I know we don’t know each other that well, so you’ll have to take my word for it when I say I’m not usually a quitter. I stick with things I start as long as it makes sense to do so. Then again, I’m also smart enough to know when to cut my losses.
That being said, I have a confession to make. I don’t think I’m going to give the training method I’ve started the full two month trail I mentally committed to. It’s not that I don’t think it will work- I actually think it might. It’s not that it’s killing my pride to slow down- true, I’ve had to swallow some pride but I can live with that. It’s just that I miss my old friend running. Right now, running is checking my watch every 15 seconds or so, it’s concentrating hard on the task at hand, it’s moving at a pace that doesn’t set me free.
Ok, so I guess it is about the pace a little, but not about pride. I love running because somewhere out there on my run I push through the stress of the day and I am free. I reclaim my sanity. I come home with a clear headed and worn out legs. I have a fresh perspective and new ideas. I believe it was Doug Lemov who said in his book Practice Perfect that doing rote tasks frees our mind up for creative thinking. Running is one such place for me. I don’t have to think to run, so my mind just goes wanders. I solve problems, make up stories, rehearse presentations, form opinions…. and on a really good day I go beyond all of that and my mind is just clear. Me. The road. Running.
But these days, running is stressful, and I have to focus a lot to stay where I want with my heart rate. I’m not clearing my head. I’m not solving problems. I’m not even wearing myself out, which may sound a little odd, but there is something wonderful about draining myself both mentally and physically. Yesterday I came back from a run grumpy and frustrated. I felt worse for running. This is not ok.
I started this training shift February 26th, so it hasn’t even been two weeks yet. I know new things take time, but I also know that I don’t want to feel the way I did after my last run. And I know how to fix it: Me, the road, running. It’s a simple formula really, and it has worked for me for a long time. That is where I want to be.
I ordered a book on Ultra Marathon running. It should arrive today. I’m hoping to find some wisdom there, or at least justification for me to go out and run how I want to. I’m trying not to to make a snap decision, so arming myself with knowledge seems like a good next step. Then I can determine what adjustments to training are needed for my new goals. I’ll keep you in the loop.