The problem with short
|January 16, 2015||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
Shortly after deciding to spend the first part of this year running fast and focusing on 5k’s, I saw this article. Now I’m even more convinced that my choice to back off my ultra training was one of my better ideas. It’s one thing to say “this feels right”, and quite another to have a trusted source tell me this is a perfectly reasonable thing for an *”ultrarunner” to do.
*I canNOT write that word in reference to myself without the quotes, LOL’ing, and breaking into hysterical giggles. Impossible.
Besides all the nebulous “gut feeling” reasons for changing focus to short and fast, I had another realization. This morning I actually totaled up the number of hours in an average day on this particular clinic rotation. Average day for me right now is 12 hours long 6-7 days a week. Not including my commute. No wonder I feel like I don’t have time for anything ever.
I also still have a mental hangover from the end of my last running season (although, now that I realize the hours I’m “working”, I’m wondering if it’s less of that, and more current sleep/rest/stress levels). I did my most recent mile repeats on the treadmill and it was HARD and I felt myself go to the whiny “I can’t do this” place, but then I was curiously elated when it dawned on me that the 4 fast miles I had just done was longer than my race was going to be and that made me….glad.
In summary training for a 5k is turning out to be a fun (and probably smart) diversion for the next couple of months.
So what’s the problem?
Somehow shelling out $50+ to go double-digit miles seems perfectly reasonable, even if it’s a couple of hours drive. Hey!, I get a t-shirt that I am guaranteed to adore and love!
However, shelling out $35 to drive 30-60 min and run a 5k (and get a t-shirt), leaves me wondering whether that $35 would be better spent on this really nice Columbia would be totally awesome shirt that is on the for-sale rack?
I go through the same debates when I want to do an LD: Do the miles at home or do them at a ride?
There are benefits to committing to a date, showing up, and putting it all on the line.
There is a difference between saying “I felt really good today so I ran fast and did a sub-8 min/mile 5k!”, and planning on running a sub-8 min/mile 5k on a certain day in the future, and then executing it. Both are awesome, but at some point I want to have that PR be official.
The same applies to endurance. I will listen and nod politely while you tell me how the horse you left at home *could* have run today’s ride and completed it because you did “x miles in x amount of time” *at home*, but it doesn’t matter to me, and I don’t care. Because doing endurance is more than just being able to do the distance in a certain amount of time. Coming to a ride and managing everything from camping, to other horses, to the pressure of having to perform on a certain day and time, along with doing the distance, is what *endurance* is. When I do 25 miles at home, I did a conditioning ride, not an LD.
Running a 5k and getting that PR is more than just running the distance at a certain pace. It’s getting to the race, managing the pre race stress, placing yourself correctly in the pack, AND running the distance.
(This concept is also what makes dressage tests so hard. Do *this* movement at this particular spot right NOW. )
If you want a 5k PR, show up and run a 5k (and if you want to run fast and give yourself an endorphin high and run for other reasons and spend that $35 on a shirt you *really* want, stay home).
If you want to do endurance, show up and ride an endurance ride (and if you want to ride trails fast and far at home, do it! But don’t call it endurance.)
At some point in the next couple of months I *will* do an actual sanctioned 5k, and I will race it, and it will be AWESOME.
But…on the 24th I plan to wake up and see what I want more that morning – the thrill of a race and a PR? or a self-awarded prize for running my heart out on my local trail?