My work schedule has been pretty hectic and so I was unable to post an update last week.
During the past fortnight’s running, I ran a couple of my training runs with a heavy backpack which I was not used to, that was a wake up call! I also ran in some incredibly strong winds on the sea front. My recent 22.25 mile run had 20 mph+ winds which I had to try and wrestle with. I don’t use that term lightly either. On occasions, it threw me from one side of the promenade to the other and running into it was like running on the spot. At times, all I could do was yield to it and not try to keep pace, as the energy expended to do so would have wiped me out. The wind was so hard at times that it blew the sand on the promenade so hard onto my legs that it stung! For that reason, quite a lot of my runs that week were a slower pace than usual.
But so what? The distance was there, the time on legs was there, the effort levels were there, the heart rate was there, just the pace was not there. So my Strava stats do not look cool, but heck, I don’t run to look cool. At least, not until race day when all the training in tough conditions comes together.
The last fortnight, this was my schedule, you can take a look at a couple of the runs over at my Garmin connect account:
Week Eleven (55M):
Tue 8M of 1M jog, 6M (or 50 mins) fartlek, then 1M jog
Wed 7M (58 mins) slow
Thu 10M (approx 75 mins) steady
Sat 5M (42 mins) easy
Sun 20M (approx 2hrs 45) slow
Week Twelve (55M):
Mon 4M (35 mins) easy
Tue 8M of 1M jog and strides, 5 x 1M (or 6 mins) fast with 200m (or 1-min) jog recoveries, then 1M jog
Wed 10M (80 mins) slow
Thu 1M jog, then 4M (28 mins – 7m/mile) brisk, then 1M jog
Sat 5M (42 mins) easy (8m25s/mile)
Sun 22M (3 hrs) slow (8m10s/mile)
For the last nine days of that fortnight I was teaching and so I was running in the morning before class, weekends included. For those 9 days, I ran 85 miles and I also was standing teaching all day every day, something my pages and I are not used to. I found it quite tiring, but did not do any additional cross training as I usually do, and considered it to be replacement cross-training to be stood up all day every day during those days.
When I got back into my office, while catching up, I noticed a post by Gibson’s Daily motivational running quote, which went like this;
“It seems like there’s always been this notion that distance runners are the misfits of the athletic world, since they don’t often participate in more glamorous sports like football or basketball. But distance running is hard work. Cross-country is a brutal sport — and those skinny runners are just as intense and competitive as any 220-pound linebacker. They push themselves beyond boundaries of pain that most other athletes dare not approach, and they do it almost anonymously. We’d just like more people to understand that.”
– Donald Buraglio & Michael Dove, The Running Life: Wisdom and Observations from a Lifetime of Running
I really liked that. But I liked the accompanying graphic even more…..
I LOVE this. I really love it.
It represents my mindset as a multi-marathon runner for the last 17 years. The author seems to know what goes on in the mind of a runner. It is certainly not glamourous to get up and run at 5.30am each morning, to have to finely hone your dietary regimen, to get used to being in pain when you are on your own but you keep marching onwards, to overcome psychological demons that try to get you to stop or to give up, to keep on placing one foot in front of the other when feeling drained as you turn a corner and are faced with a steep hill to run up…..
As with most runners I know who are dedicated and continue to train diligently in the face of ongoing adversity, stopping is not an option, pushing, driving and learning how to get the best out of oneself is a natural and inherent part of being a runner. Having determination is one thing, being disciplined, stubborn, brave are all other things…. But the line I really loved in the graphic was “I look past it.”
This is it for me.
Part of me wants this to be my new running affirmation to repeat to myself when running, but that would defeat what it means to me. It is that we simply do not consider other options. We know where we need to get and we get there. We train, we run, we push, and anything else is not an option. We don’t need to say it to ourselves, because it is what we already do!
I believe that I have had to train myself to learn to be that way. I had to develop that mindset. I am certain some people find it easier to develop than others, but I have had to work at it. This blog and my own ongoing body of work in this field has helped greatly, and will continue to do so as marathon season arrives in the coming weeks and I then make the step up to ultra marathons. The very notion of “I look past it” is something I want to help as many other athletes get to with this hypnosis for running blog.
I’ll be back soon, in the meantime, have a wonderful Easter.