I’m sure you’ve all been appreciating the glorious sunshine and warmer temps. THIS is why we go through winter – to be able to fully and collectively appreciate the emerging sights, smells, sounds and sensations of Spring!
That brings me to what I’ve been thinking about – Gratitude. Sometimes, like when we have a beautifully warm and sunny run with friends after a long, dark, cold winter, this sentiment comes naturally. But other times, we have to work on calling it up, and remembering how much and what we have to be grateful for. It is a mindset which I find helps before and during times of anxiety and effort. Many in our crew are in their last week of resting up before running the Boston Marathon. Taper week. This is one of the most difficult times mentally. You know you have a big effort on the horizon, and that you will be put to the test. But there is absolutely nothing you can do about it now. All you can do is rest up and count the days and then hours as the event approaches. This can (and often does) elicit some form of anxiety in most people. Especially since the way most of us deal with anxiety is through running and exercise, and that is being strictly curbed. Sometimes we look around at friends and family who aren’t about to subject themselves to such a test, blissfully going about their carefree days, and we might think … “WHY exactly am I doing this again?” Or, not uncommonly, we might find ourselves in the middle of it – stretching ourselves to our limits with effort and strain and think … “I’d rather be somewhere else, doing anything else right now”. These are natural thoughts and impulses – our brains looking for the out or the easy way. But we signed up for this. For personal growth, for a reminder that we are alive and engaged and vigorous, to challenge ourselves physically and mentally. We know deep down that we want to do this. So the best counter to these mental moments, is to call on gratitude.
It might sound glib and too simple. But to truly consider and embrace how much we have to be grateful for in these moments can really get us into a positive and productive mindset and to re-engage in the process. Think of any time you’ve been injured and haven’t been able to run (not to mention some of our teammates who are currently sidelined and would trade places with you in a second). Think of people who for many different reasons (financial, geographic, life circumstances) can’t participate in events like this. Consider your health and freedom and all of your friends and support network who are beside you in training, in spirit, and in the race itself. You are supported and surrounded and cheered along. People want this for you. Find gratitude in all of that. You are the lucky ones. Yes, it is uncomfortable. Yes, it is hard. Yes, we can be taken to some dark places. And Yes, we are grateful for all of it.
On to tomorrow’s workout! Lakeshore and Leslie: 6:05 Drills, 6:15 GO. (Unfortunately I won’t be there until later – my daughter needs to be dropped at school at 6:30 am! So get started – I am doing the taper workout and will prob arrive by around 7-ish)
Taper workout (if racing Boston Marathon or Boston 5K):
1 mile tempo (make this a chill tempo). 2 min rest. 4 x 400 cruisey (fast but not straining) – with 1:30 rest.
Ppl not tapering:
1 mile tempo. 2 min rest. 8 x 400 w 1:15 rest (yes, it’s shorter rest than the taper crew). 2-3 min rest. 2 x 400 w 1:30 rest (these should be a couple seconds faster – don’t do these if feeling any glute/hammy/calf/anything strains)
That is all – I’ll see anyone who’s still there at 7 in the am!