Thursday, November 11, 2010

Three weeks until my trials attempt....

What to write? I feel like I’ve been absent so long from the blog that you’ve all given up on me, wondering if I’ve fallen off the side of the world, or if I’ve merely been hit by a bus. Well, it was neither that took me away, but rather the generic combination of scholarly endeavors and having my hard drive crash. I was so stressed that even my training suffered. But I am back now, and I think better, in so many ways.

Two days ago I did a 16-mile progressive run. It’s a workout that is supposed to go like this: 4-mile warm up (7 minute pace or so), 4 miles 20 seconds slower than marathon pace, 4 miles at marathon pace, 4 miles faster than marathon pace. The first time I tried to do this workout, in September, my head nearly exploded from the stress and worry that I could not, then “run that fast.” Well, reader, I did it. On November 9th, I ran 16 miles in a total time of 1:45. I recall the first months of this training cycle-- back in March, say-- when I could not run 16 miles in less than two hours. I have shattered two hours and my final mile split was an impressive (to me at least) 6:13 mile.

It would be folly to say that I’ve sealed the deal. I’ve learned from my two-year tenure in the sport that 26.2 miles is a long way, and a countless number of factors will either propel or hinder me on race day. Yet, I can’t help but feel a certain glowing pride of accomplishment, a certain confidence even, that I hadn’t expected before. Regardless of how I do on December 5th, I have never been this fit before. I have never worked this hard. I am better than I have ever been. And I know it’s bad dramatics to settle before the climax of the story, but I am happy with that.

Of course, one does always want to be better. (I know I do.) But maybe it’s my age, or the temperature of the air; today I want to acknowledge the effort, my effort. I want to say, regardless of what comes in three weeks, I have put in my miles. I have had setbacks, but I have done my best. And really, that’s all I can ask of myself.

I only have a handful-- a little less-- of workouts left. And a mere 240 miles to run which separates me from the race. I catch my breath at such a little number. Will I be able to run a 2:46 when the time comes? Perhaps yes, perhaps no.

All I know is that I will run faster than 2:54, my PR from 2008. I feel it in my bones. I am better now. Perhaps not yet the best, but better. And for that, I am grateful.

1 comment:

Scarlett Elliewood said...

Wow, that's a very impressive 16 miler! Congratulations and good luck with your upcoming training.