by Patrick Rizzo on October 11, 2012
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.
Marathon training: Doing the same thing over and over EXPERIENCING different results!
Good or bad results, I find it absolutely valuable to hit the reset button after a focus race. In my current case, that was the Chicago Marathon, where I ran a 2:15:44 for 21st place.
Outwardly, that might seem like an great marathon. After all, I've only run faster once...and that was also this year (my personal best came at the US Olympic Trials in January in Houston). To me, it was a missed goal. I was training to run in the 2:12 range or possibly faster if weather was on my side, which it was! There are only a few times in a runner's career when the prep work goes well and the weather comes in to help polish the finish.
Chicago was the day where the prep work and weather were on my side. The enemy? My legs? That seems unlikely and I really have no finite reason why all the training and a carefully planned taper don't always get to showcase themselves on race day. This was just one of “those days.”
Years of running have taught me that there are some times when training takes a huge jump forward but racing doesn't follow. I've trained for the 2:12 marathon; that's undeniable. I put in the marathon-specific work at that pace; I got in the volume; I strung together the weeks, healthy, leading into the marathon. I've just taken that leap before I'm ready for it to translate into my racing.
What do I have to do to get to parity where racing and training are equal? It just takes some time. There is no way to expedite time so there may even be another frustration or two along the way. I solemnly feel that my racing WILL find a happy medium with my training. This scenario has happened time and again. I'll be back, but for now I'm regrouping and focusing on getting back to my basics. Good luck to everyone with fall marathons still to come. Stay healthy and most importantly, HAVE FUN!