Saturday, January 6, 2007

the most ridiculous training run of my life

Lydiard once said "it is not always the best athletes who win the big ones - it is the properly-prepared ones, those who are completely ready on the day". In keeping with his Lydiard-style coaching, Tom totally espoused this mentality today as he drove around Winthrop, Revere, Lynn, and Nahant following 4 of his athletes as we struggled through a 26 mile training run to begin our Boston marathon training season. "The Epiphany", as he calls it, is supposed to ensure us that running a marathon distance can be "easy"; we should not shy away from mileage during our training months.

In no way was today "easy" for me. As I half-jogged, half-dragged myself through the sun-soaked streets of the North Shore, a turbulent and borderline irrational mentality crept through my usual positive mindset..."if I step in front of this next car, I could be hit and have to stop...if I accidentally on purpose trip over this random steel pipe growing through the concrete, I could feign extreme injury and have to stop...if I claim sun-stroke from the record 63 degree day, I could bum a ride back from Tom at the next water stop..." As my miles increased, my thoughts became more creative...and destructive. It makes me wonder, why do we, as runners, attempt to achieve the impassible (nothings impossible - AIW)? And, after we achieve these ridiculous goals, why do we immediately reconstruct our actual experiences into fictitious warps of reality ("that wasn't so hard," "I could do that again," "I should have run that a little faster"...)?

Patti Dillon, a 2:27 marathoner who developed as a runner around the Boston area, ran 150 miles a week at her peak...maxing out at 210 in 1981. Thats nuts! And impressive! As a 3 hour marathoner who trained for the Chicago marathon on 90-100 miles each week, I can't comprehend how someone would have so much time to dedicate to training. It makes me wish for just a little more natural talent so I could quit my counseling gig and train my ghetto booty off day and night.

Anyway, blah blah blah...point of today's blog: I'm so impressed with my training partners (Megha, Lynn, and Pieck) and myself...I really didn't think we'd be able to complete the distance - let alone complete it in less than 3 and 1/2 hours. Yay for us! Plus - the biggest bonus of all - I've been able to eat whatever the $!%# I want all day GUILT FREE!


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