Miss Perfection (mis-perfection?)
Just before last Christmas I made up my mind I’d train for a full marathon and commit to logging my training, eating, hydration and sleep, and post it every week, along with a regular blog post every week. The idea was that making my log public would help keep me accountable. I posted my first week’s log during Christmas break and it felt very motivating!
Then the break was over and I was back to a demanding job, studying (mostly statistical techniques, so also demanding!), ensuring I spend time with family and friends, and the usual housework. Fitting in training, staying on top of nutrition, publishing my log and blogging became really hard and fell to the bottom of my priorities. Then I started to feel guilty about not keeping my public commitment. My inconsistency with training and therefore lack of improvement with MAF tests led to training feeling like a chore rather than fun: alarm bells!!
It took a little time, but I had a bit of an awakening: maybe I’m trying to do too much.
You know the saying: “Jack of all trades, master of none”? That’s where I was.
As I was reflecting on my current state of affairs and not seeing the results I wanted with MAF, I recalled one of my early blog posts about how I would start with MAF training if I had my time again. It starts out focussing on nutrition for a few months, then when that’s in hand moving onto training. Why wasn’t I following that?
It actually fits well with the other priorities in my life right now. I have a few months where I need to focus on study and I have a trips for work. I can’t change the number of hours in a day, so I’m happy to trade my training time for study time or sleeping right now. It also gives me a little more time to plan ahead with nutrition so I make better choices under stress.
When the study is over and nutrition is in hand, I can think about training again. In the meantime, any exercise I do is just for fun, without the self-imposed pressure of training.
Coming to that realisation and a revised approach felt like a relief. There’s still that little voice saying that I’m copping out and I should be able to do it all, but that little voice (Miss Perfection) has not served me well. If I want different results I need to do things differently. In this case it means doing less, so I can do those fewer things better.
Now back to studying – the sooner I finish that the more time I’ll have for running!