"I'll never catch the front of the pack, but I'll never stop trying. Committing to a level you'll never attain may sound ridiculous, and it is. It's a form of insanity-something also known as life. Everything moves forward or dies. Whether or not you actually move forward is irrelevant. What matters is that you never stop trying."
- Marc Parent in Faster is Better, Jan/Feb 2015 issue of Runner's World
My race and running mojo were lost for a while, which is pretty typical in peak marathon training, but this time those feelings have lingered more than usual. I've had a ton of the why-am-I-doing-this type thoughts and much appreciated reading the quote above.
Between Chicago and Houston, I "rested" a few weeks with low mileage, but then ramped back up fairly quickly with the goal of making another serious dig at my marathon time in Houston in a few weeks. Anytime you marathon train, you're always on a fine line of too much vs. maxing out gains in strength, but I have never felt this close to blowing up before. After some discussions with coach Bill and Dave at the outset of the training cycle, all of this has been by design, but that certainly has not made it any easier.
I didn't expect it to be, and they never promised it would be. The struggle is what makes the outcome so rewarding of course, but it's probably good I did not fully know what I was signing myself up for. I knew the format of the Hansons plan, which I have followed again, but the intensity level has been quite challenging.
Running had become one of the last things I wanted to do, and many mornings I've had to will myself out the door to keep getting in the miles.
That is highly unusual for me.
Anyway, I think things have finally turned a corner after taking a day off last Sunday that was much needed and grabbing a massage (thank you to my buddy Ray at Superior Performance Massage!).
I also needed a perspective change-I'll never run super fast professional-caliber times, but I do find joy in the challenge of running and bettering myself to the extent that I possibly can. So yes, running is not my job, but it's ok to strive for your best.
And right now, that is still enough to keep going.
And finally, I felt just a smidge of life come back into the ol' legs tonight at track, giving me some hope that all of this will not be for nothing on race day. It's easy to forget how good you can feel with even a little rest when your legs are flat from high mileage.
One more tough week this week, then bring on the taper.
So....all that to say, the training end is in sight, and I'm more positive and feeling that competitive drive come back for another hard marathon effort.
At the end of my Houston 2014 recap, I mentioned several things I wanted to improve on for 2015. One of them was to beat Zoltan (jokingly...ok, sort-of), a random runner that happened to show up in one of my race photos. I thought he had a super cool name and serious look that perfectly matched the persona I have in my head for someone by the name of Zoltan.
He beat me by 14 seconds.
|I might have run a little harder if I'd have known I was chasing a guy named Zoltan!!!|
I know you've registered for the race in 2015, Zoltan, and I hope your training has gone well. After a lengthy absence, I feel the race mojo returning, and I know I've trained as hard as I could this year.
Kate vs. Zoltan....Who will win in 2015?