I swear I’ll never give in, I refuse. — “Best of You,” Foo Fighters

So this past week marked the beginning of a new training plan. I’ve actually using the plan for two weeks, with the first week being an optional week.

The official artwork by Andy welcoming me as a Silver Fox athlete.
The plan was put together by my Facebook friend, Andy, at Silver Fox Athletics. I’ve known Andy for about five years, as we’re both members of the Sub-30 Club, a Facebook group put together by then-Runner’s World columnist Ted Spiker. Andy is like me, a back- to middle-of-the-pack runner, who unlike me lost weight and improved. He went through the Road Runners Club of America training for coaches and did a lot to get to where he is as a coach. I think we are comfortable enough with each other that if things get tough — like I’m having a nervous breakdown or just having a case of the I-don’t-wanna’s — he can snap me out of it in a way that won’t make me just quit.

We decided to work on a 12-week training plan that would help me rebuild my base so I can run a longer race (10K or more) in 2019.

My long runs started at 4 miles and will work up to a 10K by mid-October.

There are some people in my inner circle who are very much against getting outside help to achieve certain goals. For these people, getting help of weakness, that you’re not disciplined enough to do things yourself.

I see it as an investment in myself. I have been stuck for a while in the same exercise routine with little to show for it. I’m inconsistent most of the time. When I make my own plan, I make it too hard to keep up with and wimp out after a few days.

I need someone who can direct me to something new that I haven’t tried before; someone who will keep me accountable on days when I don’t want to train. That’s where Andy comes in.

Andy has an online coaching group in which I can interact with him and his other athletes. We keep in touch via Strava and other Internet-based programs. So far, it’s pretty cool.

My training plan has four days of running with a fifth, optional day. I have two easy runs of two miles each. Then I have two runs at a moderate pace, that are about 3.1 miles each. My long run started on Week 0 at 4 miles. On Week 1, I did 4.5 miles.

Overall, I’m pleased to be able to get the runs in. It’s just that the heat and humidity of the summer in the Southern United States make it very hard to get a decent pace. You have to run either really early or late in the day, or the heat will beat you down. Even short runs of a few miles require a water bottle. Hydration and proper sun block are serious issues.

I feel like I’m getting back into the swing of things, albeit much more slowly that I thought I would. I like having a structure again, one that I know I can keep up with. I just am a lot slower this time around, which can be attributed to the weight-gain and summer heat and humidity.

After restarting, I have felt the need to aim for an event. I really want to do a GORUCK custom event in December with one of my kids, but so far have been overruled by my husband. I’m also looking at a half marathon in April 2019.

I’m looking forward to getting things back on track. It feels good to have some of the guess work taken away. I have a plan, catered to my abilities. It feels pretty awesome.