Thursday, August 25, 2011

Taking a Step Back Thanks To My Little Rapunzel

So I thought it might be a good idea to combine my recent lackluster running times with some pictures of my daughter's birthday party to put me in the right kind of mood.  It's hard to be down on yourself when you have the view I am privileged to have from here.  Yes, I wish my times were better these days.  Yes, I wish I was feeling confident about the 3:15.  Yes, I wish my legs felt good.  But I think I need to take a step back from all of that for awhile and just enjoy what I do have today.

Here is where I began writing this post:

Speedwork Wednesday, August 24 7x800s
3:26, 3:27, 3:20, 3:22, 3:17, 3:26, ? (forgot to hit stop)
My legs just felt off today.  My right leg wanted to limp a little (something in my lower calf?).  My left leg felt a little weak and burned for some of the repeats.  I just felt like I couldn't kick it into the right gear.  I sucked it up and ran them anyway, too stubborn to miss a key speed workout, getting madder at myself with each repeat. 

Hal's advice that "just because you can run 10 x 800 in 3:10, there is no guarantee that you can run 3:10 in the marathon. It works the other way around: If you can run a 3:10 marathon, you probably can do that workout without straining too much" rang in my ears.  These splits were killing me.  After each repeat I would try to shake out my right leg, but it kept feeling odd.  Like I said, I was too stubborn to quit, even when I should.  And I was mad that they were too slow.

I realized that I now am not training in any shape or form for the 3:15.  My speed workouts, my tempos, and my marathon pace runs have not been on target.  I was feeling down about that until my friend Julia told me that I probably wasn't "training" for my 3:18 either.  I shouldn't be too concerned about my training.  It's just one piece of the puzzle that is good marathon performance.  I seem to be able to sidestep my training and have done so in the past.

As I type in between these pictures, I am just feeling silly.  Who cares about my silly little training?  Me?

Isn't this what running is about?  The joy!  The fun!  The sun on your arms!  The wind in your hair!  The feeling of the grass between your toes (well, sometimes)!

Who do I want to be for her?  Someone who is intensely focused on each daily run?  Or someone who takes joy in the running that I am able to do?

I guess, in a small way, her present to me on our wonderful shared birthday lies right in the wisdom of the realizations I have just shared with you all. 

Happy running today!


  1. Oh Katie, this is precious. I absolutely ADORE those pictures! And how she looks is exactly how we ought to feel about our chosen sport. You've been WAY to hard on yourself about this training. I think the challenge of it will be enough to push you to that 3:15. I really do.

  2. Jane, every time you give me encouragement, I need it...thank you for believing in me even when I don't!