Thank you all for your kind and supportive comments in my last post. It did made me feel better and in a way keep things in perspective. I agree that it’s quite unbecoming of me to rant on my own running like that. I’m usually a bit more discreet about such things and is able to weed out my self-deprecating alter ego before he announces his presence here on the blog, but on that particular day, I was stressed, frustrated, confused, and just wasn’t in the mood to edit him out.
I guess I could’ve blamed my troubled state on the three teenage diabetics who are basically committing suicide with their refusal to care for themselves and making me feel generally inadequate and utterly powerless to help them. I could’ve likewise pinned my frustrations on the young mother of the newborn I had to admit to intensive care for treatment of hypocalcemic seizures because mom thought prenatal vitamins were “optional”. Heck, I could’ve even chalked it up to any of a number of parents that day who verbally abused me in clinic for not “fixing” their morbidly obese kids who were 40, 55, even 80 pounds overweight. (Um, sorry lady, there is no medicine I can prescribe to undo the damage you’ve done by overfeeding little Johnny for the last 10 years. And no, bariatric surgery or stomach stapling is not an option!)
Still, I know I’m ultimately the one at fault for carrying my work life onto the road and placing intense pressure on my body to perform at the highest level under not-so-ideal circumstances. No matter what I know about proper rest and recovery, I just wanted to run fast and run well in THIS ONE race and THIS ONE workout just so I know for myself that I can still do THIS ONE thing well. Maybe no one else ever approaches their running in quite the same manner, but for me, sometimes the passion for the run overwhelms its purpose. That’s why the failures both in the race and in my interval workout was so emotionally disappointing. For the first time in a long time, running just felt so hard and pointless.
As for those who are suggesting that I’m pushing my body too often and too hard, I can’t really disagree but then again who’s to know? The coach in me is often telling me that I’m so used to taking the easy way out that it’s not a surprise that when it really matters, when push comes to shove, my body just doesn’t know how to respond. In my “Video of the Week”, Kara Goucher talks a little about when she first met Alberto Salazar, one of the earliest workouts he had her do was “12 X 1K real easy”. She thought he was crazy but she did it anyway and nailed it, much to her surprise. In the same way, I’m always challenging myself to be just a little bit better or just a little bit faster than what I think I’m capable of, even if it sounds a bit crazy at first. I feel that only by pushing the envelope every so often will I be able to uncover something close to my potential as a runner. The weird thing was that in my Tuesday speed session, I was only trying to hit my pre-Boston time goals, and hence, not even pushing the envelope at all! (It’s sad that even that I couldn’t do!) At any rate, the point is that there is a fine line between pulling back and regressing versus pushing hard and risking injury to test the limits and it’s hard to know when to say when. I guess as long as I’m training myself, I will always have difficulty separating the coach, who keeps wanting me to run faster and push harder, from the runner, who just wants him to shut up!.
Hope this explanation makes sense to some of you…Maybe?