As I alluded to in my previous posts, I've done quite a bit more thinking surrounding my running lately and I've come to some slightly vague conclusions around what my goals should be or what I should do to achieve them. The cool thing about this is that it has helped to form a solid motivational tool for me when it comes to training.
I'm sure most runners go through similar peaks and valleys, but I've always found it interesting that post race I'm either hyper motivated to race again, or I'm completely satisfied and ready to relax. My racing last year went: crappy race, train hard/good race... repeat. Logically it makes sense, because I was disappointed or embarrassed and I wanted to prove something to myself.
Initially this year I had a hard time getting going. Partly, I knew I didn't have enough time to adequately prepare for Way Too Cool and the toughness of training through winter (though ours has been unseasonably nice discounting the past week) left me lacking. However, there are some things that have helped which are contrarian by nature.
Hard line approach:
This is the logical side of my brain working. The marked improvement I noticed in my climbing ability during Hellgate was in no doubt brought about by the hard work I put into it. I ran more hills, and ran them harder than before. I got into the gym and did squats and lifts that helped build strength, and I ran uphill on the treadmill. I don't have ease of access to hills from my house or office, and I don't justify driving out to the hills for my daily runs. When I noticed the gains after reflecting on Hellgate, I knew I had to keep working hard (in my case in the gym) to continue that benefit. The more I dwell on this the more pumped I get about training hard. I watched a short video today on KJ's training and I just got amped on it. That's it man, rip it in training so you can rip it in the race.
My life approach:
Call me sappy, but the more I run, and the longer I am a Father/Husband, the more I draw inspriration from my family. Since getting passes to the Denver Rec centers, I've brought Xavier out quite a bit to play basketball. He's 2 1/2 so there's not much "basketball" being played by the little man, but there is a lot of running. When I was watching him yesterday, he was literally as full of joy as I've ever seen him. He was running full speed across the court trying to dribble the ball and then he would ultimately dive headfist and slide across the floor. After laughing like a damn fool, he'd get up and do it again. Baseline to baseline. It's purity man. It's why you do it; it's f***ing awesome. (sorry mom). I've been smiling a lot lately when running, it feels pure, it's kinetic. What better way to pass on to another generation what we should be doing as humans, respect life, be in the moment. That's what my buddy Johnny's late father taught me, be in the moment because it's not there forever. Enjoy your time doing what you're doing. I've been motivated because I enjoy getting out there every day, I enjoy what I believe is setting a good example for my son (and for the little fetus growing in my super hot wife's belly [shameless plug there, she deserves it]).
In any case, motivation is easy to come by right now. I waffle between the two approaches and it's been quite cyclical. One day I'm motivated because I'm super stoked to get out and cruise. Other days I'm motivated to ablosutely destroy my muscles, break down to build up. So far it's been a healthy balance. Writing this my legs feel as if they've exploded from the inside out, it was a good day at the gym...
Soon we'll be out running trails like the one from this pic I stole from Jaime's header: