Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Let go

I am learning to let go a little, and countering everything bundled up in my type A personality. I had two weeks of light training - self-imposed. The first week my knee was bothering me, so I mainly cross trained (and then did the rust buster). Two days after, a few hours after a run, I got slammed with a bad cold and took the rest of the week off. I didn't exercise from Wednesday through Sunday - very unusual for me. Part of me wanted to jump out of my skin. The other part was too tired to move and just took it for what it's worth.
In the meanwhile, I have shifted some of my energy to just being single-minded and focused on revising my dissertation proposal. So, it is possible that I may not have the speediest running season this spring, but if I get my proposal passed, it will all be worth it.
However, a couple of weeks ago, I did return to the track for the first time in 3 months. It was a short workout, and the speed part only totaled 5k. However, I was able to get my legs moving. And I do love getting on the track and working my way through a workout. And then I had a full consistent week of running. 48 miles total for the week. That included a half marathon (informal) run on Sunday, and a tempo run on Saturday.
I am cautiously optimistic. I had the best week of running last week of 2013. I am getting stronger and figuring out how to regroup after a bumpy few weeks. Last week was tenacious Tuesday (what's used to call my track workouts). While it was pouring rain and windy, I was still ready to go. However, by the time I was done with the warmup, there was a lacrosse game going on the turf, spilling onto the track. So I did something I haven't done since January 2010: speed work on the treadmill. This workout is challenging to begin with(since it is all about changing gears), and the treadmill does not stimulate excitement for me. But, it did allow me to be very consistent with pace. In the end, I was right on target. 2.5 mile warmup, 2 x 1.5 mile with half mile jog in between and 2 x 800. The 1.5 mile is broken up into 3 continuous 800s, changing pace with each one. The first 1.5: 3:20, 3:11, 3:20. The second: 3:11, 3:20, 3:10. Then the 2 separate 800s were 3:07 and 3:05. Pretty good considering I haven't done a ton of speed work lately. I am going to do an 8k on the 10th, and now I'm starting to feel like I can actually make a good race out of it.
Last week on the tempo run, under my Boston jacket was my Olympic shirt (which I bought this summer). In a way, both provide motivation. It took a lot of hard work to get to Boston. And it took Olympians a lifetime to get to London. Surely I can get out in the dreary weather and put out a good effort, even in less than ideal conditions. No cutting things short, no cutting corners.
I am becoming consistent again, feeling strong again, and returning to that hunger for excellence.
I had written most of this on Wednesday morning, and it briefly seemed as if I spoke too soon. I fell down walking to class, and banged up my knees really hard. Really?! I had just gotten on track again, did I really just blow it? No. I took Thursday off, and did easy cross training on Friday, and by Saturday, everything was back to normal. Thank freaking goodness. I got in another hilly self-created half marathon on Saturday. Then on Sunday, 3 x 2 x 1 mile run. This is a other cool variation on a tempo run. It breaks things up a bit. 3 miles at 7:13 pace, then half a mile easy, then 2 miles at 6:53, then half a mile easy, and then 1 mile in 6:34. It felt great to get in good turnover. Yes, it got hard in the end, but that's the point. With the warm up and cooldown, it totaled 12 miles, bringing the weekend's total to nearly a marathon. I have to say, I've focused on the shorter distance stuff for so long, it's been nearly 2 years since I've done a 20 miler. My how things change.
And really, I need to let go when everything doesn't go according to plan. Some days or weeks or months do not exactly fit what we expected. But that's how life goes, and the more I can let go and roll with it, the better off I'll be in the long run, literally. Last fall I had a few weeks when I was inconsistent, and eventually, things returned to normal and I had some of the best races of my life. I'm not saying that that will happen again, but you never know.
And sometimes, not knowing is half of the fun.

1 comment:

  1. love your blog and want to personally invite you to Join the DC Metro Area Running Bloggers.
    http://www.meetup.com/DC-Metro-Area-Running-Bloggers/ …