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December 8, 2005

Return of the Unbalancing Force

Planned workout for this morning: 8 miles, with 4x 1-mile speed intervals.
Actual workout this morning: 4 miles easy, no intervals.

Planned workout for last Monday morning: 6 hilly miles through neighborhood.
Actual workout last Monday morning: none.

Planned workout for last Friday morning: 5 miles easy, followed by core work.
Actual workout last Friday: 10 minutes on rowing ergometer, 10 minutes of core work.

I could go further back, but the pattern is already evident. I've been terribly lethargic over the past few weeks, I've reduced or skipped at least two workouts per week, and I haven't done any running of higher intensity for almost a month.

For some reason, when the alarm goes off, I can't get myself out of bed. So 5:00 AM start times turn into 5:40 start times, 8 miles turns into 4, hard workouts turn into easy cruises.

I don't have winter weather to blame, for although it's been cold by our standards (low 30s in the mornings), it's nowhere what anyone would call real winter weather.

I'm really just battling Newton's first law: a body at rest tends to remain at rest.

After my ultramarathon in October, I took several weeks of very little exercising to let my body recover and to free myself mentally from the grind of one workout after another.

Now that I've been trying to train consistently again, I'm still battling the inertial effects of that layoff. I recognized what was happening, but it didn't bother me too much.

But this week I looked at the calendar, and noted there are only 20 weeks until the Big Sur Marathon, my favorite race of the year. That initially seems like a lot, but for me to go from minimal training to top form, that's cutting things pretty close.

So now the missed workouts and shortened runs are bothering me a little bit.

And maybe that's what I need. The second part of Newton's first law is a qualifying statement: unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. In this case, the unbalancing force is my own motivation. I've always been confident that when the need arises, my willpower can conquer my body's natural instincts to take the easy path.

I care now. The unbalancing force is back. It's time to get serious and overcome my physical inertia. Marathon training is on.


robtherunner 12/8/05, 5:37 PM  

Let the training begin. I have heard nothing but good things about Big Sur and need to get it on my schedule one of these years. Maybe in 2007. Thanks for the great writing.

susie 12/9/05, 3:23 AM  

This is so easy to happen in cold weather. I'm having to make a mental shift too.

Downhillnut 12/12/05, 8:44 AM  

Maybe we can help you with that unbalancing force, by leaning on you a little. Care, Don, CARE!

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