Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Challenging workouts

The thing about being on a team is that you workout together. And this means that I am doing workouts that I would never do on my own. I have not done such challenging workouts since I was on the track team in high school over 25 years ago. I do hope I start to see results, but at the moment it's all just pretty hard.

Sunday was a nice long run by myself. 16 miles in 2.5 hours. That was quite nice and I got to take my new Brooks Adrenaline GT7s for their maiden voyage and they performed wonderfully. They weren't heavy, as I feared they might be with the new "mogo" midsole. And, after not doing a long run for two weeks, I ended with no pain or injuries, which I think is a great testimony to the shoes. And maybe to my training.

The rest of the week is hills and intervals and sometimes intervals on hills. Yesterday we did the short hill workout -- 30 minutes of repeats on a 200 meter hill. The first two weeks I was able to do 17 or 18 repeats. This week I only did 16 inside the 30 minutes. Dead legs. After that, we did 5 laps backwards and I was quite good at those -- beating everyone except our coach. If they ever have a backwards race, I might do pretty well! This morning was intervals on the track at the stadium -- a dirty, muddy affair where you have to dodge rocks, goats, dogs and football players and the aroma of marijuana wafting through the air. We did 5 minute intervals with 2 minutes recovery walking for about 50 minutes and I felt really strong. That was a nice surprise after yesterday.

It's an interesting experience for me to have a coach and be on this team. I'm not particularly competitive and I have in the past in my life had times when I was not terribly open to coaching. But today I noticed how nice it was to just do what I was told and not think too much about it. I don't analyse whether the training is "the best" or what I "should" be doing. The only caveat I hold is that I'm not going to stupidly increase my long runs too quickly and get injured. Other than that, I show up when I am scheduled to and I do what the coach tells me to do. And that's just fine with me.

I find it a relief to have one area of my life where I do not have to be in charge, I do not have to figure everything out, I do not have to be the leader. I've always wanted to have a strong sense that God was telling me what to do and I could just follow it, but after banging my head against that wall for years, God finally told me that what she wanted was for me to do what I want. That was not really good news because figuring out what I want is one of the most difficult things for me to do. So, I am grateful for Emmanuel and four mornings a week where I don't have to think about what I want, I just have to do what I am told.

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