I know, right? Our hero has a tragic flaw.
Just kidding (about the flaw, not about being a hero). To be clear, with rare exception I complete each of the workouts I'm assigned. Each week, I have one long run, 1-2 days of speed work, and 2-3 easy runs, and each week, that's what I do (I also spin once a week, and catch up on my DVR once a week). In addition, I run these workouts as they're prescribed: if I'm meant to run 20 miles, I don't say "actually, 10 is enough of a long run this week," and much as I absolutely hate that TrainingPeaks has declared my tempo pace to be 7:00/mile, I don't decide "8:30/mile sounds like tempo to me."
(I do the workouts so I can eat the hotdogs and drink the beers, FYI)
What I seldom do, though, is run any of these workouts in the order they're assigned, nor on the proper day. I understand they're assigned in this order on these days for a reason: your long run comes at the end of the week so you get used to running on tired legs, and since 9 times out of 10, your marathon is on a Sunday, that's when your long run is scheduled (mine's actually not. Suck it, TrainingPeaks!). But as I mentioned in my post about training and work travel, sometimes things like "obligations for which I am paid and can therefore continue to live in my tiny apartment with my cat friend" and "obligations for which I am not paid but would so much rather do on a Saturday evening than go to bed at 8:00pm to prepare for a run" crop up and I must work around them.
Thanks to trial and error over the last 6 years, I've mostly figured out what works. For example, if I know I have a work dinner that will keep me out until 11pm one night, I won't head to the track for speed work the next morning, unless I'm in the mood to feel extremely sorry for myself. If I'm going to a wedding with 300 of my closest friends (you think I can drink...), I'm not going to commit to 22 miles the next day.
The past few days have been a test of this schedule shuffle. I was traveling for work on Saturday, and while I wasn't leaving until the afternoon, the prospect of driving 3 hours to the Hamptons with 20 miles on my legs wasn't very appealing. So I opted to knock out 10 miles at GMP Saturday morning before I left. Of course, this meant I had to get through 20 miles on Sunday, after having stayed out until 1:00am, but the combination of cooler weather and being the designated driver meant I could both sleep in a bit and not be a wretched, hungover, sad panda when I woke up. While 20 miles a day after a speed workout wasn't ideal, both workouts got done.
This week got trickier. With a Saturday wedding, I knew I didn't want to run long either day this weekend, since I'd rather catch up with my friends on the dance floor until 2am than.... Do anything else, ever. So I slotted this week's 22 miles for Friday morning, when I'm taking the day off. That left me with two easy 6 milers, an easy 10 miler, Yasso 800s, and a day of spinning. And a work dinner Monday night. And a very early meeting Wednesday. Are you following all of this?
Monday, I spun in the morning. Tuesday, I ran 800s in the evening. By the time I set out for 6 easy miles this evening, I was wondering why in the hell I was so sore. Until I realized that all this schedule shuffling had resulted in a long run, two days of speed, and a hard spin in 4 days. There is a reason no one pays me $29.95 to write training plans.
Sometime between now and Sunday, I'll figure out how to slot those last three workouts in with the requisite dance floor antics, late night room service, and champagne hangovers. Wish me luck.