Jason Hartmann reminded me of something that sometimes I let go by the wayside....that is how much I love running. He reminded me that it can be taken away from you when you least expect it, and the best thing to do is enjoy it. At the moment, I am remembering to take advantage of every single day of running, and reinforcing to myself that the time is limited and enojying every run, workout, subthresh, is extremely extremely, vital. Please do the same, my friends.
Man, I 'pined' it yesterday on both runs: an AM 12 miler and then with some of the Edina boys at the ECC on the afternoon 6 miler. The PM run probably gets 'white pine' status actually. It was exactly what needed to happen with the training in order to set myself up for today's sesh of quarter-mile repeats. There is lots of training happening at the moment, as I am in the middle of trying to get in a month straight of 120 mile weeks. I have shed a few of the winter lbs also, and so things are on the up and up.
Racing-wise, I had gained some momentum after the United States of America Cross Country Running Championships out in Spokane back in Feb. A 23 miler on the snow and icy conditions present around the Lakes with the Chilean Gaucho (incidentally Antonio's nickname has since been changed to the 'Chilean Seabass') two days after that race did me in, however. For a few days after that, I experienced some problems in my left hamstring and hipflexor and I actually pulled up lame during a workout a few days after that on the last effin repeat. Basically for a week and a half I could get in the miles, but was hesitant with any faster running. I am thankful to myself for being cautious as the rest helped, but not being in the rythym and missing a couple key workouts proved disastrous at Gate River.
The Monday before the Gate River 15k, I also was sick. I woke up dizzy and extremely tired and felt like crap all day. I attempted the standard pre-race workout that afternoon, but felt absolutely terrible. Katie was basically kicking my ass that day on the indoor track. Probably should have pushed it to the next day.
From the gun at Gate River, I felt horrible. I was left by the pack at a half mile and muscled my way through 10k and then at mile 7 I had enough and sat on a bench. At Gate River the final two miles are up and down a gigantic bridge to the finish line outside the stadium where the Jags play. The shortest and quickest way back to the start/finish area is over the bridge. So after about 10 minutes on the bench I started jogging back. I finished. I can only attribute my horrible day to missed training and still having some of the virus in me. I did feel good on some 30 second pick-ups the Wednesday before, so there wasn't a chance I wasn't going to make the trip to Jacksonville. By the way, the folks at Gate River 15k are just awesome. Especially my good friends LeAnne Meyer, Bobby Greene and Richard Clark Fannin. LeAnne lives over in White Bear Lake on the other side of the Cities and I've known her for years now. She is such a sweet person. Bobby lost 70 pounds in the last year and records everything he eats. His southern drawl is extremely, well, southern. The man despises the carboyhydrate. I have affectionately given Richard the nickname RCF which has spread like wildfire amongst the training mates here in the TC.
I confirmed my retirement from racing with old Lehm about an hour after the finish. But I was back in the game about 3 hours later, and hungry for the next race which will probably be on April 23 at the Brutus Hamilton 10000m. I may or may not do some sort of gut-check 5000m before that, but am not quite sure. I just want to continue building some momentum in training and getting the 'feeling' back mentally and physically before really getting after one.
That's the message for the day: keep plugging. My good friend Jamie Kirkpatrick reminded me last year when I was down and out that the sun will indeed come up tomorrow. A song that I listened to over and over and over and over on my daily run during this time that helped me stay as positive as I could was 'Time to Pretend' by MGMT. Here is an excellent cover of that song by Jónsi: