Goal overload

Back in March, I made a list of post-ACL-reconstruction goals to give my recovery and training some structure and purpose. At the time, I totally congratulated myself for creating such a well-rounded list—gone are the days of setting my sights on a single marathon, then literally running myself into the ground to achieve it! My training goals now include milestones in running, swimming, lifting, skiing, and just embracing the boring parts of post-surgery recovery.

And I’ve been knocking lots of those varied goals, which I believe all complement each other, out of the park. I’ve gotten strong enough to cut my physical-therapy appointments to once a week, working out on my own the other days. I’ve started to work on agility training at those appointments, to get my legs and brain ready to hammer the bumps on some ski slope next year. I do leg-press reps at 320 pounds. I’ve been swimming twice a week, often three times. And I’ve staged a sensible running comeback, and am even to the point where I can run non-stop for about 30 minutes.

I had hoped the Silver Spring Earth Day 5K on Saturday would be my “comeback” race, and I feel certain I could cross the finish line with some combination of run-walking. But the race kind of crept up on me. While I’ve come a long way since my first run back  in mid-March, I’m still jogging and run-walking more so than running. This has made me realize something important: There aren’t enough days in the week to accomplish everything I want to, training-wise (we won’t even get into otherwise).

In a perfect world, I’d be swimming three days a week (one of those being a long swim), running three days a week, and doing my whole, two-hour physical therapy workout three days a week. I’d rest one day. Math isn’t my strong suit, but that simply doesn’t add up to the right amount of days, and there are only so many “daily doubles” your body can take per week without getting really wiped out.

I haven’t decided how and where I’ll scale back. My training for the 4.4-mile Great Chesapeake Bay Bridge Swim is pretty bare-bones already, so I really shouldn’t cut back there. And I’m certainly not going to compromise my continued recovery from ACL reconstruction surgery. And I recently signed up for the Bolder Boulder 10K, an iconic Colorado race I never got a chance to run as a University of Colorado student, over Memorial Day weekend. On one hand, I’m incredibly grateful for a life that’s so packed with fun, active stuff. On the other hand: Gaaaah!

I guess what I’m saying is, I don’t know what’s going to give. I know something’s got to. But for now, I’m going with the “let’s just plow ahead and see what naturally drops out” mode.

How do you juggle multiple events in different disciplines, or prioritize your training goals? Let me know by commenting below. Any words of wisdom on the topic would be much appreciated.


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3 responses to “Goal overload

  1. This is something I have a tough time with, but I think I’ve gotten better about it because I am signing up for less things at once. So when one event is done, I’ve got plenty of time to see what I need for the next. Of course, this doesn’t help you now….. 🙂 I think it’s just a matter of deciding which goals are “A” goals and which goals are less important. I decided in January that my 13.1 was an “A” goal and my 70.3 was just a baseline race (which I am cursing myself for now as I try to cram in cycling fitness), but keeping that in mind helped me focus on what I needed for my A race.

    Either way, I hope to see you on Saturday – we can be grannies at the back! 🙂

  2. Once you prioritize what’s most important to you, it’ll fall into place. Maybe Bay Bridge Swim is your #1 priority with ACL recovery probably just a hair behind (because it’s healing and getting stronger everyday anyway). Running is obviously a distant third. So do a run or two every week and eventually you’ll get to the point where you WANT to run more – soon, the Big Swim will be over and you’ll fill in that training time with running. No sweat! 🙂

  3. It sounds so EASY when you guys say it! Thanks for the support—and the perspective. 🙂

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