Saturday, March 12, 2016
Remembering What It Was Like at the Bottom.
Only, you suck!
That is right! After an entire year of training, with several dozen races, two Marathons, several age group awards, and a steady improvement on your own personal records....you now are slower than a turtle dipped in molasses during the winter months. All of that previous training and conditioning....is gone.
Well, Maybe zero is a little harsh. It is possible that an injury was not major, and that the road to recovery was short enough so they can begin at half way. In other words, they have not fallen too far. Your legs and cardio quickly get back on track and you can race back to the top in no time.
But for those who have lost serious conditioning, this is a major blow. The blow is actually more mental than physical. Physically, they are able to get back in the saddle with a fixed leg. They just have to run around to get it back in the shape it once was. But the mental strain comes from remembering what it was like being on top; and viewing that from the bottom. They can't remember ( Or don't want to!) what it was like when running 9 minute miles was an achievement. And a training run over 8 miles was historic! They only remember the 7:45 minute miles over the 26.2 mile course. And THAT was the pace there wanted to improve. They want to skip ahead to that level before the injury. But, there are no shortcuts, and running is an unforgiving sport.
So then, what do you do?
That is not to say that you will never get there again. It's simply a way to change your perception. Think of this as an opportunity to climb that mountain again...from the beginning. Only now you have a better understanding of the paths to take. Rebuilding things back to their former glory can be just as rewarding....and fun! And you know, in the back of your mind, that you can and will achieve that level again. (Well, at least until you get too old. Everyone has to retire sometime.)