Plan, plan, plan!

 My dad was a salesman for more than 30 years. For a while, Dad went through a period when he would listen to motivational tapes to keep him pumped for another day of making calls on factories and warehouses, where he sold electrical motors. It was not an easy job.

Every now and then, my brothers and sisters and I would sit with Dad and listen to the  tapes, too. Over time, some of the motivational phrases seeped into our brains and refused to leave. One of those phrases was “Talk to lots of people every day.” Another was “Plan, plan, plan.”

The first phrase is a good one for salesmen, no question. But the second phrase, about planning, is critical for runners, too.

I’ve found if I go to bed without planning a specific run for the next day, I probably will wake up aimless, dawdle over my coffee, look for any excuse to delay putting on my running shoes. I’m not focused. I’m not motivated.

But if I have a plan, I will usually jump right out of bed and get busy.

I thought of that today as I joylessly ran loops on the road around my neighborhood. Six mind-numbing loops of a mile each. 

It was drudgery. I felt like a hampster in a cage.

Because I hadn’t made a plan the night before, I had delayed heading out until it was too late to to do anything but run close to home. On pavement. Oh boy, Trail Boy was getting what he deserved. Thump, thump, thump.

As I ran those loops, I resolved to plan better. Every night, I would have a plan for the next day. I might change the plan in the morning, according to the weather or other circumstances, but at least I would have a starting point.

For me, planning doesn’t come easy. But training for an ultra trail race requires lots and lots of planning. As the guy on the tape said: “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.” Kind of trite, but very true.

During my pavement-pounding this morning, about the only thing I could think about  was, how many more frickin’ loops before I’m done? And what was my time on that last one? It wasn’t a thing of joy and beauty. It was work.

Between my footsteps, I could hear, in the back of my mind, the voice of guy on my Dad’s tape recorder: “Plan, plan, plan!”

OK, you’ve convinced me! Just don’t make me run these loops again tomorrow.

(Here are my mile splits,  for anyone who cares. But note that this was an easy day. I started slowly and never got faster than an easy trot. Splits: 9:04, 8:53, 8:44, 8:43, 8:27, 8:22, for a total of 52:16.)


2 Responses to “Plan, plan, plan!”

  1. ilovemorningfog Says:

    I got a plan 10-18-09 meet you in Denver to qualify for Boston. what do you say?

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