Mental memory(!) vs Muscle memory.
Over coffee, I gave a runner friend my sob story (usual for this season), of how my previous few long runs had been disastrous and the last straw, was my taking a taxi last Sunday, the very instant that I finished 21.1 km. I just could not bear the thought of completing my stipulated 24km. Yes, I know it is all in my head and that day, my head won.
I understand where I am today. I realise that it has been 6 months since my Half IM, and I have really slacked off on the training. So, to imagine myself breezing through 24 km runs was a bit unrealistic- I would say, rather foolish of me.
As fitness goes, I am fit. But who is doing this for fitness?
As running goes, I have lost my pace.
As swimming goes, I am not improving.
And the less said about my bike, the better!
I don’t want to write another sad story.
I need to accept where I am. Oh, it is just another new place! Like I have accepted the current before, it is a result of my own doing. If I have stopped working at the same intensity that I used to, of course I will see the effect.
So where am I? In runner’s lingo what is my “Aukaat”?
It has been 2 years since I ran my last marathon, 3 since I raced one. Running endurance is low. And frankly, speed is irrelevant when distance is a question.
I am a beginner again.
I need to build my base.
42.2 km is not a small distance.
Maybe I underestimated it when I registered for this race or overestimated myself.
More likely the latter.
One month and it has shown me where I am. That is why I love running. It is such a leveller!
My wise friend sips his coffee and tells me, memory and muscle memory don’t necessarily work concurrently.
BOOM! That’s it.
Like I trained for my first marathon in 2012, I will run relaxed, easy and focus on just finishing the distance. It is the ego that needs to be tamed. How can I not complete 24km? Fact remains that I cannot. I need to begin small and work up. Once I know what I need to do, I will do it well. The one thing that I know I have tenacity. I have to change my training expectations, put my head down and WORK! Time will do what it has to do. And I have learned, the harder I work the more magic I see. So then. That’s it.
I am happy!
Life has come a full circle. From easy running, I went to training hard, and now am back to easy running. I will run TMM for the joy of it! Yes, yes, I do find joy in that misery! Numbers have never had meaning in my life. It has always been about a Dream. And I have always competed with myself, to become a better version of myself(I am currently at Parul 5.0). As I look around, I see all my friends who are in kickass form and I am happy for them. I was there once, but I am here now.
This is my journey and I will choose where I want to go next! Over the years I have walked various paths to learn the meaning of grit and determination, to understand the importance of discipline, felt the satisfaction of living outside my comfort zone and found great delight in starting at rock-bottom and working up!
It will be my ninth marathon and my exasperated mother has just flipped, What! are you running a full marathon, again!!! Why…???
Now, if only I had an answer for that!
Ephemeral is the constant!