As paradoxical as it seems, recovery can sometimes be just as hard as training.
I’m slogging my way through the middle of a recovery week, forcing my heart rate into unfamiliar zones, embracing my pull buoy, and spinning out my miles. It’s the most boring thing ever. What keeps me coming back to training is the challenge of a new day––what can I do now that I couldn’t before? What can I do again even better than last time? I can be an intense person, so the adrenaline filled, fast twitch, heart-racing action is what keeps me entertained.
But training can’t always be about going fast and I’m realizing how important it is to learn how to go slow.
Somewhere along Mile 11, an excited stranger jogged up alongside me, announcing that this was the farthest he had ever run in his life and that we were almost finished. He asked if it was also my first half marathon. I awkwardly negotiated my response.
“Yes,” I replied. “But…I also did LA Marathon…”
“What??” he called back, a judging sting of disbelief in voice. “This should be easy for you!”
“Yeah,” I said. “It should be. But it’s really not…”
A lot of people were surprised to hear that I had signed up for the half Ironman at Lake Tahoe this year, and assumed that it was a last minute decision. I had actually signed up in April shortly after the 70.3 race was announced, but I didn’t tell anyone, save for a select inner circle of need to know personnel. I like to think that I kept it under wraps because I tend to be a fairly quiet and private person, preferring not to draw attention to myself. But the deeper truth is one that I’m ashamed to admit — I didn’t think I could do it.
When I was little and wanted to quit something, my mother would say, “There will be things you won’t want to do at West Point, but you’ll still have to do them.”
Even though I ultimately chose not to follow in my father’s footsteps and attend the US Military Academy at West Point, the lesson was still learned—that life would present obstacles that, while unappealing, I would have to find ways to persevere through.
Ever since moving here almost 3 years ago I’ve wanted to run the LA marathon because Los Angeles the first city that has felt like my own — my streets, my friends, the first town of my choosing. I’ve run this city for 3 years and now I have a day to run for miles and miles with nothing to stop me but myself.
While certainly the easiest and most natural of activities, I would say that running is likely one of my weaker sports.