Time to start learning to run in layers and with hats and gloves again – winter running is on its way and many of us are going to be ramping up our running and training, so let’s get into it!
I’ve been thinking a lot about acceptance. Not as a form of passivity, but as place of honesty from which to build. Our lives are not static. We are not the same person in the same body with the same life circumstances and obligations as we were 2, 5, 10, 15 years ago. If we don’t stop and take a clear-eyed assessment of where we are, we are bound to measure and judge ourselves unfairly. This can lead to fear and poorer performances than we’re capable of. (this is another concept from Groundedness by Brad Stulberg).
Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up. It means setting goals and building plans and objectives based on where you are now. The age you are, the number of people you’re looking after, your propensity for injury, your mental and emotional state, the role you have at work … these are all factors which you have to accept. And once you accept that you don’t need to be more than what you are right now and that you are enough, you can strive without fear. Acceptance allows you to be fully engaged in the present, because you’re less anxious about the future or outcome.
For those who follow Lanni Marchant – one of Canada’s greatest marathoners of all time, I think we have been shown how this played out for her. Lanni is very open about some of the extreme physical and emotional challenges she’s been through over the past few years. After breaking the Canadian marathon record a few years ago, she has struggled heavily with her running. She and her coach finally decided to just take all expectations off based on where she once was. She had to manage her current emotional state. If she didn’t feel like running or wasn’t well enough, she wouldn’t. She cut her mileage by half (down to 70K a week, which for a world class marathoner is very low) and often dropped out of her workouts or roller-bladed instead. She was accepting what her mind and body were telling her. Then she went and ran the NYC Marathon in 2:32 – a world class time and the fastest Canadian. She was grounded firmly in accepting who and where she was, and so was free to reach and strive with the freedom of enjoying the moment.
If it takes chatting it through with a coach or trusted friend to help you take an honest view of where you are, then do that. But please remember that you are enough, and you can only grow from where you are right now.
“The world asks of us
Only the strength we have and we give
Then it asks more, and we give it.” – The Weighing by Jane Hirshfield
Onto tomorrow’s workout! Back to Lakeshore & Leslie (6:15 first interval, 6:05 if you want to do drills)
We are going to start something slightly different: we’ve been hitting VO2 max workouts a lot lately. We’ll keep sprinkling them in, but I’d like to put the emphasis at this base season time on longer threshold workouts. Less intense, more volume (don’t worry – we’ll work our way up together).
To complement this, we are going to add the option of Monday morning Speed/Power with myself and Kerry. Once the Monarch Track opens, we can take advantage of that (stay tuned), but for now we will meet at the Riverdale Clubhouse at 6:15 am on Monday mornings for power drills, short hills and speed. Happy to chat about the science of this and why even marathoners need it if anyone wants to chat (I won’t bore you all here!)
2 mile tempo, 3 min rest, 2 x 1 mile tempo or slightly faster w 2 mins
Tempo = around your half marathon race pace. At least that’s what I’m looking for. (again, happy to nerd out about the definition of ‘tempo’ with anyone anytime) – we’re basically looking to extend your ability to run at threshold.
**If you are new to speedwork and different paces in running and find that 2 miles is the same pace that you do some of your regular runs, turn them into 1 mile or even 800m. We’re looking at stimulating a pace differential here. I’ll chat w you at the start.
That is all – finally!