August 21, 2014

Something for Nothing

This season's winter caps are now arriving at Running Warehouse, which is a cruel thing to see when you're running in triple digit temperatures. I don't presume this is some epic "fuck you" to those of us in Kansas - although sometimes it seems as if much of existence is a "fuck you" to Kansas - but that won't stop me from interpreting it that way.

But, yeah, it was hot and I ran anyway. High 7 minute pace for 12 on a pretty hilly route felt like shit, but in that kinda good after-the-fact sorta way. I stood in the shower and leaned on the wall and felt, even as the water was at a moderate temperature, that my body temperature was plummeting. Then I ate a little fruit, drank some water, and yeah, that's it. (Eating a substantial meal after a run is supposedly important, but I've never been able to stomach it, and at this point, I've stopped caring/trying.)

Doesn't seem all that interesting, now that I've written it out. Lacks context. Mundane steps are interesting if part of a journey. If this were a training run for something, there would, I think, be additional narrative heft. But as is, it's a training run for myself, for my own edification, satisfaction, etc. I'm training for everything and nothing.

I've attempted to write out something like a fall schedule, with promises that I'd target things, really train, and try and eek a few shorter distance PRs out of this otherwise somewhat wasted year (in terms of racing). Those were probably always empty promises anyway, given that my training inevitably devolves into doing whatever I want on that day, basically just trying to run a lot, with some hills thrown in. Pretty clear at this point that, no matter what intentions I may claim, that's basically what I'll end up doing.

Enjoying you "training" isn't the worst thing, of course. You could even argue it's the best thing, for those of us in the subsusbsubsub-elite crowd. Maybe we could find a few seconds here and there. Maybe, if we nailed everything, 30 seconds off a 5K, a minute off 10K, so on. Is this worth it? It is if you want it to be, I suppose. It just depends where your priorities are.

Last year, I had two races I cared too much about. And even then, my training was basically "do a lot of hilly miles". (Probably 70-100 per week, if I had to guess. But I never track, so...) Of course, when your biggest target is a hilly 50 miler, that's probably not the worst idea. Not exactly incisive Canova specificity, but not bad.

This year, I don't have anything like that. I'm still going to race, probably, but I'm not going to pretend I have any idea what, or where. Mostly my goal is "get my shit together". Get my iron up above corpse levels, keep fucking around with my "base", get some quality gym work done, keep my leg unbroken, and see when/if inspiration strikes. Frankly, the training will probably look the same regardless.

Not the worst thing.

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