When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.
The heart of the difference is not ability or even talent, but desire
The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott
Saturday, January 20, 2007
A cut-back week
So here is how it went for me. I cancelled speedwork due to snowy conditions from Tuesday to Thursday (and icy stuff on Friday). As I said before, Monday was 6M recovery trail run followed by 45 min Power Yoga. Tuesday was 4 better quality (but still slow on the sno) and 30 min Cross-Fit. I took Wed completely off. Thursday came with 11 miles on roads (some 4 of them were good pace), but since I had to get off the sidewalk and run on the side of the road, that slanted thing caused pain in my left ITB. I did yoga for 45 min. Friday was easy 4, CrossFit 30 min (including burpees and squats with 110 lbs weight plus various lunges) and yoga practice 45 min. I am getting a hang of it and feeling much looser, but still struggle a lot with CrossFit regular workouts, turning them more into weight routine (hard to stick without Oleg, though Alex is a big help to at least doing what I can with no slacking).
Saturday was a day of my long run. What a great day! The plan was to do some miles before Gail comes to join me and then proceed with her for 15 miles. I went to Germantown Rd on Wildwood trail (Forest Park) and started at 6:50 am in a complete dark walking (no light, duh!). After the sky got some gray in it, I began to pick my feet into a shuffle and in 30 min or so was running. I made 7 miles and got back to the parking lot exactly on time. The trails had it all: snow, mush, ice, water, as well as some stretches of soft even dirt. At the parking lot, besides Gail, there was Sean Meissner and some of his friends doing a 28k run (for the girl Kelley's 28th birthday). I changed my water bottle and we headed to Newberry rd (end of WW trail) for 11 miles. We chatted a lot, and on the way back stopped to converse with trail workers - great people they are, and since Gail is a director of non-profit Forest Park organization. We also ran into John Coffey, and good friend and a super-fast runner (he holds a record of Mt. Hood 44 mile circumnavigation in 6:30, though now is getting...hmm, mature is a better word than older, and still kicking, moving into Ironman lately). We passed our cars once again - and were committed not to stop, and went out on trails again for 4.5 miles. This is where it was obvious having a running partner on a long run is essential. First Gail was going to turn around after a mile and I said no, then I made to whatever I thought was enouhg and she pushed me for some extra marker. We were even able to pick up our pace on the back 2 miles, planning our next week's route and car shuttle (so she can do 18 and I can go 25)! It felt awesome! Don't take me wrong, those 22.5M (what do I do with 0.5M now?) were still slow, but there was no pain, no tightness and no lost power! Favorite trail system, a good friend and some yoga would do it, I guess, as well as finally getting into a grove of long-distance running. I was thinking of a word and found it - conditioning. Back in days when I was into Martial Arts, my last pick was Kajukenbo, what is a Hawaii street fight combining a few styles in one. Besides all those jabs, leg kicks, push-ups and flowing forms, we did lots of conditioning. Mutai kick into the pole untill the shin stops feeling pain. Letting your partner hit you on the bicep and you go around black and blue - but in a week the bruise doesn't get to be so bad until it almost not happening. Stuff like that. In every corner of life. Long distance is just that - conditioning to run long. Fats running - same thing: conditioning to run fast. No science to it, really, only patience.
It was a blissful day, and only reminder is a bit of hurt behind right knee going into the upper part of right calf (who knows why). Tomorrow will be a 9-10 mile trail run at recovery pace to round up a week, and I am happy to think I am getting back on track with training. The year doesn't seem so daunting anymore.
On this run I also decided to break down my new shoes that happened to be a whole size bigger than my regular. I figured I'd keep them for the end miles of 100s when the feet are swollen. They worked beautifully and I got no blisters.
Have fun making small goals and kicking them!
p.s. Oleg is a celebrity! His picture had appreared in The New York Times.