Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hardest one yet

Why are some workouts harder than others? Quality workouts are supposed to be hard, but some are harder than others. Is it the stress, the time of day, what you ate last night? All of the above, maybe?

I just finished a workout that I've done on Wednesdays for the last 3 weeks. I've never had to dig so deep to finish it. But, I'm not sure I've felt this good after, either. Maybe it's the pint of Stella that I felt I deserved.

What's going on in that body of ours? Why am I chasing that pipe dream, that PR that I will then try to surpass again? This only can last so long. If you ask me right now, I believe that I feel the need to commit to something with my whole being. Because running is so basic, that both my body and my mind can embrace the pain that comes with some of the training and most of the racing.

While I was nursing my beer at the club, I pulled my Garmin and looked at my last race, an 8 km race. I looked at each lap. I remembered clearly how I felt, how the first two km just flew by, with a barely noticeable uphill, then a very light downhill all the way to the lake to about 5.5 km. I passed the 5k marker faster than my previous 5k PR. Km 7 was hard, and the first half of km 8 was even harder. And I had a friggin' stich to the right side. Never happened to me before. Then I could almost see the end but not quite because it was just around a corner, to the left. Maybe 100 m from the corner. I picked up the pace a bit, although I didn't think I could. The last 100m was just a sprint that used energy I pulled out of thin air. I recorded my race for my podcast and on the audio recording, you can hear the pain at the finish. Best race yet.

I can't even imagine running faster than that. But I know I will. Because I now know a truth about myself: I'm a wuss. I trained when I was in my twenties and I always pulled back when I felt any kind of strain. I never actually committed to my running. I was a slow runner, that's how I was born and that's how it was going to be. My 10k PR is 49:59, which I ran when I was 25. I now run faster than that on training runs. I now know for a fact that I was a better runner than I thought.

But all this doesn't really matter. It's the past. I had a blast anyway. Today though, I'm committed. I realize I'm not a gifted runner. But, I intend to realize as much of my potential as possible within my life's constraints. I cannot abandon my job and my family to dedicate myself to running. I can still do a lot though.

1 comment:

Jodi said...

Heck yeah! I love this post. I love the fact though, that as a runner, you wake up knowing that you're doing a run that day, no questions, kinda like you know you will also brush your teeth.

As long as you're happy with your running and your times JD, that's all the rest of us care about.