So far, I’m having the best season of my life.
Here’s the problem: I’m scared I’ll lose it at any moment.
Of course it is always more enjoyable to be running well than running poorly. I cannot/will not/am not complaining about running well. But… I’m stressed nonetheless.
After Philly, things clicked and then took off. I snapped out of the either self-induced (overtraining?) or DC-induced (the swamp of humidity?) funk I had been in since late August. I gained some confidence from my workouts, used that to set a big PR at Army, and have kept rolling ever since.
But I’m scared.
Scared I’ll run one mile too many, tweak an old injury, create a new one. Overstretch, under-stretch. Over-train, undertrain.
In the midst of my August Funk, I slashed my miles. Now I’m feeling good—better than ever—should I ease the mileage back up to my early season hopes? Or I am feeling good because of the lower mileage? I’ve opted for some in-between mileage purgatory; but is that still too high or too low?
Will I peak too soon? Am I peaking now?
Will my stress about hips and injuries and other imminent disasters hold me back? I thrive off high mileage and gain confidence from logging it, but I’d rather be cautious than hurt something. Will playing it safe backfire? If I never push myself, how will I get anywhere?
A week ago, I flipped through last season’s running log. I thought it would prove how much better this season is going (I’m doing everything right this time! I’m crushing every workout! Fall 2014 Teal could kick Spring 2014 Teal’s butt!) The problem with that seemingly innocent—albeit cocky—tactic? I was in better shape last spring than I remembered. I ran some of my best workouts to date and was feeling great going into Boston. But the marathon was a disaster. Am I setting myself up for the same disappointment? I continue to blame dehydration and not appreciating a warm day, but maybe it was peaking too early? Overtraining? Too much, too soon after the injury? Undertraining? Too cautious after the injury? Being overly ambitious? Will I make the same mistakes?
Despite this inner game of flip-flop, my workouts continue to improve. Fall 2014 Teal could kick Spring 2014 Teal’s butt. But, of course, my ambitions are higher, too. So the mental battle continues.
Maybe I just need something to worry about. Isn’t this the challenge of running and racing well? Pushing our limits is an experiment. Finding the perfect balance is part of the process. It’s a thin line between agony and glory. And we won’t know which side of the line we’re on until race day.
So all these questions will remain questions until December 7th. Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day for some, but D-Day for me. On that day I’ll know where I stand, if I’m going to win the war. I’ll get the answer to all these questions… too late to do anything about them.
|It's not until we get to this line--the finish line--that we |
know which side of the thin line we're on.
But, first things first: this weekend, I’m shutting down the questions of over or under. Instead, I’ll focus on running the Raleigh Half Marathon, where I hope to set another big PR, suppressing all negativity as I go. Hopefully the result will prove that Fall 2014 Teal is better than ever and ready for battle on December 7th.