Character Building Runs

When I am training for a marathon I like to plan out my runs in advance so. I know when I will be able to fit in my planned run. In a perfect world I would always stick to that plan. In the real world things don’t always go as intended.

In terms of training this means that I sometimes have to postpone or delay runs I have on my schedule. My preferred times to run are on my way home from work and in the morning on the weekends when I can take one of the kids and get my run out of the way before the day really gets started.

When my runs get delayed more often than not I end up fitting them in later at night. I can think of a couple of recent examples that stand out for me. Runs that seemed insignificant when I looked at them on the schedule but when I got them in ended up being runs I could look to for a mental boost and as indicators that my training was going well.

The first was this year at Easter, while training for the Ottawa Marathon. I had a 32 km (20 mile) run scheduled for that weekend. Originally I planned to fit in the run on Sunday morning. Unfortunately given how busy the weekend was that was not possible. What ended up happening is that I headed out in the rain at 8:00 on the Sunday night.

The second one was this past Sunday when I had 21 km on the schedule. Unable to fit the run in earlier in the day I headed out at 9:00 PM to get my run in. The run was uneventful, aside from the fact I startled a skunk crossing a driveway and probably would have been sprayed had I been a couple of feet closer.

The first run probably did not have a big impact on my subsequent marathon result and this past Sunday’s run won’t either. Hopefully I won’t make a habit of late night runs on long weekends but they provide something I can look back on for a mental boost when I think of how my training went. In both cases it would have been easy to drop both runs but I stuck with my plan and completed them.

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