Remember this quote?
“I ran and ran every day, and I acquired this sense of determination, a sense of spirit that I would never, never give up, no matter what else happened. The triumph cannot be had without the struggle.” -Wilma Rudolph
As predicted, this quote is definitely relevant. I ran 35 miles last week, and my lazy blob body struggled through a lot of them. I hit the track Tuesday evening for my first speed session, and it was evident by my excessive huffing and puffing that I’ve lost fitness in the last six weeks. But that’s OK. It is what it is, and as my dad and yoga teacher told me, I am exactly where I should be. I just need to work harder to make up for the last six weeks of laziness and pop chip binging.
Even though my body feels like crap and I have a hard road ahead of me, I’m so grateful to be back in training and out of the recovery phase. Training is about looking forward and working toward your next goal, and recovery is about looking back and reflecting. I’m sick of reflecting; I want to move. I want that dang sub 4.
As inspiration, I started re-reading Running on Empty. Marshall Ulrich is a badass ultra marathoner who ran across the United States and is totally humble about his accomplishments. I really enjoyed reading this book the first time, and I’m enjoying it even more the second time. In the beginning, Marshall shares “Marshall Law,” or the “Ten Commandments of Endurance:”
1. Expect a journey and a battle.
2. Focus on the present and set intermediate goals.
3. Don’t dwell on the negative.
4. Transcend the physical.
5. Accept your fate.
6. Have confidence that you will succeed.
7. Know that there will be an end.
8. Suffering is okay.
9. Be kind to yourself.
10. Quitting is not an option.
These all hit home because they are so true and reiterate what I learned in my last training cycle — that it’s supposed to be hard. Suffering is to be expected when you’re pushing yourself to the limit, but there is an end (a glorious finish line with big balloons and cheering spectators).
I was originally worried that I would get burnt out and unmotivated this training cycle like I did last summer while training for Portland, but I’m not worried anymore. Even though this week was physically tough, I’m excited to be training and to see where this cycle takes me (hopefully to a new PR!). I feel rejuvenated and ready to do what it takes to get my first sub 4.
I woke up early Wednesday morning for an easy recovery run before work. The sun was shining but the air was cool and crisp, and all I could think about was how this was exactly what I was supposed to be doing. I wasn’t supposed to be in bed sleeping or at a yoga class — slogging through four slow recovery miles on heavy legs was exactly where I was supposed to be.
Monday: 1 hour yoga
Tuesday: 7 mile speed session. 2 mile warm up and 8×400 (7:21, 7:14, 7:20, 7:19, 7:29, 7:26, 7:20, 7:28) and 1 x 800 (7:44) and 1.75 mile cooldown.
Wednesday: 4 miles easy recovery – 41:30
Thursday: General aerobic run – 6 miles (58:55). Worst run of the week – my legs felt like lead.
Friday: 1 hour yoga
Saturday: 13 miles – 2:10:39. I was supposed to run 13 miles with 8 at marathon pace, which was a nice idea, but I knew from the beginning that wasn’t gonna happen. C’est la vie.
Sunday: 5 miles easy recovery – 49:57.
Total: 35 miles