Last night, while chatting with some of the moms at my son's football game, I ran into one of my neighbors. An accomplished runner, with multiple marathons under her belt (including Boston), I've always been a little intimidated by her. Besides the fact that she's always so positive and bubbly.
But there's an edge...
We greeted each other with a hug. "How come you're always so skinny and I'm so fat, even when I'm training for a marathon?" she said to me. She told me she's training for the Marine Corps Marathon in October.
She's not fat, by the way...
How do you respond to that? I told her I was training for Chicago again. I joked about how hungry I am all the time. She asked about my training and I told her I was letting my CrossFit coach train me. Her eyes got big. She laughed.
"You mean NO LONG RUNS? I'll be REAL curious to see how the race goes for you. REAL curious," she said. She told me how she used to train at the box where I work out, but stopped because she didn't want to get big.
"I'm not getting big, " I said. "I'm getting strong." I told her how strong I've been running since I've been working with Becky. Inside, I was thinking that I didn't want to have this conversation with her. I felt like I was defending myself. It didn't feel good. And she called me skinny just a few minutes ago!
We talked a few minutes longer, while she talked about the Chicago triathlon this weekend (she's doing the sprint), and how she's needing to do more "adventures"--after all, she said, she turns 50 this year and she'll have met her goal of 10 marathons by age 50. She told me that I "have to do" some urban adventure race which sounds like a Spartan race. She told me how much fun it was.
"All I want to do," I said, "is redeem myself from my last marathon."
Again she told me how she'll be REAL interested in how my training translates to my marathon.
I have to say that I've never considered her to be a jerk or obnoxious until our conversation yesterday. Although I have to admit that she has never been particularly supportive of my running efforts. When she ran Boston, I sent her an email of encouragement. I never heard back from her. But we've known each other for a long time and both being runners and neighbors, you would think we'd be friends. That has never happened. And I'm not quite sure why.
Here's how I made my decision to train with my CrossFit trainer instead of following a traditional, high mileage marathon plan. When I ran Chicago 3 years ago, I used Hal Higdon's Novice 2 plan. I followed it to a "t". My 20 miler 3 weeks before the marathon went without a hitch. I ran it in 3:18. I felt great. I was ready to go. But the day of the race, I fell apart. It wa hot and humid, and I felt horrible by the time I got to the finish line. It took me 3 years to get up the courage to run it again. And since I had already been working with my trainer and was seeing great results, I decided to try a different path.
I'm not going to win the race. I don't really have a time goal, except to finish under 5 hours. I want to finish feeling strong and I want to have a beer at the finish line. I want to celebrate with my friends. My training this time incorporates lots of intervals, weight lifting, and speed work. And yes, running. Plenty of long runs, just not a ton of high mileage weeks. I've been feeling really great about my training. And the results I'm getting.
Physically, I'll be ready. The hardest thing for me to train is my head to shut out that voice that tells me I can't do it. It's a work in progress. But I don't need people telling me that the training I'm doing isn't going to be enough. I want to prove to myself and the doubters that I can do this.
There are a lot of ways to get across the finish line.
|Thanks to my dear friend Michelle for this one!|