This afternoon I went out for an easy run. It was dumping rain and crazy windy all day but that seemed okay to me. It was just an easy one after all.
You know what's interesting? I think I have finally actually truly embraced easy running. You probably all thought that I embraced it at some point last year since I did so much of it, huh? But you know what? I didn't actually ever really embrace it. I *did* it, diligently, but not really because I wanted to... I did it because Lucho told me that is what I needed to do to actually build myself a real aerobic base and I trusted him. And he was right. I built an enormous aerobic base.
All that easy/slow aerobic base running did not make me as fast as I wanted to be, but it did make me durable as hell. And it did set me up so now I have the capacity to literally try to rip myself apart in training in a way I would have considered to be suicide several years ago. You don't even want to know what I've done the last couple of days... I wrote it up on my calendar and while I figured I'd probably be able to get through it all, I didn't think I'd rip through it all the way I did. It was awesome. Now I have the capacity to not only do work, but to recover from work... and then to do work again the next day, and the next day, and the next day, which is what will (hopefully!) lead to some big smiles at some finish lines this year. :) Though I will tell you, even if it doesn't, the satisfaction I have gotten out of the training I have done recently is enough for me. I'd easily choose to bag racing and just train if I had to make that choice! I know some of you think that is nuts but that's ok. :)
But that's not what this post is actually about. It's about my ah-ha moment while I was jogging this afternoon... That true realization that what allowed me to do what I did these last 4 days was spending much of last year jogging. Those easy efforts- the ones that are meant to be aerobic- need to actually be easy. I know I've said this before but the goal is not to go (or be) slow. And I will tell you- I know that holding back and going slow when you want to go fast is not an easy ask. It's frustrating and it's not confidence boosting and you have to swallow your ego (a lot). But do it anyway. Build yourself a real base. And once you've got that built you can then go crazy dreaming up all the hardest back to back to back workouts of your dreams... which you are then capable of executing! I think that part is so cool- and it's worth the ego sucking slow-ass jogging you have to do to get there. Trust me. :)