I can always tell how great a run is by how difficult it is to peel my sports bra off afterwards from my slimy body. Today I needed the jaws of life to get out of that stubborn sucker.
4 weeks since my last tempo run. Dang that is an eternity. There was the 5k prep week with some mile repeats, then the week of the 5k where I decided to forgo a speed session in addition to my first ever sub 20 5k, then there was a week of blazing hot temps where I wasn't brave enough to attempt speed that was followed by a second week of scorching temps that just left me feeling blah and lazy.
So to sum it up I needed to fly like the wind today. Speed work feeds my soul, and I haven't been doing nearly enough of it lately. Actually I haven't really been doing ANY lately. Life happens and all of my well meaning plans go straight out the window, but lately it seems like mine have been plummeting off of a cliff and bursting into flames at first impact with land. Sometimes life just goes that way. But today's 6 mile tempo in 40:28 was just what the doctor ordered. It was challenging and hot out, but just what my spirit needed to bring me back to the reality of working hard for something my heart desires.
I forgot how taxing marathon training is on my body, the time commitment and the mental focus it takes to get through 18 weeks of challenging workouts. When you throw crazy July temps to the mix on top of keeping rather busy the past few weeks with work, in the end you get one exhausted lady that is trying her best to not skip a beat but is so off rhythm. My husband is a fairly observant man that doesn't acknowledge my craziness too often, which is a blessing because he can keep me in check and not let me indulge and linger on that what should be let go. It isn't often that he offers me advice on how to best move forward with my stressors because he knows that I don't like to bring my crapola into our marriage and when I need his opinion I will ask. But the other day I must have been showing my cards a bit too obviously and the wear and tear of the busy summer I've been having was clearly visible.
He knows my goals, my heart, and how important October is for me. He sees my drive and my relentless running spirit that sometimes beats me like a dead horse to keep going and push harder when there is nothing left to give. But he also knows I'm human, that there are limits to what I can take and he sees me approaching that line far before I am able to notice it myself. In almost four years of marriage, he has begun to develop this impartial wisdom that peaks through at moments where I feel like it is me vs. the world and the world is winning. The exuding subtlety behind the simplicity of his thoughts that "if you're tired, take it easy on the running front. 70 miles is a lot of running in one week. You don't want to get to the line in October exhausted" passed his lips at the right venerable moment for me and I actually heard the words he was saying. While I know this, sometimes it takes an intervention of words from someone else for me to actually understand things.
It is difficult to do it all in life and we all want to be the best at everything we do even though we are aware of the impossibility of this feat. As for me, I'm no different. I want to be a great wife, daughter, sister, and friend; I want to ride the running wave while its at it's high and be the best I can be; I want to be successful in my career; I want to be the best me that I can be; I want to make the most of this short life I have. The reality for me right now is that I am failing miserably at all of these things right now because I just can't do it all. Instead of saying yes to the things I know I can handle and no to those that I can't, I just say yes to everything. It's like I think that I don't need sleep or quiet time to reflect on my life. But I'm wrong, and I hate saying that.
Life is hard and complicated, it is filled with heartache and joy, and we have the choice to either sink or swim. I don't want to sink nor do I want to even float through time, I want to swim against the current and overcome the exhaustion of giving it all that I've got in me to push past the pain. I know that I can't have it all and that sometimes my desires are selfish and impure and do not match up with God's plan, but I'm not yet ready to call it quits on my dreams. I am well aware that there is not a worthy accomplishment in life that will ever be an easy feat, so I'm going to accept this challenging time for what it is and continue pressing forward.
Today I am reminding myself that it is not about the destination but more so about the journey we experience to get to our destination. I will rejoice and embrace times of trial as much as I do times of joy. If that means that I need to make a few modifications along the way, then so be it.
How do you handle it all when your training is at it's peak? Do you ever feel over committed?