That time of the year is here. The racing season has just started for us in India. There’s a race almost every weekend now. But more importantly, the registration for SCMM has started! A good wake up call for a lot of us!!
Register. Commit. Train. Race. (Theoretically)
Running after an extended break can be disheartening. The mind still remembers the feeling of peak fitness but obviously the body has forgotten. What was easy pace at one time, has become hard pace now. They will tell you,”…run easy, run slow, and it will all come back”; but it’s hard work.
Hard work to keep yourself motivated through this period, hoping for it to get easier at some point.
Hard to keep running when you feel you are pushing but the miles are not moving.
Hard to keep running when you see your friends cruising and you are huffing and puffing. (Of course, I’ve conveniently forgotten that they have toiled through the summer while I was slacking!)
Hard to keep running when the rain stops and the humidity peaks.
Hard to keep running when the fat jiggles and the vision of a sleek, effortless runner is shattered in more ways than one.
But here is what is working for me, and keeps me going…..
The strength to hang in and put in the slog miles. These are the slow long miles because this is the time to build endurance. Mileage, mileage, mileage!
The faith that hard work will take me ahead. Of course, glorifying past memories has no bearing to the present. However, it can inspire you to keep at it, with the thought that you had been there at a point, not too long ago and you can definitely aspire to get there again. As I have moved from one goal to another, and this one bigger, just the thought of savouring the sweet taste of victory again, will give me strength.
The grit to push when it seems hard. We have all had failed runs and bad race days. And we have bounced back irrespective. Been able to put that behind us and move ahead. This is that bank of courage that helps us on hard run days and the difficult phases of our life. I dip into that and realise – this too shall pass. And I will begin to fly (It’s all relative!).
The encouragement of fellow runners who see me struggling on the uphill. Hills have always been my nemesis and this is, hopefully, my year to conquer them. It is these demons in our heart we need to name and vanquish. Peddar road repeats it will be this year, week after week!
The discipline to eat right. So that I can power my training and more importantly, shed off the junk, excess(!) calories.
The love for running. Which gets me out of bed 5 days a week, at wee hours, to get out there and kill myself.
The love of my friends. Who tell me that I deserved this long(!) break, post my big race.
The desire to do well. Which keeps me going when my head and spirit is down!