Getting back into shape has been a lot tougher than I imagined. November seemed to come and go rather quickly, probably from the excitement of being able to train almost at my full capacity again, as well as, Thanksgiving. In the past 5 weeks I have jumped from running 50 miles to 3 weeks at 99-105 miles. I have only just started doing workouts, and the race in Houston is approaching fast. With each day that goes by the more nervous I become that I won’t be ready to compete for a top 3 spot.
It has been a frustrating few weeks, even with being able to run more and feeling good on most runs. Then I compare myself to my competitors who are weeks ahead of me in training and much more fit. I also compare myself to my teammates who are beating me significantly on every repeat of every workout that we do together. All this eventually leads to doubt.
Doubt is always creeping into my mind. Was I even good enough when I was healthy to make the team? Will I hurt myself again if I don’t play it safe with my training? If I do play it safe, will I cost myself the race? What am I going to do with my life if I have another bad race on this big of a stage?
Doubt takes over a lot in athletes at any level, there is no denying that. I feel that the toughest part of training for me is to stay positive and focused on the Trials. I know I am gaining tons of fitness each week, and I believe that the training I am doing will get me to the race in Houston ready to run the best that I can on that day. That is until I run my workouts and I realize how much further I have to go to get myself to my best.
My passion is there, I love getting out and running, but my fitness and my fear of reinjuring myself limits my ability to train as recklessly as I used to. I dislike being cautious and limiting how much I run. I’ve always been a guy who has never been satisfied with how much I am running; I never think I am doing enough. This mentality is what got me into trouble with my injury in the first place. So now I am trying to delicately balance my training with my maintenance and rehab of my body.
Hopefully in a week or two I will be able to tell you some more positive details about how I am overcoming my doubt and have had some stellar workout and a great race at Club Cross. But until then, here is my positive self-talk for today: I ran a 12 mile steady state workout this morning, averaging 5:20s per mile, and I kept it steady the entire way. A year and a half ago I did this exact same workout, averaged the exact same pace, and two weeks later I went on to run 2:11:48 in San Diego. So, by using some geometric property (Associative? perhaps) this should mean that I am 2 weeks away from a 2:11 marathon. I just have to let myself gain some momentum over the next 5 weeks and 5 days.