This week, I have officially started my training for the Quad Cities Marathon. My training program is much more challenging this time around, and I am fully counting on logging a PR.
But this weekend? I am skipping my long run of 13 miles. Instead, I am running a 5K. And no, I am not going to just use that 5K as a speed workout. In fact, I plan on turning in what will probably be a Personal Worst for the 5K. I may even take some walk breaks. I could do my long run on Sunday, but I'm not going to.
Saturday is my 11th wedding anniversary. My fabulous, wonderful, supportive, world's greatest running cheerleader husband wants to run Race for the Cure with me to kick off our day of fun. What, am I going to ditch him and race to the finish? No, some things are more important.
Sunday is Father's Day. Steve is such a loving and accomodating husband that he actually said that surely we could spare a few hours for me to get in a run on Sunday. The very fact that he offered that proves to me that he more than deserves a full day of love and attention from me and Jack.
The fact of the matter is, I can go a weekend without a quality run, and I will still be able to finish the marathon - and I suspect, still get my PR.
More importantly, I don't have to do any of this. Running is supposed to be fun; it's not my job. I am not going to win this race, get an age group award, or even qualify for Boston. There are a lot of reasons that I run - stress relief, to challenge myself, to improve my health, to get time to myself, to be able to eat more ice cream, because I love the smell of wet sidewalks on a rainy day...
If I skip a long run to spend a special weekend with my family, I will still get every one of those benefits.
The theme for this week's Take It and Run Thursday is "As you start your marathon (or half marathon) training, don't forget..."
My advice is simple: don't forget why you do this.