You wouldn’t think that race season is coming when you look outside here in Calgary, but 12 days from now I’m kicking off my season with Times Colonist 10km. This race comes with all the emotions that you could imagine for a season opener. Yes, it’s not a triathlon, but I’m heading out there to run World Cup standard. To ensure my running is up to par, I’ve been ramping up my run over the past few weeks. This means running more consistently and doing some hard, key run. This is usually works to put an athlete in a good space both physically and mentally. So what happens when an athlete is continually failing, or not hitting these workout? Welcome to my past two weeks.
I’m not going to say I’ve felt terrible over the past two weeks, but something has been a little off. I’ve been very excited to try some of my key run workouts and I have been nailing every other workout that I do. There seems to be a barrier that I have hit though, and can’t seem to get past. Each time I step on the tready or the track for repeats I seem to really struggle with finishing the work set out for me. As a result, I have not accomplished my goals for my last 3 hard runs. Physically my legs feel spent, heavy and slow. I’ve been yearning to get outside the Talisman and do a hard run in the sun, but with the weather that hasn’t been in the cards. I’m not making excuses, but it’s been very hard to get psyched to do gut wrenching repeats on a track where you are dodging people walking with walkman’s (yes, the one that plays cassette tapes), or to hash out the km’s on a treadmill, alone, in the dark, as you look out at the snow.
Here is where the true test of life comes I guess. You’re 12 days out of a race where you need to run fast, you’re not running fast and something needs to change. The mind games are continually mounting and before and after each workout, doubt and fear tries to creep in. Sport has a funny way of testing your character, endurance and mental fortitude. When you go through phases like this, each day your body asks you the question “why are you doing this?” The mind has to have and answer that you can truly believe, otherwise the journey and pain isn’t worth it.
In the past week I have ended runs feeling like a broken man, but being broken just means you have an opportunity to rebuild. My goals haven’t changed for TC10km and I will continue to press on let the run speed come.
I thought this picture captured my feelings after a couple of the workouts