Listen to the Ali on the Run Show!
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The Problem With Wanting To Do It All
I’ve never been one to take the mediocre route.
If someone asks me to make a dessert for a party, I’m going to make two desserts, and I’m going to make massive batches of each. (No one ever asks me to make anything other than a dessert. People who know me know better.)
If my apartment needs to be cleaned, I’ll lift everything from its place so the surfaces underneath can be dusted, polished, swept and vacuumed with my sad little Dustbuster.
If you want your wedding invitations addressed, I’ll happily lend you my handwriting and I’ll make sure every single letter on every single envelope is ruler-straight and perfectly printed. I get a weird thrill out of projects like these.
But lately I’m having a hard time with the “wanting to do it all,” because I’m finding that as I try to do everything — workout-wise, that is — I’m not being my usual “do it all and do it all as flawlessly as possible” self.
I love running. I also love spinning. I adore strength training and I kind of dig yoga.
I want to do it all. I want to train for a marathon while also doing four spin classes a week. On top of that, I want to tone my arms and back, and maybe throw in a few downward dog sessions, too.
Turns out, though, that may be overdoing it just a bit.
Lately, I’ve been trying to cram in as much weekly sweat as possible, for no reason other than the fact that I have no training plan, so I’m working the heck out of my body.
Blah blah blah, I know, rest days, avoid injury, don’t overdo it. I’m being smart, I promise, even if the above doesn’t read that way. I took two rest days this week. I’m getting better.
I am, however, finding that the more I do, the more I seem to slack.
Last night I went to my favorite spin class with my favorite spin man, Matt. The music was spot-on and I felt great. Two rest days will do that for you!
I spun and I spun and my legs went like crazy. I pushed the resistance and I crushed the pace Matt set for us.
It was the first time in a long time I felt like I really went all out in spin class. For a while I was marathon training, so I went to spin for fun but didn’t want it to affect my training.
But then this morning I wanted to run. I didn’t have a plan. Speedwork? Nah. Tempo? Not in the mood. Long run? I wish, but there’s no time for that before work. Recovery run? Boring.
So I just ran without a plan.
The splits are fine, but they’re meaningless. I didn’t push hard on the run, but I didn’t go overly easy either. I liked this run because it was relaxing, but also wondered if I should have tried harder. I’m in this weird middle place right now and I’m not used to that. I’m used to having a plan.
For the past four months, I’ve debated whether or not I’m going to run a spring marathon.
The marathon up for grabs is the Eugene Marathon on April 29 in Oregon. The race course sounds perfect — it’s a hot spot for setting personal records — and I’ve got a friend or two or three already signed up and ready to race the thing.
I’m dying to run the Eugene Marathon. I want to get back into marathon training. I want to beat my Hamptons time and I don’t want to wait until the New York City Marathon in November for that to potentially happen.
But spring is a crazy time. I have a lot going on in the next few months, and finances are a major factor in this decision, since the marathon requires some hefty travel expenses.
I’ve been putting off the “spring marathon decision” for months now and I’m no closer to making a decision today than I was back in November.
This brings me back to the wanting to do it all thing. The problem with wanting to do it all, is that if you try to do everything, you won’t necessarily do everything well.
I want to run, spin, chaturanga and lift heavy things. I want to go zip lining and I want to learn to really ride a bike like you fancy triathletes do.
But I know that for me to excel in any one area — whether it’s to set a marathon PR or complete a 40-mile bike ride — I need to reign in my focus and pick one particular goal.
I work well under pressure, but I don’t reach my maximum potential when I’m overdoing it.
In other news, my goal to hold a 5-minute plank is about to get crushed. Last night I set a planking PR!
I think this weekend will be a 5-minute plank weekend. Sounds good, right?
So I guess that’s my dilemma of the moment. What to focus on? What to do? How to sweat?