Sunday, May 29, 2016

Rough Runs .... Make Us Stronger

Man, this run was rough. REALLY rough. Last week's 3 miles wasn't easy, but it wasn't rough. This one jut plain hurt. It was more than the hills, my legs didn't want to cooperate. Portions that were suppose to be easy were so difficult, I couldn't even slow my running pace. I had to walk. I don't want to walk on a training RUN.

I was demoralized.

What do I have up my sleeve for next week? Add on to weekly mileage and hill repeats in Mount Lee on Saturday. I'm also doing something this race- I'm weight training and cross-training. I had started weight training in the winter to build strength and definition. Finally, after months of prodding from friends "what's your next race," I found this one. There are easier halves for sure, but I kind of like
doing something that scares me a little bit. 

It was so rough, I was running 100-200 yards before I had to walk 50 yards. Bleh.

I'm better this. 

Well, I wanted to be better than this. Not every run can be great and I've had my share of rough runs, but man. This was not fun. I want to get back to where 10 miles feels great.  These training runs can't keep feeling like this. 

In training, you don't want to increase your weekly mileage more than 10%. But, at some point, often early in your training, you're going to have to make more than a 10% leap. That was going to be this week. It was my goal to run 4 miles... jumping a mile from last week's 3. A 10% jump would put me at 3.3 miles. I ran 3.5 with a 3/4 mile cool down. (The cool down was up a quarter mile from last week to compensate for my shortcoming.) I also rationalized that .5 is .2 more than a 10% jump, so really I was doing okay.

Part of me is wondering how I'm going to accomplish the 5,000 feet elevation gain in my trail half this November. The course looks a little something like this:

The other part of me, the wArrior part tells the worrier to simmer down. I'm 25 pounds lighter than I was at my college heaviest. I might not have the cardio stamina after my first marathon, by I'm the fittest I've ever been. Hell, I SURVIVED BRAIN SURGERY (and recovered so well because of running)! Logically, I know I can do this. There are 5.5 months to train and prepare. And, on days like this Saturday, on the slow days, I'm becoming better at reading a trail... looking out for potential hazards and learning how to move my feet. (Yes, you can't do a fancy road race shuffle/grape vine thing to dodge objects). FOCUS ON CORE. Core strength and solid low arms  (where I don't scrunch my shoulders) will help get me through the 13.1 miles. "Running on tired legs is good," I remind myself. "You'll certainly be tired by the end of any race.... and this race in particular."

At this point, I'm not training for time; I'm training to finish. (Looking at the history of this particular trail half, most finish times are north of 3 hours.)

I did get an ego boost when I was half way done with my run and turned around to go back to my car. Running was easier because I was running DOWN HILL! That flat I was running on was not flat at all. It had a grade that was slight and un-forgiving. Then I remembered; I was running in Reseda. I was on the portion of the road that would take me to the Nike Missile site. One of the many Nike Ajax projects that was defense during the Cold War. This particular location contained ground-based radar that was designed to detect and track hostile aircraft, and to guide the anti-aircraft missiles that would be launched from nearby Sepulveda Basin.. So yeah- If it's high enough to launch missiles, you better believe there are hills.

Granted, the hills I was on had a low grade and weren't as steep as the ones closer to the site. These low hills are nothing like I will face in November, but as mileage and endurance increase, you better believe I'll be taking advantage of the merciless hills on the way to the site and all that The Santa Monica Mountains Conversancy, Topanga Park and National Parks offer. 

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