I have come a long way in my running but not just physically. I have grown and matured through my running journey. Running has changed my mind and attitude right along with my body. I recently had a very special email conversation with my coach regarding how things are going for me lately. As you all know I have been having a hard time lately. To be honest with you all, I am completely amazed at the fact that I have stuck with running at all let alone actually completing the final months of 100 miler training. It is intensive for me to do this running as I work about 70 hours a week, have my own personal problems, and other stuff that regular people do. But to my astonishment I have kept at this. But it has not been easy I tell you. It has not been easy at all. Here is what I wrote today about my running because I could not finish my 10 mile goal paced run today.
that first three miles TOTALLY WIPED ME OUT. I am not joking either. It just wasted me and it was very difficult to do it and then to keep going even for the next three miles. Got little over 6 miles in for the day.
My thinking on this conjured up a couple of things. Of course, the PR of 55 miles in like 22 hours last weekend has its residual effects. I am sure that that had something to do with how I felt today but I don’t think that it is the main factor. My legs and body can take it no problem. That is what my body tells me anyway. Here is what I really think is going on.
I am really on the edge of what I can do right now. I know beyond any doubt that given different circumstances I could do more but I don’t have different circumstances. I have my life the way it is right now and I am me, just the way I am right now. I am EXTREMELY proud of what I am accomplishing through all of this. At times, to be totally honest, I don’t even know how I am still pushing on with running like this. I feel most people would have just settled for barely maintaining SOME running, let a lone pulling off distance PR’s every other week and such. HAHAHAHA. I don’t sleep enough right now and this is a huge factor in all of this. I am exhausted much of the time but I just can’t do it. Sometimes I can’t because I am talking WAY to late. Sometimes I just can’t because I am mad or I am sad or whatever you know. I am not ashamed, this is just how it is right now and it won’t be that way forever. So all of this said, we are doing a fantastic job taking me right to the edge of what I can do at this real and authentic point in my life. What I can survive in this last month of training for the 100. If it were another time, I would be able to finish every run just as planned but it is not another time. The speedier work just totally kills me. For some reason, the long runs are so much more manageable because I have one goal of finishing the distance, but the speed works my mind over because I have to maintain another goal during the run. I have exhibited vast amounts of persistance in my training, great endurance, great commitment, but I am pretty sure we have taken me to my limit for where I am at right now. I don’t so much mean what my body can do but just what I as a person can do at this time in my life if that makes any sense. This is a most glorious thing. It is what it is. I need to be at my limit for such a race. We are not injuring me. We are not making me overtrain into collapse and despair. I have never really had problems with finishing workouts as intended but at this time I realize that I am doing ALL I CAN DO. It really amazes me.
I thank you so much for bringing me to the edge. I think of it as the “red line” that you have talked about with world record marathon attempts. I am hovering just under that “red line”. I feel like this whole experience IS A PR for me. I different type of PR, but a real one nonetheless. Like you said before, I am ready for the 100 miler. Ready as I ever will be for this time. I will run that race with all I have. Maybe I am just realizing I only have all that I have. And if I don’t have it I can’t give it more. HAHAHAHA. This is true.
Please let me know if all of this is just bullshit and a cop-out. I don’t think it is though. It is the way I perceive what is going on but you are on the outside so you have a great perspective for me to hear. It might not all be perfect but I know I have vast amounts of ability to keep on keeping on my friend.
So those couple of paragraphs were right from my heart. I am on the edge. I am training right at this point where I know that I can’t do anymore. But I am thriving at the same time. I am glowing with accomplishment that I am sticking with this goal. I have stuck this out for basically two years. That is a long ass time to prepare for something. It is not the same like the years of preparation from college or things like that. I have trained for two years for an event that will be over in one day. That is it. No more. But like I said, I think that the true victory is going through this process in general. I took one step and one run at a time until I reached this point. Sure I have had many curve balls thrown into the mix but I stuck with it. Here are the wonderful words that my coach told me. He always has the best thing to say.
I have some ways I have to tell you… you have made a major breakthrough in running. But the breakthrough is not what you think. It is the fact that you are comfortable having “done all you can do” and come race day you will “do the best you can”. Too many runners are all or nothing… do or die… finish or else… PR or else. You have learned that the process IS IN FACT a PR for you. Huge breakthrough. And it ultimately reduces stress for race day.
You’re right, mentally and physically you have done and are doing all you can. No worries. The hardest stuff is done. Stay focused now on race day… relaxing and enjoying the process of the race itself.. and how it unfolds… with all its uncertainties….
This was such a wonderful thing to hear at this time in my life. Thanks for listening.