Two weeks in review here. Week 4 was a reset week. Week 3 was Boston Marathon Hype week, which gave me a good impetus to ramp up the volume again.
My last reset came just a few weeks ago, and it seemed to work damn well, so here’s to another. Coming off the high of a great marathon race, I needed to clear my head of running for a bit and be able to focus on my work. There are too many distractions theses days (many of which are contained within this phone between my hands).
Since my mind and body seemed to recover well from my last reset, I gave it another go. So it was recovery followed by a few days of easy running during week 4, then ramping back into the last three weeks before CROATIA! Yes we are excited!
Did you catch my Wings For Life World Run Hype Post from last week? It includes everything a North American needs to know to participate, spectate, and celebrate the amazing day of MAY 6th.
Last Saturday, I struggled soooo hard to get myself out for a mid-distance run. My body didn’t want it. I wanted a morning at home, but convinced myself that if I went out and got it done, it’d still be morning and I could chill afterward. I decided to hit the trail (Chimney Gulch to Beaver Brook) for a new perspective and listened to some podcasts. I appreciated this mellow state of mind, as well as, the scenery in the forest. Though my body didn’t particularly enjoy the terrain, which seemed way rockier than the last time I ran on Beaver Brook trail. It’s probably just the efficiency of road running that I’ve adapted to that made trail running feel so foreign.
On the return trip, I saw the School of Mines students setting up their cardboard canoes along Clear Creek. I managed to run 12 grueling miles, got home and made my coffee and oats-to-go so that I could go check out the demolition when cardboard meets water. I also grabbed my towel – not for the frigid creek water – rather for the Golden Rec Center.
After watching a few wrecked canoes float by, I headed inside the rec center to soak/stretch/soak. This was long overdue and likely the reason my body felt so funky during week 4. I barely stretched at all in the week since the Eisenhower marathon, let alone after the 7 hour drive home from Kansas. I enjoyed a glorious stretch session for about 90 minutes. I just listened to Pandora, social media-ed, and held deep poses.
Last Sunday, I needed another FULL day off day. My body was still not recovered from the marathon.
Boston Marathon Monday (BoMar): Damn the racers had crazy weather! And what crazy awesome results! Desi found a comfortable pace that she could maintain for the duration of the race. Proud to see the racing grit prevail. I don’t know if Yuki did the same, but he utilized some strategy, that befuddled his competition.
As I continue to listen to my body, and this final month of training ihas been kinda wonky as I recover from the marathon. I remind myself that the only thing I need to do from here till race day is show up to the starting line healthy and hungry. Welllll, not appetite hungry cause that’s a terrible idea. I want to be hungry to compete. I want to believe in myself and my preparation, and be confident in my gameplan.
This post’s title “Find Your Comfort Zone” contradicts a lot of what running and racing preach. On race day, you’re supposed to transcend your inner beliefs and perform beyond anyone’s grandest expectations. Right?!?! If I was running a 5K, maybe this logic would work, but I think racing any distance half marathon and longer demands a strategy to remain in a comfortable zone that allows your to evenly distribute your energy, so that you can go the distance… with persistance. (OMG, that quote is from a piece of 80s running art that once hung in my Denver apartment!) I know this isn’t how everyone views or accepts “racing,” but until I was forced to do even split pacing for last years WFLWR, I didn’t know what I was capable of. Having approached the Eisenhower Marathon with a similar even-paced mentality, I was able to enjoy a smooth and comfortable day, despite the challenges of a marathon. Maybe this strategy frees up your mental energy to focus on your body, or maybe not, but there’s something that clicks for me.
That said, on Friday, I made it to the Rec Center again for another soak/stretch/soak. I realized that I MUST stretch and do yoga every day till the race.
Saturday played host to the Dino Ridge Relays! We got a dose of winter, but that didn’t stop us from having a great time. Thanks to RDMB and Jul/ for the most excellent race orchestration. Also big props to Eric Einstein for shooting the whole morning in the cold and snow. Great pics:
Finally on Sunday, I tested myself in quasi-race-conditions. I waited until noon to go out for my long run, when the temps were a sweltering 60F!! Ok fine, it wasn’t sweltering, but the forecast for Croatia shows 70F daytime highs, so it’s something I’ve got to get accustomed too. I was damn glad I did it, because I realized that I’ll need to hydrate a whole heck of a lot more than I’m used to, and I’ll need to carry salt & electrolyte tabs to spice up my water later in the race.
OK that’s all for now. Two weeks to race day, so now it’s time to take care of my body, stretch, yoga, eat, and hydrate.
Endurance Changes Time,