I have 3 more weeks until I start training for Baystate Marathon. I have a couple of "secrete races" planned, but otherwise I am working on getting up to and maintaining a good running base (30 miles/week), keeping an overall moderate pace (no speed intervals), getting my body used to 4 runs a week, bricks (bike+ runs), and continuing riding and swimming. I am loving long workouts and when I can double up, I feel the best. Here is how my workouts go most days:
Mondays: 8 mile run, some strengths and abs and weights
Tuesdays: swim (1-1.5 miles) and bike (45 min indoors or 15 miles outdoors).
Wednesday: 6 mile run, some strengths and abs and weights.
Thursday: 15 miles bike ride followed by 3-4 mile run. OR 30 miles ride.
Saturday: long run (at least 10) and swim (1 mile)
Sunday: swim (1.5 miles) and bike (15 miles).
I am one of those people who enjoys training more than racing.
Training is my daily me time. I get to be with myself and sort through my thoughts, or listen to some pretty awesome podcast, or music, or gab away with my running pals. Once in a while I get a day where my stride, or stroke, or pedaling feel fluid and ease, my mind and body one, and time stops and everything seems just perfect as is. Peaceful.
Racing is more difficult. I get worked-up about races. I set high standards and want to PR every time. I can't stand the thought of something going wrong during race day (so far I have been so lucky). Although I think I am mentally tough and able to push through at the end of races, I don't enjoy that. In sum, you can say that I don't like to race but I love to be able to say "I have raced" . At the same time, there is something magical about the last 6 miles of the marathon, the last 3 miles of a half marathon, and perhaps the last mile of a speedy 5K. I hate the moments when I am working on convincing my mind that I am doing fine (and my body is screaming), that I have less to go than I actually have, and that the pain/nausea/etc is really not that bad, manageable, mild. In fact, one of my mantras is "Can you stand more pain?" Yet after every race I think of things I can do better next time, so that I can go faster, so that I can trick the mind even more so that it can allow my body to move quicker. It's a never ending game that I love and hate to be part of.
I feel that every race teaches me something about myself. Like the fact that I get race anxiety one week in advance but am calm as a clam the day before and during the race. Or that I visualize racing over and over in my head during the last few runs pre-race. Or that I get sad after marathon(s). And impulsive. And oscillate from insecurity to megalomania. That I get back to my typical self a few days after. That I strive on discipline and accomplishment. And much more.
Racing pushes me outside of my comfort zone, allows me to take risks that I no longer can afford to take in other aspects of my life, at least for the time being. Without running, there would be something else, but I am glad it is still running and I am going to play the game for as long as I can.
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7 months ago