The Good and The Bad
As a runner, and athlete, you have ups and downs. You have good workout days and you have bad workout days. This past Tuesday I had one of those workouts that made me remember why I still do this sport. It was a cold and rainy day on Tuesday. My body was still trying to recover from a hectic Thanksgiving workload over the weekend, along with my workouts that accompanied it. I have been going through some mentally tough times recently. Last week I questioned my love for the sport, the reasons why I was out here still it and what was all this distance training even doing if I couldn't feel well on a long run. With all this being said my coach wasn't too happy with my attitude and it felt like I was just going through the motions.
This is normal. I've had this same feeling before and I must have forgot that it just comes with the sport. I have only raced once, and well it didn't end great but it didn't end poorly either. At this point in my training I cant tell where I am, I don't know if all the training is paying off and it's frustrating. But hey I rather feel like this now than in a couple weeks heading into an "indoor season". Training hard for 5 months with no type of racing can really take toll on you mentally.
If it wasn't for my coach Tuesday I would of never made it through my workout. Warming up to meet him I didn't even want to be out there, but once we starting going that was a different story. The workout was 3 sets of 2 mile threshold repeats at 6:40 pace. Crazy? yes I know, I thought the same exact thing, especially with half a mile to go the first interval. Luckily I have a great coach that adjusted the workout and we did 1.5 miles the next two intervals.
He was leading, I was drafting the best I could but the next interval, uphill, hurt more than the first. He gave me the usual "get it together. Relax" speech before heading into the last interval. At that point it wasn't about running fast, or hitting my time, I just wanted to be able to finish the workout. There's something about me at times I never really understand; the interval started and I felt like a different person. My legs didn't feel heavy like before, I was more relaxed going up the hill, and all of a sudden...
BAM! My competitive drive kicked in. My coach say's I just don't know how to maintain and be relaxed, it's either look like crap or look great. Coming off the hill that was it, I had a mile to go and it was all or nothing. Coach was behind me and I felt strong. At one point I didn't even know my legs could still respond like they did when I wanted them to, but with 400 meters to go I was running 545 pace and loving it. I wish I could tell you I ended the workout with my arms in the air and in front of my coach, but the last 150 meters hit me pretty hard. Coach caught me, legs tightened up, hips locked up and said "no more", and well I closed my last 800 meters in 2:40. Maybe not the best, but it was the best for me that day, at that moment, and that time.
That workout made me realize, I am doing this sport for a reason. I am out here busting my butt everyday for a purpose. I still have the passion and desire to be great, I just have to pull it out in tough times. I love this sport and there's times that the bad workouts or mediocre days shine above the great ones, but not every day is going to be great. This is when I learn to take the good with the bad and keep pushing.
*SIDE NOTE* : I might have the best coach ever to be able to jump in a workout with me after not doing real training. He helps me a lot even when not running with me and in this particular workout he helped more than ever. He could of just drove back and forth from start to finish, clicked the watch and lectured me on my times, but he actually got out there and ran with me. The clicking of the watch still happened and the lecturing might of been a little less, but no matter what I owe him for this workout. Thanks coach. :)