At the start of 2014, I made a bet with a friend about how many miles I would run in the next 365 days. Every Sunday I have sent an email with how many miles I ran that week. I also tallied the previous weeks, and knew how many miles I had traveled so far in 2014, and how many miles I had left to reach my goal.
Yesterday I eclipsed the 1,000 mark, leaving me with 200 miles left. As long as I stay healthy, I should have no problem reaching my goal of 1,200. In fact, I could do it in the next month. As I ran past the 1,000 mile mark, I felt a sense of accomplishment. Last night, I took a few moments to reflect on all the miles and felt proud of what I had accomplished. Today, it was as if I was back at mile number one, and I truly enjoyed that feeling. I took a few moments to celebrate, then got right back to work and wanted to chip away at the remaining miles.
The next 200 miles will take me to the starting line of my next marathon, which I have been working extremely hard for, and am hopeful to put up a PR. That, will be the ultimate celebration.
The next marathon is still 65 days away, but my mind and heart have been focused on the next one for quite some time. With the race about nine weeks away, I have landed on two terms that will serve as my mantra. In the past, I have found that speaking out about mantras adds a lot of accountability. If I keep them to myself, nobody can refer back to them, nor can anyone challenge me (in a positive way) to continue to put forth the effort that is required. Posting about the mantras is an invitation for others to join in on the journey of the training, and to offer the accountability that is necessary to train. Therefore, the two phrases I have come up with for the race in Erie are; El Decima and All In.
Truthfully, I stole this from the media. (Brownie points to anyone who can figure out where the term was used most recently) The translation is essentially, “number ten.” This is going to be my tenth marathon, and therefore after hearing El Decima used in the media, I thought it would also be fitting for this race. On a deeper level, the context in which I heard the term came from a team striving to do something that was unprecedented and extremely difficult to accomplish. It has served as a good reminder that I am working toward something that is not extremely easy. Some runs are hard (as mentioned in a previous post) Some runs are marked by heat, humidity and hills – a painful and tough combination. Sometimes I am extremely hard on myself when it comes to my running – yet a wave of refreshment comes when I sit back and remember that I will not cross the finish line tomorrow, it will take a lot of work and dedication.
Of all the marathons I have trained for, none of my training regimens has been as intense and difficult as this one. In previous training regimens I would peak at 50 miles per week twice. In the roughly six weeks I have been training, I have eclipsed 50 miles per week four times. I have chosen one day a week where I run in the morning and focus on speed work, usually 800m hill repeats. Then, in the afternoon, I will go out again and get a longer (and slower) run in. My delightful double-days. While working at camps this summer, I have been getting up around 5.45am in order to get my miles in before the day of camp begins. I mention none of that in an attempt to boast. Rather, it is evidence to display the motivation I have to make this my fastest marathon yet.
El Decima is only 65 days away, and I’m going all in.
As I have been doing on the first of every month, below is an update of my progress on the goals listed above:
1.Books: I have sold a total of 69 books, leaving 56 to go!
2.Shirts: 10 sold.
3. Miles: I have run a total of 873, leaving me with 327 to go before reaching my goal. I’m feeling really good about this one, as I continue to train for my next marathon (September)
4. I have run two marathons so far in 2014, at least two more (most likely three)
5. In those two marathons I ran a 3:16 and a 3:22 (rounded times) for an average of 3:19, one minute faster than my goal!
It’s not uncharacteristic to hear about a professional baseball player who is going through a ‘hitting slump’ where they simply cannot seem to make contact with the ball like normal. Or, perhaps it is a basketball player going through a ‘shooting slump’ who cannot find his normal shooting touch. At the moment, I feel as though I am in the middle of a ‘running slump.’ The miles I have been putting on are normal distances, and relatively normal terrain. However, I have been having far greater difficulty than I would prefer with most of my runs. A certain split that I would deem easy and ‘normal’ has recently been difficult and left me out of breath. After what should be a normal and easy run leaves me tired – there is a growing impatience and frustration. Fearing I might be losing some of the fitness I have worked so hard to achieve, I quickly began replaying everything I have done, everywhere I have gone, everything I have eaten, hoping something would provide justification for my running slump.
Today, I felt as though I had that “a ha” moment: In the past three weeks I have been on seven planes, I have slept in 8 different places, driven over 1,000 miles, and have gone for runs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean as well as the Pacific Ocean. During that time runs were consistent, yet sporadic. One day it was early in the morning because I had to fly later in the day. The next day it was a mid-afternoon run because jetlag had done a number on my sleep patterns.
When the baseball player goes through a hitting slump he is told to keep swinging, and the basketball player is told to keep shooting. Eventually things will start clicking again. Therefore, the times may not be where I want them to be, and the trail may not be as easy-going as it normally is, but I will keep lacing up the shoes and put in the miles. Only 79 more days until #10!