I spent my entire morning sipping coffee and pouring over cells and cells of run data. 16 months-worth; training cycles, hill training, race results and this year’s half progress. Endless numbers and workouts and “oops probably shouldn't have done that" thoughts.
This is good and bad.
It’s gratifying to see the progress I HAVE made.
It’s destructive because dammit I was in much better shape last year.
It’s motivating because I know what kind of shape I CAN get back into, and that I’m on the right path to getting there.
See, I promised myself this training cycle I wouldn’t fall into the comparison trap – to other people or to the runner I once was. A lot has happened since then, and I really wanted to focus on coming back through the joy of running and enjoyment of the process. Being hard on myself (in a non-constructive way) because this year’s times are all slower than last year’s is not the best way to foster an enjoyable training cycle. But as I looked at all those fast(er) times of the past, I felt a fire re-light inside me – one driving me to WANT to work HARD, to get faster, stronger and be better. Knowing what I was capable of then, and the potential beyond that, is hugely motivating to me. And as I looked closely – comparing times, reps, workouts – I found some silver linings. On the surface the times are different – drastically, even. But this weekend's race/workout had more to say than its splits. I did something hard, I should be proud of that rather than sulking in my "current slowness" . Also, knowing that I am more aware now than I ever was, gives me the power to surpass what I once was.
I have no idea what this means for Squamish. I’m feeling very hippie “go with the flow” about it, actually. We’ll see how the next three weeks go, and how I recover from the Ontario Endurance Challenge – and if nothing else, let’s just hope that Canadian magic carries me through…