"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Slump and Happenstance

It's a quiet week here at Lake Walkathon.

Only days after saying I had a decent week of training, I'm already backsliding. A comparison, day-by-day:

Saturday: 6 miles in 54 minutes with 4x400m hard. [Previous week 6 in 51] A difficult day; cold, windy, rainy and running after a big meal.

Sunday: 9 in 78 with 8x50m sprints. [Previous week 8 in 71] Not easy, but an improvement.

Monday: 3 in 24 [Previous week 3 in 24] Sleeping badly; achy. Okay run, but not feeling happy about it.

Tuesday: 6 in 51 with 2x1200m (4:55, 5:05)-400m recovery. [Previous week 6 in 50 (4:56.4:56)] Felt drained at the start (slept badly again). Humid and windy, compared to last week's run.

That's what happens: I have a good week and then expect an even better one and, when it doesn't happen, I get discouraged, even though there's solid reasons for slightly worse runs and... two of the four runs are as good or better!

That has to be some sort of mental disorder.

I've been going to a number of races, partly to see people I only see when racing and partly to see where I would be if I raced. At the Get in Gear 10K, I saw a lot of my old cronies and they all seemed to be running well. Those I always beat were running 38 minutes, those I usually beat were running 35 and those I never beat were running 32 [where else do 50 year-old guys run 32 minute 10K's?] I'm in shape to run just under 45 minutes, and given my occasional overachieving, I might run 43.

That seems pathetic. My all-time worst 10K, run on a sprained ankle, was 41 [I'm not counting trail 10K's]. People are telling me I should race anyway, just to be part of the crowd. They're telling me to embrace not being fast any more and just run to finish. They're telling me I'll be back in shape in no time.

And I'm saying: SHUT THE F*** UP!

It took years to get this slow and it'll take years to recover and I'm at the age where I can expect to slow more every year. It's depressing and frustrating. But it's like a Samuel Beckett play - you want to shout at the characters to wake up and realize how awful things are, not to adjust and accomodate to each new horror.

Well, that's not where I expected this post to go!

I'll train, I'll try to get back in shape, but you can't make me think everything's just rosy. Okay... on to today's run.

Added: Stopped whining, went for a run, it went well enough, my mood got better.


Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Going for "Pomp and Circumstance", right?

Congrats on graduating into a real-life Beckett play. And remember - his plays are also pretty funny.

Speaking of the pointlessness of life and explaining the rules of baseball ... if we tried to explain/understand only those things that have a point we'd be wasting 99% of our pointless lives.

Deal with THAT frozen rope.

Deb said...

Hey! I've got a GREAT idea! How about racing anyway, just to be part of the crowd? You might want to embrace not being fast anymore and just run to finish. Don't worry about it - you'll be back in shape in no time!

Sorry- I'm just gonna go and shut the fuck up now.

Running with MTP said...

Training has ups and down - You have been at it long enough not to think too much about it.

I find the stuff about racing interesting. I used to think I had to be in shape to race (Not that I was ever in great shape at 200#), but after talking to a friend and former 2:19 marathon guy ~ I asked how he deals with it? He loves to race, so ge goes and races - Screw other peoples expectations.

I thought about it and also realize I love to race. I do not have to be in a certain shape to get the rush out of pushing my body to the maximum.

Heck I was 240# at Houston in January and I ran one of my better races at 3:15 ~ God that was fun.

Who cares what other people say to race or not to race or you are lsow or fast. You race because you want to or love to.

shannon said...

Steve, love the run! Honestly, when I ran Boston this year I was so honored to be part of the historical "Boston Marathon" that whether I ran a 3:40 or a 6:40 (yep, the finish line was extended to 7 hours) it wouldn't have changed my experience in the least. My sense of achievement wasn't in my finish time but in that I finished.

Most of the best moments in life aren't recorded on a stopwatch but, instead, remembered because of the people that made those moments special.

So, yes, join the racing community not to get "back in shape" but to be in touch with people that love the sport of running as much as you do.

You should know that this is the first comment I've posted on Blogger in nearly 6 months! I've had to drastically curtail my social networking to be more "productive" during the day. :)