February 19, 2006
random thoughts about pain
translation: I'm not a very good writer, so this will be a bunch of semi-coherent paragraphs that may get across what I'm trying to say. Not bloody likely.
I ran a lot of miles this week. The schedule said 94, and I ended up with just over 95, the most ever. The schedule included two hard workouts and then a lot of whatever miles. It was no piece of cake, and I'm tired. The work week included some too-early meetings and some late evenings, and what with the doubles and all, I was into sleep deficit by mid-week. And I broke the cardinal rule of training (easy means easy, dammit), running faster than I needed to on easy days, hanging with my fast friend Jaymz D (he of the 17ish 5K and 37ish 10K) for 8 of his "easy" miles the night before a long run, etc. Of the two hard workouts, I managed 75% of one and 0% of the other.
The 0-percenter was yesterday's 22-miler. I was supposed to run the last 8 miles at marathon pace (a pace which seems to creep down a second or two every time I get a new schedule), but my legs felt like they were full of mercury (heavy, not swift) and ached every step. After the first couple of miles I knew there wasn't gonna be any marathon pace anything, and it was going to take a lot just to get the 22 at all.
It took over 3 hours, which gave me a lot of time to think. And I started thinking about the pain of hard training. Not the discomfort of a single workout, but the pain I read about from people who train hard day in and day out for a long time. This guy goes through a lot of pain in his training, and he writes very eloquently about it. I feel like a slacker even reading his blog, because he trains so hard and endures so much, and has more stuff to deal with than I ever will: kids, single-parenthood, living up north where it's cold, more. And he gets results; he's fast (though he probably wouldn't agree), so there is something at the end of all that. On the other hand, there are those who trash themselves daily with no end, triumph, or failure, only the right to post about all that constant pain in one online forum or another.
So I slogged along a full 90 seconds slower per mile than I was supposed to be running, sore from butt to toe, and thought about hard-training pain. There are people who run a lot more than 95 miles every week, and can get some quality in without bailing, and their pain comes from working much harder than I did, or do. I thought about trying - just trying - one mile at 7ish pace, but I didn't. Wouldn't. I was too sore and tired, and I didn't want to try, get even more sore and tired, and fail anyway.
There are times when running seems like the most important thing in world to me, and I feel I'd do anything to improve. Then there are days like yesterday, when I know I need to push myself harder and harder into discomfort, and I refuse.
Posted by joe positive at February 19, 2006 3:51 PM