Monday, May 26, 2014

15 And Counting

It's part of the aging process that I've decided I'm the least fond of. Injuries seem to come more frequently then I can recover from them. Sprained ankles, pulled hamstring, T-Band, groin, back, neck, you think about it too long and it may give  up on me. BUT, I'm not giving up on me.

Working back up to marathon distance for the SF Marathon (, +The San Francisco Marathon) is proving a little more of a challenge then I expected.

The starting out slow part wasn't so bad. 6, 7, 8 , 9, 10 miles came pretty east. even getting to 12 was ok. My first 13.1 training run wasn't easy, and I've had 4 or 5 failed attempts at 15 since then. Too hot, too tired, too stressed at work. I've gone out for 15 for the last month and not gotten there. I keep wanting to blame the aging thing, the injury thing, the rehab thing. But there's a bigger issue here, and maybe I need to acknowledge that I'm not running in a vacuum.

And that's the lesson here for me. Running and life are not two separate worlds. They feel like they are, running feels like that place I can go where nothing else counts and I'm out on my own. But it's not. And it in the real world, the last month has been a real challenge. Family health issues, transitions at work, no sleep, added stress. Leaving your troubles behind on a run is a lot easier then it sounds.

So it feels good to have gotten through 15 yesterday, and it's a mirror of what I have to do with the rest of the issues I'm dealing with. I went out slow, 12+ minute splits to start. Got my legs under me, got warmed up, and worked through a plan in my head to finish the run. I was able to break the problem down into digestible pieces, and then take it one split at a time. The longer into the run, the more confident I got, and the greater my ability to press the pace without risking failure. All the same shit I have to do with the rest of my life. Start out slow, evaluate the problem, work out a plan, and then take it one step at a time. The further in I get, the easier it is to see the end, and the more aggressive I can be.

By the time I got to the pier I was half way and I knew I could get to the finish. Even the hills at the end, the toughest part of the run, weren't an issue because I knew I was on track and close to conclusion.

So for me, it was more then a 15 mile run, it was a lesson in perseverance, it was a reminder that I can't ignore what's going on in one part of my life and expect no consequences in the others. It was an accomplishment after a few failures, and it was a great day at the beach.

15 in the books, 16 on deck.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Zero For My Last Four!

One of the greatest things about running is goals. I get to set goals, I get to work a plan, see progress, and literally reach the finish line. It helps me focus. It helps me forget. It helps me far beyond the actual race.

If I can get through a 20 mile training run, I can handle a long day. If I can drag my ass out of bed for a 5:00AM workout, it's no problem getting to a 6AM flight. When I see myself accomplishing a goal, finishing a race, setting a new PR, it encourages me at work, with my family, in the community, to achieve there as well.

That's a stark contrast to the last 6 months. I've missed the start of the last four events I signed up to run, and it's a streak I'm no really thrilled with.

New Years Run: Missed it with a tear in two ligaments in my ankle.

LA Marathon 2014: Missed it. Only back to training a few weeks, no way to tackle 26.2

Hollywood Half: Death in the family, last second trip to SoFL for the services.

SLO Marathon: Work schedule conflicts. Shooting schedule couldn't me changed to accommodate my race. Horrible, I know.

It's by no means a life threatening situation, but it is a little bit of a confidence shaking one. I'm asking myself questions I thought I'd answered. Can I do this? Am I strong enough? Do I have the commitment in me? Am I looking for excuses? And of course it's on me to answer them. I'm seeing the impact at home, at work, feeling less motivated, shorter tempered, and slower to react. I can do something about that too.

Here's my answer:

I'm back to training, signed up for the SF Marathon July 27th.

I can break the bad streak, I can get myself back in shape, and I can get ready for SF. I've started building up my miles, pushing to 12-14 on the Long Slow Distance Runs on Sundays, making time for shorter training runs during the week. I'm following a plan, getting stronger, and working to a goal.

For me, that's another one of the great things about running. You can almost always start over. You can pick yourself up, turn yourself around, and get moving in the right direction again. And if I can do it here, I can apply those seam lessons everywhere else.

So I'm back, and I'm doing this, and I'm loving it.

See you in San Francisco July 27th!