Take it and Run Thursday is all about "the middle" this week. The middle part of a training program is a tricky place to be for a runner. The beginning is great. You're in those opening throes of excitement, full of enthusiasm. And the end is cool, too. You're tapering, and that race is within sight.
But the middle? There's a lot of potential for ho-hum. That initial glow has worn off, and although you're building up miles, your distances aren't exactly amazing, rock star amounts. I actually wrote about that feeling when I was training for the trisko a few months back. I had just finished a training run of eight miles, and my pace was, you know... fine. Not bad, not great. The distance itself was okay - not an easy three, not a challenging double-digit distance.
Finishing a run with a feeling of malaise isn't a good recipe to want to get out there and run again, you know? What's the best cure for these middle training week blahs?
A healthy dose of perspective.
The easiest thing to do is to talk to a non-runner. I was at a party on Saturday, talking to some non-running friends, about what we'd done that day. I said that I'd gone running, just fifteen, then ran errands, blah, blah, blah.
They stared at me in amazement. "You ran fifteen miles today? If I did that, I wouldn't even be standing up right now."
I realized that was true - the distance I'd run, which was just in the middle for me, in the middle part of my training program - was something that most people I know (other than you damned BRF's, throwing off the average) could not do. It truly was an accomplishment. In fact, each and every run is an accomplishment, a gift. The middle is actually pretty cool. I can look back at where I've been, and confidently see where I'm going.
And because most things can best be explained by Muppets, I give you Robin, with A.A. Milne's "Halfway Down the Stairs."