If you’ve ever trained for a big race you know that there are both highs and lows. We’re not talking just mild little fluctuations either. There are HIGHS and there are LOWS. Personally, I have some days where my legs seem to float across the earth effortlessly as if was skimming over water. Then there are other days where my body feels so clunky and heavy that I start to question if previous race finishes were actually done by the same person.
Running is so much of a mental sport in addition to being incredibly physically demanding. It can be easy to forget those highs when we’re in the pits of despair. The trick is to know in your heart that even if you had a crappy run, a string of crappy runs, or even weeks of feeling uninspired about running, the pendulum always swings back the other direction eventually.
That was something I wrote at the peak of one of my marathon cycles. I have some pretty good insight sometimes huh? This is peak week for Lakefront Marathon and these words ring especially true right now. Right now I'm on a high, but good lord there have been some lows in this quest to BQ. The first tempo run I set out on back in July I completely bonked and had to bail. (This was after my mega-bonk at Sunburst Marathon so it was really not what I needed at the beginning of my quest to redeem myself.) Then there's been the humidity the past couple of months. I usually love to race a couple half marathons in my build up to running a full. It's a huge confidence builder for me. However this summer the two races I envisioned running fast at were engulfed in 90+% humidity and there was no way I was putting my body through 13.1 miles of race pace in those conditions. I ended up having decent times considering the circumstances, but I was left disappointed that I wasn't able to challenge myself and gauge my fitness level at a race.
But the pendulum doth swing. When I go back over my training log over the past 3 months one thing is clear. I am consistent. I persevere. Those first couple of weeks starting my new training plan were a little spotty hitting the paces but I've stuck with it. I've run my mid-week long runs, nailed my interval workouts and even done a fast finish 20 miler- something I've never attempted in training before. I've run easy on recovery days and all out on speed days. My mileage has climbed higher and higher and this week will top out at 65 miles. I've done my strength training as well as taken care of myself on rest days. I will not look back at these months and see days where I've slacked, days where I could have done better. That blog post I wrote back then finished with this line:
Sometimes it’s the biggest pain in the butt to reach that peak but man, is the view ever nice from the top.
I am looking forward to that view!