Friday, September 18, 2015

Too Stubborn? Too Stupid?

Quick update as the summer comes to a close.  As you have probably noticed, my blog, which was born to follow my racing adventures, has been on life-support for the last couple of years due to weirdo illness. 

Lexi & me on the couch on a beautiful summer day last due to sicky ickies. 
                                   Lot of hours on the couch in 2014.

Then after mounting a quasi-comeback and racing in May, the curtain of silence again fell.  Unfortunately it wasn't due to a descent into a serious pain cave of training and getting in amazeballs shape.  Instead, I was dealing with a couple of major injuries.

Quick recap:
⭐︎Illness and injury battles from July 2013-September 2015 (YUCK).

⭐︎September 2015 the "training" resumes with walking and run/walk intervals.

⭐︎November 2015 actual training resumes and I realize I am facing a mountain of work to even think about qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Trials (which is my ultimate goal).

⭐︎January 2015 pull a calf muscle; out for 8 weeks (seriously, if my calves weren't so big, it wouldn't have taken so long to heal).
             On what was supposed to be a training trip to AZ in January 2015, 
            instead I can only do a moderate amount of hiking due to calf injury.

⭐︎March, April, May start training basically from scratch again.

⭐︎May race Dam to Dam Half Marathon and run a respectable 1:19 considering the circumstances.

⭐︎June, just as I feel I'm starting to make gains and get geared up for Grandma's (officially Gary Bjorklund) Half Marathon, I seriously pull a hamstring racing in a little tune-up 5k. FML, pardon my french.

⭐︎August resume training from what feels like scratch AGAIN.  This is where I start to wonder if I'm stubborn or just stupid.  But, as I say, "can't stop, won't stop."

⭐︎September finally dip my toe back in the racing pool with the local Labor Day Victory Races.  I opt for the 10k, 5k back-to-back challenge, because why not?  I end up running a 36:24 10k and 45 minutes later an 18:30 5k.  Considering what I know I'm capable of (33:00ish 10k and 16:00 5k), this feels like a disappointment.  Then reflecting on what I've been though and the amount of training I've put in, I realize it's a time to celebrate and should be marked in "W" column.
                  Victory 10k-5k, not exactly 1:11 half marathon shape, but it's a start.

Now, I find myself racing the clock (literally) to qualify for the Trials.  I have until January 17 to run a qualifying time (which for the marathon is 2:43).  In the past, I qualified by running a marathon because well, that's the race at hand.  But because of what I've been though and the amount of time I've had to train (or lack thereof), my goal is to qualify using the half marathon race standard (which is 1:15).  Considering I ran a 1:19 in May and then sat on the bench for 5 weeks and could only muster a 36:00 10k a few weeks again, I feel like I'm stepping into the ring against Ivan Drago.  But I KNOW a 1:11 is in me, so getting a 1:15 is more than possible.  It's going to require total commitment to jumping in the hurt locker and embracing the discomfort, but I'm ready and willing to accept that fate.  It's also going to take a little bit of luck to not get injured or sick again...fingers crossed.

I would love to be in 1:11 shape and talking about being a real contender for Rio, but that's not the cards that were dealt to me.  Instead, I'm holding on to a thin thread of hope that I can and will qualify and simply get to bask in the accomplishment of making it to the start line at the Trails in LA in February.

Wish me luck!
                                                Mustaches are fun!

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