So, if only getting back to hard training was like Facebook. You know how it goes, a couple of quick key strokes and you reconnect with someone who you haven't seen in a while. Well, that's what I feel like I need in my training.
For over 25 years it was just a matter of common practice to do hard workouts pretty much every week of the year. In fact, I'm a guy who (as opposed to many distance runners that I know) really enjoys hittin the track for intervals and/or repeats. I even have been know to enjoy hard tempo runs uphill at altitude on Daisy Pass by Cooke City. "Hurting" was good; and, "going to the well" was almost second nature.
But, let's then go to the summer of 2007. My family and I were moving to NW Montana and that cut into my training. At about the same time, I had some problems with my psoas/hip flexor that really caused me problems with running hard. Just as that was coming aroound, I fractured my patella on April Fool's Day in 2008. That meant no running until August, and it really wasn't until the early 2009 that I could begin to return to any semblence of normal traing.
But, even though I thought that I was training hard, my race performances weren't anywhere near the levels that they were up through the spring of 2007. In fact, I was significantly lagging behind by historic levels of time, place and overall performance. Just recently, I was trying to figure out the "problem" of why I wasn't "coming back" the way that I would like.
Then it hit me. Even though I thought I was training hard, I came to realize that my "hard" workouts were lacking. They weren't nowhere near the level of past years. And, more than anything, I realized that I seemed to have forgotten how to dig deep and really make the hard workouts hard. I was finding it far to easy to back off a bit when the "going got tough". At the first signs of distress I was ready to back it down and say that I couldn't go any harder. But, I know that this has just been a matter of not "man-ing up" and reconditioning myself mentally to be willing to "make it hurt so good".
Now that I've come to grips with the the fundamental problem, I'm already finding myself more willing to not giving up when the effort gets to be a challenge. Hopefully I'll be like Austin Powers and get my mojo back. If not, I'm still holding out hope for that running Facebook.
See you on the roads, tracks and trails
The Muddy Buzzard