This is a frustrating, humbling sport. In recent weeks a couple of fellow bloggers — Cowboy Hazel and Laminator (who has a nice Q&A Series going as well on back-to-back marathons, base-building, training slowly, and speedwork (I and II)) — have been beating themselves up about what they perceive as below par performances. Of course since both of them are just coming off marathons in which they went all in, they are simply going through the recovery phase and shouldn’t worry about individual runs (and especially individual workouts).
More to the point, I had one of those schlep runs this morning in which I just ground out each and every one of fourteen miles. And every one of the who-knows-how-many steps I had to take to do it. After a week in which I had several great runs in which I ran fast (too fast in fact) and felt like a perfect running machine, today was a reminder that sometimes things just don’t go so smoothly and the objective becomes surviving to fight another day, and forcing yourself to keep moving forward for fear of the internal retribution one suffers at the hands of a run not finished.
This, in turn, inevitably raises the question of why we do it. It can be so glorious. And it can suck. No one cares except me. My wife (a civilian) would prefer that I didn’t do it although she supports me in that I do. It’s one of those eternal, unanswerables. Although, if anyone has an answer, I’m listening.