Rest and Recovery is…OVER!

It’s been 6 days since the end of January and the accumulation of 400+ miles on my body. The first few days I thought I would be stoked not having to run, but I think after having that constant “runner’s high” for 31 days, my body was craving it a little. I also started to notice little aches and soreness in my body as the days passed. I was diligent with foam rolling and stretching twice a day and feel great with fresh legs. I also feel like I never lowered my food intake since the rest period started.

I’m nervous for tomorrow, just a little bit. A part of me feels like I’ll be starting from scratch, but the sensible side knows I’m ready to pour my soul into these next 89 days and I have a solid base. It’s no time to hold back, no time to let discomfort win and no time for fear or uncertainty. I posted the Skyrunner’s Manifesto the other day and this gets me excited for many reasons. Right from the start, “Kiss or kill. Besa o mata.” I got goosebumps the first time I read this. It reminded me of the New Hampshire state motto, “Live Free or Die.” I love this because of my inner drive to not only succeed in my goals but I want to crush it, to make sure I gave it everything I had. I love the descriptions throughout the manifesto and how it says you must pour your soul into it, that now is the time to suffer, fight and win. That is how I feel looking at my training block compared to the previous one I did from October to December.

I struggled last training block with mindset and overall confidence. I was unsure of myself and whether I could possibly catch the “unicorn.” I was also unsure if this training plan would work, since it was based on heart rate zones and I was running with a double stroller. The first month was rough and I had lots of doubt. I also wondered if I was doing it right, since sometimes my perceived effort and heart rate were on different levels. For example, I did a 8 mile long run around a 10-10:30 minute pace which left me at a conversational pace, but my heart rate was in a Zone 4 or 5. It wasn’t until the end of November when I ran a 5K on Thanksgiving that I started to have confidence. I was able to run a 20:33 with the double stroller. But I was still unable to breakdown my wall.

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Little Bear, Speedy and I after the 5K (left to right)

Mentally, I was unable to push my self past the wall during the high intensity interval runs. No matter how hard I tried to convince myself I wanted it, that I wanted to really suffer, I came up short. I wasn’t able to crack the code and it was frustrating throughout the whole training block. I have a feeling now, that I may have cracked it. I won’t truly know until a month into training. I feel like the month of January has brought out another runner in me, one that is able to strive and push the boundaries. I came out of the challenge and the month of January with a new level of confidence and a greater insight to myself. I say this not only in a runner, but as a person. Unfortunately, only the test of time will be able to tell me the truth.

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