No, I don't mean the Grouse Grind or a cup of delicious coffee (though I do love both of those). What I am referring to, is the daily grind of a hard training block. Today (Sunday the 23rd) was the last hard day of a 16 day quality block for me. Even though I cracked today while at the Houston Trail 8km trail race (held on for 2nd place), I loved the suffering that accompanied the cracking.
Maybe it was because I knew that it was the last hard effort before some down time (and a taper). Or, maybe it was because I was in one of those moods where you just want to push so hard that you go cross-eyed. Either way, my legs just weren't up to keeping pace with the plan that my brain and lungs wanted to execute.
What happened today wasn't a surprise though. January was probably my biggest running volume month ever, then toss in more than a couple weeks of quality in February, and you have the perfect recipe for the inevitable cracking. Not in a bad way though; in a planned way.
Here's the simple, but not so easy, recipe:
1) Push your limits, until you start to crack
2) Take your foot off the gas.
4) Boom....you're fast!
Ok, there may be a bit more complexity to it than that, but you know what I mean.
If all goes as planned, I'll come back stronger and faster. Which should set me up to have a pair of strong performances in my first two big races this year: Dirty Duo (Solo: run and bike), and Diez Vista 50k.
In the mean time, i'm going to do my best to take it easy this week. Hopefully I can ignore the ever-spinning, endorphin addicted hamster in my head, and manage to put my feet up for a few extra hours. Plus, there are a few other things that I need to take care of over the next few days:
Wood chopping (and maybe snow shovelling) on Monday
My girls have their first science fair project due on Thursday, so that should eat up Tuesday and Wednesday evening (we aren't setting the bar too high though, they are only in Kindergarten).
Light, fun, month-end run with Solana on Friday (hopefully before work)
Steed Cycles guided tour of the Dirty Duo bike course on Saturday
Reward on Sunday... hopefully a kick-ass hard run