Plans often do not go…well….to plan. We know this, I know this all too well, yet it still often comes as a surprise.
Even though those plans devised, after say prosecco, seem like great ideas something frequently happens to change how we go about reaching the end goal. For example, two years ago I decided to do the Coast2Coast in the UK from Whitehaven to Sunderland on my bike. In training I took a tumble down a very steep hill on a main road rendering me now terrified of cycling downhill (now even more a problem as I live on a hill).
So the plan had to change, the end goal of cycling over 100 miles didn’t, but the route did. In the end I did even more mileage than I would have done, in a quicker time but on a pretty much flat route through the beautiful Surrey countryside.
This year in a constant bid to one up myself and after a year of ‘resting’ by only doing 3 half marathons (coz I am not very good at not doing anything) it was suggested that a great challenge would be to do one official half marathon every month.
Great. I mean I can totally do that right?
Well I can do it. I am certain I can. But there are several tiny, super tiny things I had not considered prior to thinking this was an excellent idea amidst the endless food, desserts, wine and cheese of the festive period:
- I live in the arctic.
- Running in snow is a great workout but chuffing hard work.
- Training is hard at the best of times
- There is snow here until May.
So January’s run the Solastranden Halv, Stavanger was the 12th January. An opportunity to see another part of Norway, to see daylight in winter (we haven’t had daylight in Tromso since November, I’m serious) and where there was no snow on the ground seemed like a good start to this years challenge plan.
Unfortunately I didn’t run.
I have been nursing an injury in the arch of my foot. It has been on and off but after training last week it was worse than it had been for a while. its also a difficult injury to heal and rest. I debated about whether to still do it and in fact had all but convinced myself to on the flight down.
I am not known for being a quitter in fact I am known for being a down right PITA. Just ask my boyfriend. Its true.
But when I arrived and woke up the day of the race I knew I couldn’t run this time. If I damaged it more that could rule out more races just for the sake of not having rested even just a little bit. I decided, after some coercion on the matter, that it just wasn’t worth it.
It would give me more time to let the injury heal, to train and just feel more comfortable about the next race.
We do this a lot, particularly for things we believe in but I was putting a lot of pressure on myself for nothing really. This was only ever for me at the end of the day. I wasn’t letting anyone down, so why beat myself up. It doesn’t really matter if I start the 12 in 12 one month later, does it? Well no it doesn’t.
This also gives me more time to train on what I have come to realise is a rather difficult surface to run on. When its light and fluffy snow its relatively easy to run on and a bit like trail running but when its icy…well you can imagine. Running in spikes is essential and that can take some getting used to.
Its a very good leg workout but its difficult, for me at least, to reach my normal pace running on snow but the extra resistance of doing so is certainly one sure way to work the leggies out more.
Granted I can run on a dreadmill but quite honestly I would much rather run outside on the snow than do that. I reserve such days for those days much too icy for me to feel safe to run outside (or when I just cannot be bothered to get all the outside clobber on).
The good news is running in the cold is very refreshing and when dressed appropriately its warm without being too hot, a problem I always have when running) and much easier than some of those warmer particularly spring/summer and sometimes even winter, days back home. Quite lucky really since there snow will be here until May so I best get used to it.
Also I have noticed Norwegian runners wear way more clothes than me to run in, they must be boiling or I was born to live somewhere like this!
So the new first run of 2019 will be Thorpe, UK at the end of Feb. I have another 3 booked after that (Paddock Wood, UK, Midnight Sun, Tromso and Winchester, UK) so far but want to get Feb out the way before booking too many more. There are so many options the hardest thing will be deciding which to do!
Plan too much and be too focused on the plan going, well, completely to plan, only leads to disappointment. Knowing that it is possible that circumstances change, that curveballs happen can make it easier to swallow when something doesn’t go to plan. Its all about having some wiggle room for some changes to happen if needed.
I have vowed to be slightly less at war with myself over such things. Life is just too short.