“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Henry David Thoreau
As my ‘true’ run season is coming to an end [and tri season starts ramping up]. I’ve come to realize how fast the last 5 months have gone by. The tempo workouts, the pickup workouts, the stead state runs, and the spicy long runs -all have come and gone and here I am 10 days out from my ‘A’ or end of season race – Rock n Roll Arizona 13.1 (& my best friend!)
Since I’ve left you last, I’ve had about the hardest training weeks this season. They were tough, they tested me, tested my courage, my faith, my confidence and my sanity. Holidays can by hard for all of us, but I feel they can be especially for athletes. It’s hard to fit everything we want (family, friends, relaxing, cuddling with puppies) in such a short period of time, especially when its the crucial time in the training cycle. So here’s my self pity moment. I spent some of the hardest days while on holiday with my family. It sucked- at my parents I have no where to run but on the roads (Thanks Upstate CNY). Most of the time I’m totally pumped about that.. typically I feel like a total bada**. However this week, I had two of my hardest running workouts of the season and the roads were terrible. My first workout was probably the best workout of the season which may asks how was the week that bad? We’ll my quads were so sore they stayed sore for the entire week and then throughout the week I had slippery snowy streets for every run. At points I felt good about it, conquering the diverse conditions, getting the work in but finally as the end of the week neared it finally all got to me and I broke down in the middle of the workout (yep. even in the middle of the road). I couldn’t get any sort of traction (yes-even with yak trax) and couldn’t get the paces I needed. My legs were shot from slipping the entire week in the snow. I just wanted to stop and throw in the towel then and there.
Once I got talked back off the ledge, I started being more positive again. Then flew to Chicago for New Years. Again- TERRIBLE week of training. It was -3 the first run, I remember my ears being numb under my hat because my earrings. Then my treadmill workout on NYE went HORRIBLY WRONG. I got lightheaded, felt terrible, dead legs, couldn’t move, and had to pull the plug (breakdown #2). Day 3 was fun, the snowstorm in Chicago made everyone stay inside so on New Year’s Day, I got to run all around downtown Chicago in the middle of the streets. I saw all the fun Artwork and the “Bean,” it was awesome. However, the next day I was headed towards breakdown #3 and that’s when I brought up how terrible I was feeling to my coach. I was promised I was going to start feeling better in the middle of the next week. So I kept trucking along, running on the slow, snowy, slippery, cold hard streets of Chicago (hehe, get it?).
Finally I made it back to Ithaca, when I realized I only had TWO, count them TWO long runs left before the race. I was so excited to get back to running at home. I struggled however though, I was so tired still and not up to par. Plus, I never thought I’d be SORE from a semi-hilly long run, but that’s what I get for leaving for 10 days. This Monday, I finally started to feel a little better, but Mother Nature won again. Started with blue skies and sunshine (RARE for Ithaca in winter) but quickly turned to getting pelted with hail (it really hurts if it gets your ears!). In the end I was happy with that run. Today is Wednesday and TODAY I finally felt like I had ‘pep’ in my step! WOOT WOOT!
Through this ‘hard’ time, I couldn’t help but feel semi depressed, but not because I felt like crap everyday and auto pilot was engaged: out the door, one foot in front of the other.. It was because, I have set the last 5 months all around running this race and here it is, 10 days away. It’s almost sad. The goal is near. Do others feel this way? It’s the first time I’ve encountered this low before a race.. It’s not like I have HUGE goals.
Speaking of goals here they are:
1) SMILE: without smiling I’m not really relaxed
2) HAVE FUN: well that speaks for itself. If you’re not having fun why do it?
3) ONE STEP AT A TIME: again speaks for itself
4) Break 1:25.. I haven’t focused on time, a lot of my workouts have been effort based, but all have been relatively fast. Hence why time is #4. If the other 3 are going well then the time will come 🙂
On the other hand, the low won’t last long because then I start training for my first Ironman, IM Lake Placid. Sorry for the rant, but with all highs come lows and the lows and hard times in training often make the good days and highs worth while.
How do you cope with the low associated with a end of season race?