After I registered for the Philadelphia marathon, I spent some time looking for a training plan (honestly, I may have started looking for the training plan before registering. Really, though, the order in which these things happened is inconsequential) and, in a fit of delusional perception of my current fitness level, chose to use Hal Higdon's Intermediate I training plan. The plan is well-balanced with two twenty-mile runs toward the end of the program, five runs a week, and a fair amount of weekly miles (starting at around 24 for the first week). The problem is that I tend to go into denial about certain things and I like to believe that I can do things that I am not entirely prepared for. Such as (just in case you are not following me here) this training plan. I think the problem is that I chose something thinking that maybe if I shut my eyes real tight and forgot about reality, I could pretend that maybe I hadn't lost an enormous amount of fitness in the past few months. What can I say? It's hard to go from easily running 8-10 mile training runs to being exhausted by four or five. So I guess I kind of thought that if I chose a training plan that was appropriate for me about six months ago that I would be magically transformed back into that six-month-ago version of Emilie.
As the time to start the training program drew nearer and nearer, I kept looking at it and going over what it was asking me to do. I made a lot of progress endurance-wise in the past few weeks but the first long run distance of this Hal Higdon plan is 8 miles, which I have serious doubts that I can do at this point. The long run was supposed to take place this past weekend, but for screwy and frustrating reasons, it didn't happen. I don't know if I'm capable of running 8 miles, and this week I am supposed to run 9.
So I thought maybe I should shop around a little bit and consider a different program. Last year, I trained with one that I found in an issue of Runner's World magazine. This program is good, obviously--it got my through my first marathon and I enjoyed it the whole time. I never felt overwhelmed by it, but I always felt challenged. So I thought maybe I should go back to that program. But for some reason I am resistant to it. I wanted to try something different, but maybe I sort of shot myself in the foot by slacking off so much for such a long time. I don't even know exactly why I want a different plan. I've looked at Hal Higdon's novice training plans, but they don't really appeal to me and I can't even explain why. I feel sort of silly about this whole thing, because clearly I have this penchant for the Runner's World plan but I'm still second-guessing everything.
Does anyone else do this or am I just super neurotic (I mean, obviously don't answer that question by saying, 'You're neurotic!')? How do you choose a training plan? I'm interested in hearing about other people's experiences.