So when it comes to running my next marathon, this is what I hear most often: “I guess you won’t be able to do a marathon this year, huh? Too busy with the concert tour, I guess.”
Currently, I’m training to run the ING New York City Marathon with Team McGraw in 2010. I’m planning to improve my time significantly…and yes, almost all of my training will happen as I bounce from city to city, hotel to hotel, show to show.
This keeps my training regimen in constant flux, which confuses some coaches and running gurus. They get locked into that “same time every day,” “run this route,” and “schedule your run as your most important appointment” regimen in order to make sure their runners remain consistent.
I understand that…but it just isn’t going to work out here on the road. Our days are long, full, and they turn on a dime. Set a schedule? Really? That’s asking me to fail…and that’s not part of my training plan.
Here’s sort of how it works out here:
YESTERDAY: We arrived in City #1 around 11AM. Tossed down a Clif Bar and a bottle of water from my backpack. We stayed in a hotel downtown, surrounded by cabbies and public transportation. Construction was underway in front of our hotel, and traffic was hell. There was a park three blocks over – about a half-mile around. We had rehearsal two hours later.
I knocked out six laps, three miles, around noon and called it good.
TODAY: We got into City #2 in time for a great breakfast. No rehearsal this afternoon, but the hotel is adjacent to the interstate. I can run on the service road for a while, but there’s no shoulder. Everyone else in the hotel is seemingly asleep, so no one is on the one treadmill in the fitness room.
I gut out four on the treadmill around 2PM – (as this is all I can bear) – and move on with my day.
TOMORROW: We don’t have a show, but we won’t arrive in City #3 until well after lunch. We are set to stay near a park system that has converted miles and miles of old train tracks into a running trail. The course runs along the river for almost thirteen miles. No traffic, no dogs, no nothin’.
I’ll grab a long one, eleven miles on the trails around 4PM in the afternoon.
THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW: I don’t know. Where am I gonna be again?
The consistency lies in the flexibility. I can’t get my skirt blown up by a bump in the road. Bend your knees, adjust for the change, and proceed. No, I don’t always know where we are. No, I can’t always make a plan. No, I don’t often know where I’m gonna run when I jump off the bus.
But I’m out there.