“The runner need not break four minutes in the mile or four hours in the marathon. It is only neccessary that he runs and runs and sometimes suffers. Then one day he will wake up and discover that somewhere along the the way he has begun to see the order and law and love and truth that makes men free.” [George Sheehan]
I’ve talked of long miles and speed work! Biking and swimming! Weights and stretching! My training is going great! I feel great! Blahblah… blah… blah.
Let us take pause from my annoyingly excited and upbeat attitude and listen to the lactic acid pool.
There is a great quote by Gene Thibeault that says, “If you start to feel good during a [race], don’t worry – you’ll get over it.” I believe this also rings true for any good training period. If you are truly pushing yourself to improve – whether that means running 5 miles when before 3 miles was your best, or fighting for a 40 minute PR – there will come a point, or multiple points, in training where you’re tired, sore, or just not feeling 100%. I’ve reached one of these points.
The extra effort on improving has left me with dead legs this week. My speed work at the track yesterday looked akin to Chewbacca lumbering down the lane (or so I imagine). Getting out of and into chairs has proven an Olympic feat with tight hamstrings and hips. I feel like the Tin Man making my way through the office (I guess I forgot to WD40 my joints before leaving home this morning). And I swear… the guy at the Post Office was whistling “If I Only Had a Brain” behind my back.
But somewhere through this robotic, awkward soreness, I can be happy and satisfied. If it wasn’t hard, then I wouldn’t improve. If I wasn’t feeling the effects, then I would know I’m not working hard enough to get a little better.
Has anyone else reached a point like this? Has Icyhot become your best friend? Ice, advil and stretching coupled with great hydration and rest/recovery days will get us through. Then we can put our heads down with our eyes on the prize, and continue working towards July. Beyond this little wall I think we’ll find our step up to the next level of fitness.
Here’s to celebrating the soreness and honoring the Tin Man inside us all!