Time and time again I catch myself just mindlessly running. I’ll get through a few miles, and not realize how I actually just got to where I was. The run”s aren’t always like this. Some runs I think about every awful step, every tiring arm rotation, every exhausting breath. Some runs, the mind takes over and beats me to a pulp. But at the end of the day, I would rather have an awful run, than no run at all.
A while back, during a Sunday Texas summer run, the infamous Welshman Chris Gowell once said (paraphrased of course) “If I start feeling awful on a run, I keep going, and make sure the run goes as terrible as possible. I want to remember that day, and remember how bad the run went.” I feel like there have been so many days like that. More often than not, the bad days make you tougher than the good days. Mentally at least.
I was in full force training mode, on a way to a solid buildup for Chicago Marathon, and disaster struck. I got super greedy with training, some hip flexor tightness went unaccounted for, and turned into a full blown injury. Just like that, I was sidelined for a little over a month. I was pretty pissed to say the least. But that is the nature of the beast. When you don”t think about taking care of yourself, and you”re too focused on piling the mileage, shit will catch up to you.
I thought that taking a bunch of time off and starting from scratch was going to kill my mind. I thought it was going to kill my confidence, and push my patience to a breaking point. But it didn’t. I was able to relax a little bit and take a step back to re-evaluate everything that was going on.
I got back to training after about 5-6 weeks of downtime and slowly built back into mileage. I became hyper aware of almost everything during the runs. Once a couple of weeks went by, my body felt pretty sound and I started getting back at it. To be quite honest, I didn’t mind not running Chicago. All I wanted to do was race Zilker Relays. Zilker is like the kickoff to the fall season of racing for a lot of us. It”s such a fun race. People try to pretend like they aren’t competitive, but in reality, it”s a pretty competitive race. We put together a team to just have fun, but being the lead off leg, the competitor in me took over, and I just wanted to win. Austin Bussing had other ideas for our first leg. With 600m left in the race, he dropped the hammer and left me in the dust. Either way I had a lot of fun, and Zilker got the fire back in me.
The Summer has winded to a close, and fall is fast approaching. With T-Minus 16 weeks and counting until the Olympic Marathon Trials I need to make sure I stay healthy, and keep on that grind! Onward and upward.