First up, huge congrats to all our racers on the weekend. Andrew McKay who ran the Erie Marathon. Andrew had a less than smooth training cycle and a tough race, but persevered and ran what most would take as a great result! (we all have our own personal expectations, but putting yourself out there and going for it is always admirable). And Zoë and Erin who ran the Longboat 5K and placed 3rd and 4th overall respectively, with Erin coming away with the Ed Whitlock Grand Master prize! And I ran the Yorkville 5K and was 1st Master (I’ll take it while I can – am eyeballing a bunch of young 30-something whipper snappers about to enter my category 😉 )
What I’ve been thinking about this week is the idea of pushing through “hard”. As in most races, I got to a point in my 5K where I thought “ok, this is really hard – I want to stop”. At that point I have three options: Stop, Slow Down, Or keep going and see what happens. The thing with the third option is that it’s hard. But isn’t in that space of self-mastery and not giving in, that we derive some strange sense of meaning and self-knowledge? Isn’t that the question we’ve shown up to answer? We look ourselves straight in the eye, and ask – and it must be answered then and there. I’m not saying I always have the answer I’d like. I have chosen all three options at various points for various reasons. If you train and race enough, so will everyone. We learn when “hard” is not the answer we need on that day. It is not always the right answer. But it is always an option.
Many people are training through “hard” sessions right now as we prep for Fall marathons. This is really the pinnacle of it. But remember – you signed up for hard. No one signs up for an “easy” marathon – I don’t believe there is such a thing. So if you put your hand up for hard, then you’re receiving hard, and you’re practicing choosing your response in training. When it gets hard, do you stop, slow down, or keep going? Remember, your brain falls back on patterns, so try to choose the option you want to repeat automatically. When it gets hard is when your brain starts to bargain with you. Be a tough bargainer. Know what you want. There are lots of reasons not to do hard. In fact I can get behind many of them! But if you signed up for hard, and you want hard, you have to practice hard. Not a lot, and not recklessly, but you should touch it and learn how to deal with it. I love you all and I want you to live happy, pain-free existences, but I also want to help you to grow, feel fulfilled and get what you signed up for. So don’t be scared of hard – you can do hard. In the right doses, it might be just what we all need.
On to tomorrow’s workout! We’re back to Riverdale hills.
2-3 sets of:
3 x Hard up the hill, easy down. Walk to Rooster corner. One lap of Riverdale-Logan-Withrow-Broadview (it’s about a 1.2K block) @ tempo. Walk back to hills and repeat.
I won’t lie – it’s a bit hard. But it’s a fun one!
I’ll be at the Riverdale Clubhouse at 6:05 for drills – we can start at 6:15.
If you’re in the Beach, coordinate amongst yourselves to do something similar there (or join us). It’s a 200 m hill.
See you in the am!