Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Long Hallway

As we continue the long process of getting back into race-ready fitness, I thought I'd share a recent blog post by Dathan Ritzenhein on his decision to not run U.S. XC Nationals. There were so many fit guys that could have been in the mix at XC but instead went after it in the marathon Trials. I'm curious to see who bothers to show, as I deal with my own dilemma of how to rebound from Boston.

"Lessons in life and running can be very hard to comprehend. We were at Mass this past weekend and Father Dave, our local priest, was digging into the “drudgery” that sometimes accompanies life. He wasn’t saying that drudgery is bad, but more so that can be a grind. He was speaking in purely religious terms, but it can similarly be applied to the labor of everyday training and racing. The majority of the training and season is a grind. Those special moments of pure joy and bliss; such as after a great race are often dwarfed by the hours of endless exercise. If I look at the top moments I’ve had from running they are surrounded by a sea of grinding detail.

I think the point of the sermon was not so much about enjoying those brilliant moments but finding peace in the long stretches in between the peaks. Father Dave used the analogy; when one door closes-another one opens, but sometimes it leads to a hallway. In short, it can be a long way from one success to another. Without being able to enjoy the “drudgery” between the good races, you could spend most of your time being unhappy with what you are doing.

The other part of the sermon was knowing what door to open next. You may have a lot of choices and making the right one can be hard to do. I look at the the long hallway as being the journey to London 2012. I thought that after the Olympic Trials Marathon I would be walking into the next room, instead I have found myself heading back into the hallway.

For this very reason, I have decided I am not going to run the US XC Championships this weekend. Training and recovery have gone well, but after flirting with the idea of running we decided to move on to the next opportunity. All along we said let’s get back out and race, but make sure I am completely recovered. I feel good, but still think I need a few more weeks to get the marathon completely out of my legs before lacing up again.

So we head back down the hallway to the next door, it’s all part of the journey…"

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