing (reading our Bible through, memorizing scripture, budgeting, saving, etc.).  We feel like failures.  We feel like there is no way we can get back on track.  So, for some reason, we begin thinking our only option is to quit and go back to the way we were...only now things seem a little bit worse. 

Not me.  Not this time.  I'm not quitting over a little derailment.  Unless providentially hindered by God, the race will go on!

2. Make up

Often, we think that getting back on track means we have to make up for lost time.  If that is a possibility, then great.  For example, I could get out there and add miles to my long runs or add a few runs on my off days to get my total mileage where I wanted it to be...but that could cause some serious set backs.  I could get burnt out and dread every run, or I could injure myself (pull a muscle, acquire some besetting condition like heel spurs or stress fractures...).  I don't think this is usually the best option.  Even if  we are set back a little, I think our best option is just to pick up where we left off.  So I have chosen to do the third option:

3. Pick up

There are two ways to do this.  I could start where I left off two weeks ago.  I would have to readjust my goals a little, because I would be two weeks behind on race day.  Or, I can do what I am going to attempt to do (which could cause the same problems as option two if I'm not careful); I'm going to start where I am supposed to be right now.  This week was supposed to look something like this:

         Monday      Tuesday      Wednesday   Thursday     Friday        Saturday      Sunday

I went ahead and did Thurday's workout this morning.  Monday and Tuesday is a lot to have missed, but I will pick up next Monday with another 25 miler followed by a 20 miler on Tuesday as planned.  It's going to be tough, but then I will be on track and I will just forget about what I have missed.

I'm sure I'm not alone when it comes to getting off track of my plans.  My advice for anyone who has gotten off track, whether it be a training program, a Bible reading plan, an attempt to faithfully tithe every week (giving a tenth of your income to your church), is simply this:

 Just don't quit!

Forget about what happened yesterday.  Get back on track today!

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