At the beginning of this training cycle, some 18-20 weeks ago, I made a pact with myself that I will work hard not to get attached to a race outcome. I wanted to make sure I enjoyed the process, I kept my priorities in check and I did not make sacrifices for my training (e.g. I stayed up late with friends Friday nights, I did not skip on life events due to my running schedule, etc). This is a different strategy than I have employed in the past. It was nothing to brisk, but rather a process of growth (for me) from my early years of racing 2009-2011, when at times I was fused with training.
This training cycle has gone amazingly well for me. I have seen myself get faster than I have ever been. Although not attached to training, I have worked harder than ever before. My body has been able to handle more quality than ever before. I did not get injured. I made the correct call on 3 niggles - knee pain, ball of foot pain and back pain - and ran through them and watched them disappear. I have also learned valuable lessons about my body, and have put a lot of thought into where I want my running to go. It has become clear to me that although my musculoskeletal system can handle a ton of work, my hormonal and nervous systems get tired after about 18 weeks. This is something new for me, which I first noticed last year. In the past, I was able to run hard year round (though the hard at that time is the moderate to easy now).
So where am I now? My second half marathon this winter got cancelled. When I first heard the news, I felt disappointment, but it was pretty easy to move on, and honestly felt relief that I could immediately go run hard. Taper is difficult for me. My body likes homeostasis and when I decrease miles by 50% on the last week of taper, things become challenging. The run yesterday was a bliss, even though it was on the TM.
Yesterday I watched on FB people posting negative comments about the race cancellation and the RD and I smiled. I got that. I was there in the past. And it felt good not to be, to be able to move on and enjoy my day, to be able to sit with the uncertainty of whether the race will get rescheduled and when, whether I have already peaked and might not be able to have the race that I could have had, whether I would have to sit through another dreaded taper again.
I look at my 7 year old who is now figuring out emotions. He is learning about disappointment on the small scale. He is completely attached to outcomes. He often tells me that "this is not fair". I help him through, hold him, and when he is out of his 'stress response' I whisper in his ear: "Sweety, life is not fair. Things don't always happen for a reason", and then I take him on an imaginary waterslide and watch his little face turn into a smile.
So there it goes...an training cycle with little to show for, objectively (for now), but a full load of experiences and growth! I'll take it! And now I go run....
Building a clock
8 months ago