Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Where am I really going?


I think I have lost my training path recently. I usually run track on Tuesday nights though lately my work schedule has interfered with arriving there on time so I havn't made it.

But is that the only reason? I don't really enjoy track and I seem to become plagued with injuries. It seems so easy to rationalize with myself and end up hitting a trail instead. I tend to wait until the time comes to run and then decide what I want to that considered following a training regiment?

I was invited to join the Trail Monsters today for a run at Twinbrooks. I really like running there and decided to show up if I got out of work early enough. Though my running is subpar for their level, I could use the push sometimes and they are great people. I learned so much from them in Saturdays run. (one, it hurts when you fall)

As luck is usually my guide these days, I did not make it to Twinbrooks, so I stopped at Pineland to run the Pathfinders 5k. I set up virtual runner on my garmen and decided to race the dude! At least I have a chance to win as I can set the pace to beat. I was a little excited,this was the first time I have raced the virtual runner (even though I have had this Garmen for a year now)

This is where I feel I have lost site of my training.....I set the garmen then started my Nike plus (the Garmen sometimes losses the signal and records my milage wrong) I set the virtual runner at 9:30 pace and felt it quite doable to run the pathfinders course at 9:20 or so.

I ran across the field down the trail and suddenly took a left! What is up with that? I ran up over the field and headed for the River loop. What happened to my plan? What about the race with virtual guy? This part of the trail has more tree cover so the Garmen would be way off and is much more difficult as far as hills go.

I found myself thinking, do I actaully have a training plan? Or am I just out there running arbitrarily? Is this any way to master my form and run quality races? Then my Nike sensor battery run was falling apart.

At this very moment a runner apeared. It was a woman running toward me. She looked happy and tranquil as she jogged toward me. The smile on her face and the ease of her movement insured me that she was enjoying her venture. It dawned on me at that very moment, isn't that what I really want? To just go out into nature and just run for the total enjoyment of it?

It made so much sense to me. Yeah run where I enjoy it the most, push myself at times to enhance the bodies need to do better, throw in some races for fun and not worry so much about how many miles this week, speed runs, tempo runs, long runs, who needs all that junk? I will just run for fun......yeah run for fun.

Suddenly my body felt just a little lighter. I rounded a curve hit a slight downhill. I was breezing and my form felt perfect. My legs whirling like tuned machines and my breath steady. Boy, this running for fun was .....well... going to be fun.

For at least 50 seconds I had all the answers, it seemed so clear. Then I hit the uphill. I shortened my stride, my legs felt heavy, I couldn't quite suck in enough air to satisfy my brains screams, I checked my watch..Damn my pace is over 10 minute.
That stupid virtual guy was surely grinning from ear to ear as he powers past me.

OK, I have to push a little harder on this hill then kick the legs up to force more turn over on the down. This should quicken the pace a bit. I wish I was in better shape, I wanted to run this hill faster....beat this damn virtual guy....tromp his butt right into the ground.

Wow! what a turn around. From a carefree fun run to an all out race all in 50 seconds. It is funny the things that roll around ones brain when running. I find myself wondering, do other runners experience these random thoughts? Was Ryan Hall second guessing himself when trying to work to the front at the olympics? Did he think about his training, wonder if he did the right things? Wish he was just running for fun? Wished he had trained differently or just longing for the finish line?

I can't believe how tired I felt during the last two miles. Could it be that I ran so hard Saturday? Or perhaps am not getting enough rest? but anyway it was tiring and the pace was not that fast. The virtual guy ended up killing me as I ran 5.5 miles @ 9:52 pace. Normally I respect a guy that beats me because he surely worked hard to be in that shape but this guy well this is different. He didn't work at all. No training, no running when your legs refused to move, no gasping for air.

Next time I am going to set his time much slower then I can wear a huge smile as I pass him. I will be the winner and be sitting there resting as he crosses the finish line.

I noticed in Jamie's blog that he remembered my slip of the toungue when I blerted out my thought of running the 50K next that it is in print, I better start thinking about my training. I will have to create a graph and figure my miles. How many base miles, what kind of speed work, where my weight should be. I want to be as prepared as possible........did I say training? I guess I did .... and I said I wasn't going to do that anymore.

Why do I do this to myself? I have asked that question so many times, especially during a race. But you know what? I have never asked that question as I cross the finish line. Why is that? I tell you why, because, if you don't ask yourself that question at some point in the race, you are not pushing hard enough and when you cross that finish line, that is the payback, that is the fun part of the race, that is when all your training pays off......just the fact that you are finishing proves that you worked hard enough to deserve to be there.

Well after catching my breath I ran a 1 mile cooldown @9:33 pace ...and actually felt pretty good.

1 comment:

sn0m8n said...

Ah, the old "Why?" question. I wish I had the answer. I can only empathize because I know just how you feel. I ask myself the same question all the time. I just don't think I've ever really written it down/typed it out.