Confession : I have a new vice. Reading last year’s training log.
you could stage a hostage situation with my master gdoc and I’d crumble and cave to your every demand, promise
I spent my entire lunch break yesterday pouring over cells and cells of run data. 15 months-worth ; 10 and 16 week marathon cycles, Hood to Coast hill training, and this year’s Half progress. Endless numbers and workouts and “oops probably should’ve gone to yoga more”.
This is good and bad. For many – some overlapping, some just crazy – reasons:
- it’s gratifying to see the progress I HAVE made
- it’s destructive because damnit I was in much better shape last year
- it’s motivating because I know what kind of shape I CAN get back into, and that I’m on the path to getting there
See, I promised myself this cycle I wouldn’t fall into the comparison trap – to other people or to the runner I once was. A lot has happened since then, and I really wanted to focus on coming back through the joy of running and enjoyment of the process. Being hard on myself (in a deconstructive way – I still subscribe to the Jillian Michaels Method of motivation) because this year’s times are all slower than last year’s is not the best way to foster an enjoyable cycle.
But as I looked at all those fast times of the past, I felt a fire re-light inside me – one driving me to WANT to work hard, to get faster and be better. Knowing what I was capable of then, and the potential beyond that, is hugely motivating to me.
And as I looked closely – comparing rest times, reps, workouts before/after – I found some silver linings. On the surface the times are different – drastically, even. But yesterday’s workout has more to say than its splits.
The Defender April 3, 2012 – 6×800, 2min rest
3:06, 3:05, 3:07, 3:06, 3:06, 2:58
The Contender April 9, 2013 – 8×800, 90sec rest
3:21 3:17 3:18 3:16 3:16 3:15 3:15 3:15
The desperate convincing “your legs will shake out/warm up/smooth out!” was bullshit – every single one of these 800s felt heavy and slow and HARD. But with four moderate-hard days already taxing and the (accidental) shorter rest it’s a miracle I churned out the consistent splits I did.
Not to mention that my head was in a place to let me.
new shoes always help – upgraded my old 2′s to the Kinvara 3
I’ve gotten away from the detailed workout recaps this cycle, because I thought it boring and also because I was embarrassed of my work (dumb). But someday I’m going to feel helpless and stuck in a rut again, and will need reminded to look either past the numbers or deeper into them. Did Enron not teach us nothing? A little creativity and you can make any data set positive.
I have no idea what this means for Eugene. I’m feeling very hippie “go with the flow” about it, actually. We’ll see how the next two weeks go and how I recover from Ragnar – and if nothing else just hope that Eugene Magic carries me through…
* speaking of Eugene, I’m blowing the dust off those files and plan to have a pre-cap up on what I remember from the race last year. just for all you taperwormed crazies I’ll see in a few short weeks…