Wow. Things are a complete 180 from July 2018. When I look back and read some of my posts, it’s strange to be future me, feeling something completely different. It makes me wish I was better at handling the ups and downs better. One of my favorite poems is “If” by Rudyard Kipling and one of my favorite lines is if you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same.
I’d like to think that outwardly, I kept my cool about it all. (Maybe, maybe not?) And on certain days, I guess I was inwardly okay too. But there were certainly many, many days that I was incredibly frustrated and felt like my body had failed me.
After 5-6 weeks of running, I did start to feel normal-ish again. And after 3 months, I felt like I was where I was about 4 years ago in my training. Which is pretty exciting when you think about how quickly it came back in the grand scheme of things. FOREVER when you are in the throngs of it, but time gives you perspective on pretty much everything.
Now that it has been close to 6 months, I still feel creaks here and there. It’s not perfect, but there are more good runs than bad and the speed that I worked so hard to build is coming back.
Perhaps it’s the confidence of having a coach or it’s the confidence of being benched. Maybe it’s the confidence of YOLO as I reach closer to 40 side of my 30s. And maybe it’s the fitness I had all along, but it was buried under my own self-doubt. Either way, I’ve hit some sub-6 paces in workouts over the past couple of months and it feels pretty darn good. I ran a sub-20 min 5k during a workout Tuesday - something that seems impossible to race, but oddly reasonable in the middle of a training session.
I’m training for things that are basically the opposite of speed though so my weekends are long, slow treks filled full of vert and lately, mud. I’m not worried about hitting X pace with my speed because everything is done on effort and time. It shouldn’t be any surprise that once you remove the governor of pacing yourself by a watch, magic can happen.
My legs are getting stronger, my balance is better, and I can feel the transitioning happening. I’m a long ways still from those big mileage weeks of 2017, but I’m trusting my coach to steer me in the direction of success. And success at this point is a solid finish at GDR, a respectable Boston Marathon, and getting home from the Everest Marathon in one piece.