Sunday, June 6, 2010

Getting on the right path

It may seem cliche, but the marathon really is about the journey rather than the destination. I remember talking to a fellow marathoner from the Netherlands just after the NYC marathon in 2007. It seemed incredible at that moment that I had voluntarily done something that made me feel that awful. Frustrated and exhausted I asked the obvious question - "why do we do this to ourselves?" It was more of a rhetorical question - but, he answered anyways - "we run marathons for the training and so we have stories to tell at the bar."
The more marathons I've done the more I think that he's right. You have to enjoy the training - you have to enjoy making the plan and trying your best to execute it. You have to enjoy observing how your body is reacting - trying to figure out how to help your body recover through nutrition, cold whirlpools, massages and a hundred other details that contribute to your fitness.
Our culture's focus on results sometimes leads us, ironically, to look for shortcuts and derive value entirely from our experience on the day of the marathon. By focusing alternatively on the long training cycle you can find more enjoyment and ultimately greater success. As with much of life, success is about walking the path everyday - not so much any particular workout or race.
Chicago is 18 weeks from today. The first six weeks have gone as smoothly as I could have hoped - and now I move on to the next phase with my first track workout planned for Wednesday. Hopefully I stay on the path and not deviate as I did today - taking a wrong turn that made my 20 miler into a 24 miler. I'm in good enough shape to hopefully absorb that kind of mistake - but I certainly can't do that every week.

Last Week
Monday morning: 8 miles Loudon Street Mile
Monday evening: 4 miles
Tuesday: 10.5 miles
Wednesday: 12 miles
Thursday morning: 4 miles
Thursday evening: 13 miles 8X150m
Friday: 7 miles
Saturday: 10 miles
Sunday: 24 miles
Total: 92.5 miles

This Week
Monday: 8 miles
Tuesday morning: 4 miles
Tuesday evening: 8.5 miles
Wednesday morning: 4 miles
Wednesday evening: 12 miles 6X1200 @ I pace
Thursday: 13 miles
Friday morning: 4 miles
Friday evening: 10.5 miles
Saturday: 13 miles
Sunday: 19 miles
Total: 96 miles

1 comment:

brennan said...

Well at least you made up for the 1.5 miles that you were short on Saturday...