Every muscle of my lower body aches right now. Saturday’s speed session on the track and today’s moderately brisk long run combined with a lack of sleep (yes, that’s still happening) are the main contributing factors. Although, I’ll give honorable mention to my desk chair which is slightly more comfortable than a subway bench and the layer of dust that has accumulated on my trigger point roller.
Let’s go back to Saturday. Up until that point in the week, I had put in a pretty solid week of training, allowing me to build up some confidence for two upcoming points races. Tuesday, I had done mile hill repeats at 5 mile race pace and for the first time since Boston my training runs weren't feeling like a chore with my hamstring keeping relatively quiet. That’s why I really needed Saturday’s speed session at the track to take the oomph out of my mojo. Here’s the thing. I’m not fast. I never have been and with 30 much closer than I like to admit, I probably never will be. Even when I am firing on all cylinders, I’m a total dud at intervals that range from 800 meters down. Some coaches will tell you that you have to master every distance. You’ll only nail the half marathon if you can crank out back to back 60 second quarters. Can that lead to success in longer distances? Absolutely. But, I don’t think that’s applicable to all runners. Not everyone has every gear. It's science.
However, what I lack in speed, I make up for in stubbornness. Knowing full well that I am going to look like a fish out of water, I go into every speed session thinking “this will be the workout in which I break through”. Why the misguided faith? Because when you go into a session already accepting a struggle you always become an accurate predictor of your fate. Even if the results aren’t earth shattering, the effort and the exertion that comes with going all out are beneficial to the big picture. So you have to believe in yourself even if there’s no past examples to draw from. Saturday morning, I arrived at the track, head held high, ready to take on the world and I ended up sucking the wind of my faster teammates. I was much more in my comfort zone as I logged 16 miles along the Hudson River today feeling like I could log 10 more.