Monday, May 19, 2014

Defining success

Okay, 2 really cool things happened last week. The first is that I had wanted to complete a 100km week. I've been close to a 100km week before, but my body would usually quit before my will would. For whatever reason, when I started death race training last year, I decided not to count my weekly kilometerage that much. I guess in some cases ignorance is bliss? We (meaning Virginie and I) were always very careful to follow the 10% rule, at least when it came to our long runs.

This time around, I've been interested in my weekly kilometerage. A number of weeks ago, I had done 84km for the week. 100 would be pushing the 10% rule a little, but I figured, listen to your body. Remember, 3 strikes and your out (If I feel pain in the same area 3 times, I stop running). Stretch lots, and if a muscle gets sore, strengthen it. This usually means right after the run. It's funny, sore muscles are not obvious sometimes. For example, pain in my hips could come further down my quads. Now, I'm not a doctor, but right now, my hamstrings are really stiff, and I think that's contributing to a little pain in the inner thighs. It's not enough to stop me, but I really want to be careful these days. I guess it's called red-lining, where you push your body to the limit, without injuring yourself. With all that said, the more I learn about my body, the more I'm impressed on how it adapts to longer distances. So long as I'm "mentally there", I'm usually good to go, and my body will albeit unhappily sometimes, adapt.

That was not the case this last week though. I did 24km on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (well 22 on Thursday), for a total of 94km for the week. It was with this in mind that I found myself running in the green area behind our home in my barefeet at 11:00pm on Saturday. By that time, I was not really motivated too much other than the goal for completing a 100km week. However, when I began running, I felt my feet connect with the soft cool grass. I heard the frogs "chirping" in the small stream beside me. It was dusk, and I could smell a few wood burning fires. It was finally spring, and I was free. I felt as though Mother Earth granted me energy above what I had, because I had chosen not to hide myself from her with my shoes. I started off at a 5:30 pace, but only 20 minutes later, it had quickened to 4:00 min/km, yet I felt in control of my breath. I was relaxed. I was feeling "the flow". I did not bring a headlamp with me, so I had to trust that my feet would know what to do. If I stepped on anything, they would be able to detect, and compensate almost instantly.

We sure do have amazing bodies!!!

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I get a little worried for Virginia, because she's really struggling, but I realize that it's never too late. Last year at the death race, I visited the physiotherapist 3 days before we were to run. Why? because I could not run. My IT band was so tight it was impossible to run through the pain. She needled me, wished me luck. I swore off running until race day and on that cool August morning, I rose with my Wife, checked in at the start line, and began running.

22 hours, 7 minutes, and 45 seconds later we crossed the finish line.

I often wonder what made that day successful. I guess it was a lot of things. The point I'm trying to make though is that it's never too late. It's never too late to try. We only fail, when we fail to try. I guess this is how I'm defining success.

My love and prayers go out to Virginie. My message is: We'll make it. We'll do it!

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