But it was 54 degrees out. In January. In Western New York. The air was still, and there was a partial clearing of the clouds in the sky. It was a PERFECT morning to run, a perfect spring-like day. In the midst of winter. The forecast for the remainder of the week looks grim: bone-chilling temperatures in the single digits. And wind. For those of you who have been following along, you know the plight I have had with the pool recently, and given my recent (and ongoing) bout with a head and chest cold (caused from water in my ear from the pool), escaping outside for a jaunt seemed much the superior decision.
So I did. And I felt like a little kid out skipping through puddles for the first time on a warm spring day after a long, cold, winter. In my mind, anyway. My legs did not particularly feel like they were skipping, but they trudged through our little 15k route like champs. I didn’t wear a watch – this is one of the paramount rules of recovery week, since this is now a recovery week – because I was least concerned about my pace and all the numbers therein. I just wanted to get outside; to move, and to simply enjoy the fact that I am able to do so. You can always find something to be thankful for – a reason to be grateful. Use that as the base of your training, as the base of everything that you do, and you will notice that it will have a profound effect on your attitude, your life, the way you do things, and the way that you handle them. If you don’t already, try it. It’ll work, I promise.
Week 11 went nothing like I had anticipated, being my “hard” week and all, and with the way things have been going as of late (the past couple of months), it is hard to not get discouraged at this point. With this, I bring myself back to a statement I made in my previous paragraph. Attitude is everything. If I let it get me down, if I let the negative things take hold, then they will start to get hold and they will get me down. I’ve put in a lot of good, solid, work up to this point. And I have made some GREAT progress. No, I did not get that 16 miler in this week that I was so greatly looking forward to in order to test out my strength. No, I did not get those swims in that I wanted so I could continue to improve, continue to work on my butterfly stroke. No, I did not get that long trainer-to-outside run session in that I wanted. I did, however, manage to perfect holding crow pose and jumping back – lightly – directly into Chattarunga. Yes, this is yoga speak. If I remember, I’ll post a video of this sometime this week. I’ve had other improvements – namely, the end of my hip/back/hamstring pain – but I won’t get into a list now. What I really need to remember is this: I’ve been doing extremely well. It’s been a rough couple of training cycles, not everything has gone according to plan. But it’s ok. That is life, and life NEVER, if only rarely, goes according to plan. I just need to keep moving forward, keep progressing my training plan, and I will without a doubt successfully make it to the finish line.
So now what? I am heading into Week 12, which should be my true recovery week. What am I going to do, you ask? I am going to make it a mini build week. If, at the conclusion of this week, I am satisfied with where I’m at and how I am feeling, I will make next week my “hard” week, and continue my routine from there. Adaptability. You have to be able to adapt your training to the crazy demands and ups-and-downs life throws at you. If you have a coach that is very rigid with your training plan, you might want to think things through. I see this happen too often, and it results in injuries and unsatisfied customers – unsatisfied with their results and unsatisfied with their progress. In the words of my mentor, and one of the nation’s (and world’s!) renowned speed and movement coaches: you have to be able to adapt a training program at the snap of a finger.
Week 12 – let’s see what you’ve got.
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
– Harriet Tubman