“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” Marianne Williamson
Marathon week has swiftly arrived!
This cycle went quickly since it started in late January and left me with about 10 weeks to figure out this whole HR-based, MAF, aerobic training stuff. I’ve dissected more runs and heart-rates and science-y things than all four previous training cycles combined! At one point there was a LOT of information swirling around in my brain.
Now, it’s just time to let it work. To let it go and see what happens. It’s time to remember that I trained for the process, not the medal (not even sure if we get one of those?). I trained this way to try a new approach with a fresh perspective, for the lifestyle that accompanies the choice to attempt a(nother) marathon. To ask some questions, and move in a different direction (or at different speeds, with different HRs n’ such!).
To grab that joy of running…
Joy is…going to the track and doing those very specific workouts.
On the track, I feel more dedicated than anywhere else. You have to seek out this exact location and get here to do this exact, specific, run. I’ve never been much of a “track” runner before – for those exact reasons, having to do something so specific and prescribed and boring – so it stands out to me.
This cycle involved a few trips to the track for MAF tests, and one final visit yesterday for some pace testing. I got one last lap (400m) to “unload”! And with that, I ran to toe the line of all-out and you-still-have-a-race-to-run and to turn corners with a stupid-silly grin because whoa, this cycle was a good one.
Joy is…the little rush of looking up your schedule for the week.
I put this entirely in someone else’s hands. The only specific requests I had were: “I’d prefer not to train by HR only” and “I like to do long runs on Saturday”. So, I got half of what I wanted! But some prayers are best left unanswered; if you want different results and experiences, you have to DO something different.
There were no two weeks alike; every time I logged onto Training Peaks with anticipation – what’s next? What do I get to do this week??? The first time I saw “the big mama” I spent the rest of the week excited for Saturday’s adventure.
( If first-marathon-me (circa 2010) read that paragraph
there would be eye-rolling for days. )
Joy is…asking questions, learning about a sport you love.
Joy is…visualizing that Finish Line clock & banner.
Joy is…realizing you’ve stepped so far forward you’re suddenly in Race Week.
With this week comes the good kind of nervous, slowly seeping into the muscle fibers. I wrote to my coach that it’ll come on strong tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday; the anxious-excited that starts to slowly drip adrenaline into my system every single time I think about the starting line, mile 15, or 21 or 25 or 26.1 and THE finish line sight. The running, all over.
It’s the type of nervous that gets you to that mental place you need to be – just enough fear, because it will hurt – without totally derailing the physical+mental readiness. That feeds your legs all of the juice they’ll need to push past their perceived limits. And that flashes your goal time across that mental clock over and over AND OVER, until you just know you’ll chase it no matter what.
Joy is chasing a goal.