WEEK 10 – What Goes Up…

I experienced a very bad low this week. My training did not go well and I spent too much time letting myself experience deep mental lows. These mental lows have such a profound effect, and while I am certainly not depressed, the powerful intensity in which these lows can hit you, and the focus damage they can do, are very real. I no longer wonder why depressed people can’t “just get over it”. When negativity consumes you. It consumes you.

But I am fighting back. The first step in getting past it is to recognize that it’s normal. Every ultrarunner I know has experienced it, both during training and during endurance races, and it’s simply a common component of intensity training.

The next step is to refuse to allow the negativity to alter my goals and expectations. I need to analyze my training and ask some questions…

Am I training too hard for perceived ability?

I had a great race at the US 10K, but running that hard took it’s toll on my body in unexpected ways. While I managed an easy eight miler the day following the race, that pretty much summed up my running for the remainder of the work week. I managed some good core training during those following days, but what I probably needed was just some quality rest. But why so much rest? — I really don’t like to rest.

So instead of taking the necessary rest, I toughed out Saturday and 4-hours of running Sunday, in the middle of day, in really hot temperatures, and as expected, had a very difficult time. Took me four hours to run 18 miles Sunday …actually a little under 18 miles, and today is filled with more fatigue, constant yawning and feelings of intense hunger. Probably signs my body is rebelling a little.

Am I eating enough? too much?

To add insult to injury, I don’t think I am eating enough. I am so concerned with getting my weight down, that I am forcing myself to limit calories. Something has got to give. I can’t expect to have the energy to cover 50+ miles a week and not consume adequate calories; but in the same argument, I don’t want to eat too much and end up affecting my running negatively because of the added weight.

It’s the Clydesdale runner’s classic catch 22.

So, wow, as I read over this post, I realize it’s negative and self-defeating; but I really don’t have a choice but to be honest with myself, and the people who are following along in my journey. I wish I could rah-rah the whole time and paint a picture of ease, but it’s just not that way; and part of me really doesn’t want it to be…

It’s not like I’m training to run a 5K or 10K or even a marathon. All of those are worthy goals, but darn it, I’m training to run 50 brtual miles through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and it’s supposed to be hard. I suppose if just anybody could do it, there would be more people doing it. I understand that anything worth anything takes real, solid, dedicated effort. Someone once told me, “nothing worth anything is easy”, and I believe that to be true.

And lastly, it’s not just for me, it’s for the kids of Project Kids Eat, remember? Maybe I need to remember that more often because that’s real hard stuff. Sure, whether I make it to the starting line or not, those kids will get the promised financial support from all the great folks that are supporting my efforts, but when things are hard, I have to remember that no matter how hard it is, it isn’t that hard, and moreover, unlike the homeless kids, I have the power to change what I perceive as hard

I’m reaching out – please pass some positive vibes my way. If you pray, add me to the list. If you meditate, please think of me as you ponder. If you just like to think good thoughts for people, I could use a few of ‘em…

Thanks for reading …and as always, please donate a ching or two if ya can. It’s free to do, takes all the usual credit cards, and no amount is ever too small.

Cheers! …next week will be better, I promise.

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thanks for the honesty! yes, for sure, you will have lots of ups and downs and i think the most important part of it all is to LET yourself have them…have all sorts of emotions and then allow them to pass…the positive, the negative. keep reminding yourself why you are doing what you are doing.
also, fuel is crucial. you’ve got to eat enough.

Hola, amigo! Tough weeks come and go, but you’ve gone for more than 2 months (10 weeks) up, so you’ve gotta have a little down to even out and keep you from being “too” crazy. :-) Rest, eat, and don’t feel bad for doing either, because they both are necessary training tools!

To tug those heartstrings a bit, at least you (and I) have the choice to cut back on our food. Those kids wouldn’t turn down a scrap that they found. They should always be your stronghold against the pain (mental/physical/etc.) that you’re feeling.

You’re getting close! Nothing can stop you if you don’t want it to!

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