Alright smart talented runners of the interwebs, I need your help.
You see, I’ve recently had some crazy exciting adventures fall into my lap (like spending a month in Brisbane! moving to Port Moresby in early 2011!) but said adventures have left me canceling race plans left and right, unable to train regularly (jet lag from a 16-hour time difference OMG!) and generally feeling like a piece of crap in the running department.
I’ve been in Brisbane for a week now and have finally acclimated to the time change (and don’t wake up ready for the day at 3 am anymore. Phew!) and am obviously able to run here, but biking and swimming are out. However, I had a couple shamefully low-mileage weeks there (the week I journeyed to the land down under and jetlag week) and now I feel like I’m starting ALL over. My longest run since Chicago has been 14 miles (prep for the Dallas Half that I was decidedly absent for) and even that feels like it was ages ago.
So here’s where I’m struggling: how the hell do I train anymore? I can’t plan on any races right now–I’ve made far too many “donations” to race directors because my plans keep changing at breakneck speed, and my departure date for moving to the jungle is still up in the air. I’ve toyed with the idea of re-hiring Coach Jeff (I had a planned hiatus for November/December anyways so I’m not doing his workouts at the moment) but I don’t know if I can justify the cost if there’s no actual race that I’m training for, you know? I’ve considered whipping myself up a Runner’s world SmartCoach plan and just “training” for a marathon, but won’t I be setting myself up for crazy if I train for a race I can’t actually run? The only thing I’ve come up with is re-committing myself to logging my miles over at DailyMile so I have SOMETHING to keep me accountable.
So my question to you brilliant people is how do you stay motivated when you can’t race? And maybe not for a REALLY long time. (Port Moresby is damn near ON the equator, and we all know how well I deal with heat, so even after I move it certainly won’t go back to business as usual. Also, being in a third world country and all, I assume the race opportunities will be, uh, sparse). Couple that with the fact that due to security issues, I might very well be running the vast majority of my miles on a treadmill while I’m there, and you’ve got a recipe for a lack of motivation.
So, to recap: your life is crazy, you’re never sure where you’re going to be until you’re there, you have oodles of time to train, and you can’t register for any races. What do you do? (ps, I totally get that this is a first world problem. Please don’t judge.)
Here are a couple pictures of the gorgeous sights on see on my [totally lacking any motivation or direction] runs these days.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts! Happy running.