Wrestling

Our ambition propels us forward.

Runners set goals obsessively as we put in our daily 8-10 mile maintenance runs. Then come our scheduled track and tempo sessions–5 miles at [fill in pace here]–enroute to our weekend long run–21 miles at [pace/effort].

Confident.Determined. We strive for the golden moments when our best performances will be forever engraved within the world’s running archives.

Mutual support is crucial, yet when push comes to shove, we are on our own. In the trenches during the 25th mile of a marathon, it is entirely up to YOU.

We live a paradox–united yet entirely individualistic, as well.

Mathematics drive our daily lives.

Like Maximilian Cohen, we attempt to find peaceable order within an often violent, disunited world. We seek “faith in chaos.”

We refuse to allow some bad days, as we all have from time to time, to define us.

We overcome.

And yet, after so much training…so much work–consecutive 80 mile weeks punctuated with 30k and 10k races one week apart, plus stretching routines, gym workouts, and the necessity of getting proper sleep and nutrition,  all within the confines of a full-time job’s work week–we can find ourselves

Nowhere.

As our marathon race day approaches our base building runs and fun with running partners and teammates has faded. Suddenly it seems like an executioner’s guillotine awaits.  My own time of reckoning is in 27.5 days.

Happily, I completed a killer workout during the Scotland Run 10k race this morning in Central Park. 16 seconds slower than at the same race 363 days ago, I was fairly content. Knowing I put in the hard effort and coming exactly one week to the hour of my 30k race in Queens, I had much accumulated fatigue. I excitedly told my teammates after the race how “last year I didn’t have a 30k the week before the race.”

I was eager to get home and compare my running log from this time last year with this year. Surely, I’ve done a heck of a lot more in this past week or two.

I looked at late- March, early-April 2015: 80 miles for the week leading into Scotland Run. 9 miles the day before the race last year (I did 4 on the road yesterday evening, 2 more on the bike). No 30k race the week before last year. But I did a marathon simulation workout 6 days before–15 miles at a pace a bit faster than I ran my 30k in last weekend.

At the 2015 Boston Marathon I ran a 2:49. Thing is, I am committed to running a new PR of 2:45 in Kentucky in 27.5 days.

I feel the noose tightening.

Okay, 2015: 80 miles week before Scotland.

2016: Same

2015: 63 miles two weeks before Scotland

2016: 80 miles two weeks before Scotland

So, a bit of difference there. Of course, in 2015 three weeks pre-Scotland was a 92 mile week which is more than I’ve hit at any time this year.

The blade glistens.

Thankfully, I am running. God Willing, I will stay healthy and continue my solid training regimen. Regrettably, my Clumsy Runner Blog friend  is having to sit out for a while. But I’ve been there, too (a stress fracture took me out of my high school junior year track season).

Our time approaches. Spring marathon races await. The archives beckon.

Wrestling demons, we can doubt ourselves, nitpicking over race results and workouts from days past. Or we can do what runners do: Rise Above and face the new day with confidence, drive and resolve.

Seems to me–via my good friend Andy Dufresne– we have two main options:

“Get busy living”

OR

“Get busy dying”

 

“Sudden Life,” by Rise Against

 

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