Well, according to my NYRR training calendar, yesterday was supposed to be an easy 3 miler and today was, believe it or not, a rest day. I suppose the lax routine of the first couple of weeks dovetails nicely with my need to cut back and get this shinsplints thing addressed, but it galls in a way. I know I'm stronger than this. I didn't actually run 3 miles yesterday, opting instead for a nice five-mile bike ride on semi-flat tires. (Way more work than I was expecting.) Cross-training is part of the schedule and until I had jiggered the numbers enough to get a training schedule I liked, the schedules I was beging offered all began with a cross-training day; so I went with that anyway.
Tomorrow I go see the therapist for the first time in several months. I am impatient to be fixed and running pain free. My lungs are in great shape right now and I don't want to squander it! But I have other major things going on in my life and I really just need something - one fucking thing - to be safe, predictable, and successful. If I can't count on a training program to give me that....then what?
And as for the expense of the program: sure, it's more expensive than some free resources which might do just as well. Heck, I still think my aborted five-month training program from last winter would be great. But a few things about the online thing appealed to me. First, the cost isn't actually all that much: pretty much the equivalent of four races. I'd spend as much or more for Hal Higdon's program, I think. Second, I just haven't found the time to sit down and structure a training program. Even something as simple as that task has been shunted in favor of other things that need doing. Third, I have NO IDEA what I'm doing with speed training; this program at least has some speed training built in in a structured way. And fourth: I've never trained with a watch before. Which is to say that all my training to this point has been based solely on mileage and perceived effort. If I wanted to hit a particular time in a race, I tried speed workouts that were "really hard running." But now I have the opportunity to do structured levels of paced runs, to learn what different paces actually feel like and to take advantage of the structured training to its utmost. Fifth, and not unimportant, I can't afford an actual coach, and this program is going to have to take the place of that. If I created my own schedule, my "coach" would be ME; but with this created schedule, the "coach" is an external force - MUCH easier to obey.
Now, if this rain would just go away and STAY the fuck away!