For those of you who know me, you know that I am not a spontaneous person. Actually, I am the complete opposite. I am a planner. The type that I call "Planny Plannerston." I write a week of menus to inform my grocery list. I write packing lists even if I'm only going away to my parents' house for the weekend. I have a giant spreadsheet that I use to plot out our household cash flow and budget plan for at least the next 6 months. I schedule everything far in advance (October 2012 is already pretty booked).
You get the point.
If something doesn't go according to my carefully laid plans, I get very upset.
While planning can come in handy, my obsessive levels of plotting can also wreak havoc on me. I get very stressed if things aren't working out the way I planned. I fret and worry in advance if things are looking like they might not work out perfectly.
Believe it or not, I was NOT a bridezilla (but that's another story).
So why am I going on about this? Because my obsessive planning can really be a help to my running. And a hindrance.
For instance, yesterday I got my panties in a giant twist because the weather forecast is calling for a 30% chance of rain this Saturday - the day of the Virginia is for Lovers 14k. Obviously my plans for this race did not include rain. I then obsessively checked weather.com every hour to see if the forecast changed.
This morning I woke up and immediately grabbed my iPhone to check the weather forecast. Then I said to myself, "Kathryn, this has got to stop. You can't change the weather. Just let it GO!"
In an effort to tone down the obsessiveness, I tried to just let it go when it came to tonight's run. I had to bump my half marathon training plan by a week when I got sick earlier this month and was out of commission for a few days. When I transferred the weeks, I somehow missed this one - so there was (gasp) no Training Plan to dictate my running this week. I have the 14k this Saturday (as long as it doesn't rain, that is...) so I'm going to take it a bit easy.
Thanks to the lack of bossypants Training Plan, I decided that I wasn't going to try to aim for anything in particular this evening. No goal distance, pace, or pattern. If I felt like running 5 miles, I would run 5. If I felt like 3, I would run 3. I would run at whatever pace felt good without obsessively checking my Garmin to see how fast I was going.
Here are the results:
I also completely changed up my course tonight. This is a big deal for me. Usually I obsessively plot out my running routes on runningahead.com then commit them to memory before I set out. Once I had a 4 mile/5 mile/6 mile route plotted out, I stuck with what I knew.
Getting the Garmin has helped me embrace a little bit of spontaneity in my run, but usually it was limited to running on a street parallel to my normal.
At the start of tonight's run, I kept running into my arch nemesis, Red Light. I did not want Red Light to ruin my momentum again, so the third time I ran into one I decided that instead of waiting I would take a left and keep going into an area where there aren't nearly as many pesky traffic lights.
It was very refreshing to mix things up. I need to do it more often because I find things in Richmond that I never knew about before. For instance, tonight I discovered a Starbucks at Robinson and Stuart that I never knew existed. Good to know! I even decided to run through a park that I usually just run around.
So, lesson learned for the night? Spontaneity = good. Planny Plannerston can take a backseat sometimes and the world won't stop.