I know that the Rocky movies can be cheesy at times. However, this speech resonates with me strongly right now.
It ain’t about how hard you’re hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. About how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done…
Finishing a marathon gives you this amazing sense of accomplishment. It was two years of dreaming and months of focused training. Once it was over, I knew that I didn’t want it to end there. I wanted to move on and do more. I scheduled a half marathon to keep me going. However, I felt lost. I was in uncharted territory and was just trying to find my way. I got sick and had to rest. I’ve dealt with technological failures and let them end training runs. At some point, I needed to draw that line in the sand and say enough is enough. It’s time to move forward. Finishing a marathon in the past, while it gives me the confidence that I can, won’t get me to the finish line of my next race if I don’t do the work. This week was challenging with all sorts of technological failures that I let defeat me.
It didn’t start off that way. On Monday, I had a great time at LA Fitness! I spent about 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. It was a great 30 minutes as well that left me feeling strong. The good vibes continued on as I used the assisted pull up and dip machine. The weights that I had used a month prior were still doable. Then, on to the leg press machine. Again, it all was going well. I finished with abs. After spending the prior week just trying to get back into a routine, I had pushed myself for the first time since the Surf City USA Half Marathon. After recovering from an upper respiratory infection, I was finally in a place to move forward. I had taken that hit and as moving forward.
Then, the technology failed me. On Tuesday, I set out to run 6 miles on the usual path. Right from my first run interval, I knew something wasn’t right. The GPS in the Nike Plus app was going crazy. In my first minute of running, it said that I finished 0.30 miles. Trust me, I’m not that fast. As time would move on, on one walk break, I saw the distance moving up 0.01 miles per second. Again, I don’t walk that fast. So, the GPS was clearly not working. I decided to push through to where I thought the first mile should end. Luckily for me, I’ve run this route enough to have a pretty good idea where the end of the first mile should be located. Once I finished there, I turned off the Nike Plus app and started Map My Run. This one seemed to work a little better. The next mile seemed to finish close to where I would have predicted. However, after that, on my first minute of walking, it said I advanced 0.30 miles in one minute. If I don’t run that fast, I surely don’t walk that fast. It was frustrating. The problem is that I don’t remember exactly where the end of the 3rd or 6th miles were located. As much as I tried to use the Map My Run app as a timer only, by the time I got to the end of the third mile (or maybe a little past), I was really frustrated and decided to call it a day. So, I gave up 3 miles due to a mental let down due to technology that was failing me.
I had planned on running on Wednesday. However that didn’t happen. The mental lapses were building.
On Thursday, I had a bible study to go to after work. So, I knew I wouldn’t be working out beforehand.
On Friday, I was beat and so was Brooke. To top it all off, I was planning on running 9 miles on Saturday morning. So, the idea of running Friday night was not appealing. Plus, I thought that if I ran on Saturday morning, I could get a gym workout and end up with 4 workouts in the week. Therefore, I didn’t need to do anything on Friday.
On Saturday, I forced myself out of bed to head out to the Rose Bowl to run 9 miles. I am not a morning person. So, getting out of bed was not easy. However, I made it. After breakfast, I took to twitter and read about all of the people I was following who were running the Princess Half Marathon’s 10K. I’m not gonna lie. I really wished I was out there with them. I lost track of time while reading all the tweets and looking at all the pictures. So, I left for the Rose Bowl a little late. This was not good. The schedule for the day put me in a pretty small window of opportunity to finishing all 9 miles. I rushed out the door to drive to the Rose Bowl. As I started walking to the loop I tried starting my playlist. The first song always puts me in a better place. However, this time, the song didn’t start. I spent the next 5 minutes trying to get everything to work. My phone kept saying that the headphones were not plugged in. But they were! Argh! Time kept ticking away and I watched my window for a 9 mile run in the morning close. Technology failure again. When I got home, I tried a different set of headphones to see the same message on my phone. I think there is something wrong with the headphone jack on the phone. My wife came up with the brilliant idea of synching iTunes to our iPod. So, I did that. All of this meant that I would get no workouts in for Saturday.
On Sunday, with an iPod that had my playlists on it, I went to the gym to conquer 9 miles on the treadmill (or at least 6). The sad reality of using the iPod is that the volume is too soft for my liking. However, it was something. I needed to get my miles up anyway I could. A line in the sand needed to be drawn. By the end of last week, I had finally come up with a plan to get me all the way to the Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland. Plans are great if you do them…not so much if you don’t. I finished a full marathon by doing the work. If I want a 2 hour, 30 minute half marathon, I need to do the work. So, I headed out when I had the chance to run. Since the temps were in the 80’s again, that meant going to run on the treadmill. I usually don’t mind running on the treadmill. However, when you’ve got more than an hour to run on it, the treadmill is not very much fun at all. Plus, I’m still trying to figure out pacing on the treadmill. I ran intervals of 1 minute run/ 1 minute walk. For the run intervals, I ran at 6.0 MPH. For the walk intervals, I walked at 4.0 MPH. This seemed to work out pretty well. I was finishing the miles at just under 12 minutes per mile. Perfect! When I run outside, I’m usually faster in the first 5 miles than I was on the treadmill. However, I tend to slow down a little after that. This became pretty clear to me on Sunday. By the time I got to 7.25 miles, I was beat. Initially, I thought taking an extra minute of walking on the treadmill would help. However, once I took that extra minute, my body seemed to think that meant we were done. Once I tried running again after that second minute of walking, I quit really quickly. So, I walked the remainder of that quarter-mile out and finished with 7.50 miles in just under an hour and a half. My average pace was 11 minutes 55 seconds per mile! That might have been my fastest pace for a run over 5 miles ever! I was exhausted, a little disappointed that I didn’t get all 9 miles, but was okay because I knew that I pushed myself as hard as I could have. If I were running outside, I might have been able to finish all 9 miles at that point. However, I don’t think I would have finished 7.5 miles as fast either.
I ended the week with 3 workouts, however they were not the best workouts. On Sunday, I decided that a line in the sand needed to be drawn. I need to keep drawing that line every day. The marathon is now behind me and I’m moving forward. Life took some shots at me this year. I’m doing my best to take those shots and keep moving forward.
Speaking of moving forward, runDisney tweeted this picture yesterday and has the runDisney universe buzzing over what the announcement might be. Check back tomorrow as you know I’ll be covering the big announcement. What do you think the announcement might be? The “Smash the Half” hash tag seems to tell of an Avengers and/or Marvel themed race coming. At least that’s what I’m hoping for. An Avengers themed half marathon weekend at Disneyland has been rumored for about a month now. Hopefully, runDisney will turn that rumor into reality tomorrow. We shall see.