Sunday, September 21, 2014

Endurance... for the long run

The Iron Horse Ultra 100k is coming up in 2 weeks. I have completed my last long run, and am feeling pretty confident. There are a couple of reasons for this:

  1. I have done my due diligence in training. I joined the Frank McNamara Wednesday night cross country race series. There is nothing quite like actually racing... it pushes me beyond what I would do if I was just doing intervals on my own. On Friday (2 days ago) I knocked off 30km, and then yesterday, I knocked off another 44km. I felt reasonably good after that 44km too, and so I'm feeling pretty confident about how training has gone. One note about the "Franks" races. There are a lot of really good and fast runners there. It's pretty remarkable how fit these guys are. I'm feeling pretty humble about my own abilities, and motivated and inspired by some of the performances that I've seen.
  2. I tried a new endurance fuel by Tailwind Nutrition. With shipping, it was a little expensive, but I did not change anything about my training regime. In fact, I decided to try and keep a more aggressive pace than I would usually do, so that I could get tired more quickly. My goal pace was to stick right around 5 minutes per kilometer. For quite a while though, I was keeping things between 4:50 and 4:30. In the end, even with a number of brutal hills, and some pretty bushy singletrack, I was able to pull of 44km in 4 hours 8 minutes or something like that. Actually, I cannot find my gps to verify, and so maybe I'm remembering things a little better? Anyway, I was really happy with how things went. I'll definitely be using Tailwinds on race day. Thank-you to all those who recommended it.
My title this time around is not just solely about running endurance. I think I've had a number of experiences in life that have required me to be patient, to wait, and to trust that things will work out. In the mean time, life was not always glorious and beautiful either. Patience carries a price, and until I changed my attitude toward patience, that price was a difficult one to pay.

It may be a side effect of our "now" society. We have instant everything, and patience is generally not required. My good Wife is a great example of patience right now. Virginie attends school at the University of Alberta taking a BA in recreational sports and tourism. I think she's really found her passion, but she's so excited to apply it. She wants to be "out there", using what she has learned. Seeing the world, and experiencing people. She wants to leave her mark. Her enthusiasm is contagious. I'm really excited about how our lives will unfold. 

But we have to be patient.

In terms of endurance running, patience is a an attribute that I'm not always aware that I'm using, but I'm using it non-the-less. Sometimes, I don't want to feel tired anymore, and all the scenery in the world won't change it. At those times, I just have to be patient. However, patience does not always have to be about "waiting". Perhaps it can also be about choosing? We wait regardless of what we are working toward, regardless of what our goal is. Perhaps patience is a choice to enjoy the road from point "A" to point "B". 

I wish I could sum up in words, all the feeling of the heart on this topic. I think about the "two marshmallow" experiment.

Virginie and I often tell our kids to go for a "two marshmallow" solution. I get rolled eyes sometimes, but in the long run (no pun intended), I think the message is getting through. 

I most certainly applies to myself though, more than anyone else, and so in conclusion I want to say that I will be "happily patient" in a couple of weeks, and I will NOT give up. In doing so, I believe I will find success.