Thursday, August 21, 2008

Halfway Down the Stairs

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."


kara said...

Thanks for your perspective. It's not easy to zone in on daily accomplishments.
And Kermit...he's the best!

Roisin said...

Cheers! Your blog is quite enjoyable :)

The Happy Runner said...

"In fact, each and every run is an accomplishment, a gift."

Love that -- it is really true. Never more evident than when you can't run.

Kristin said...

Very nice!

RooBabs said...

It's amazing what a difference perspective like that makes.

I usually have to remind myself that there are so many people with health problems, or disabilities that prevent them from running, and then I realized how lucky/blessed I am.

Joe said...

This is so true! Perspective means everything. Love this.


Joe said...

This is so true! Perspective means everything. Love this.


Nat said...

Perpective is definitely what I"m lacking right now. Thank you for this.

newsjunkie said...

Very very wise words, as always, oh running Yoda!

And "Halfway Up the Stairs" is one of my all-time favorite Muppet songs, sung by one of my favorite Muppets!