The cancellation of the Holy Half Marathon at Notre Dame, Indiana on April 9th was a disappointment. I trained for 13 weeks through the winter months in preparation for running in the event. Every athlete goes through a period of setbacks and challenges in performance. This particular event was my first real setback in the sport of running. My first year of running was great with no serious injuries and complications but I really did not set goals in my training plan. To run a certain time in the Holy Half Marathon was my first true set goal for my second year of running.
Goal setting is a difficult process for every athlete due to the complexity of life. I decided after the Holy Half Marathon to sign up with a local running coach Jake Gillette in order to achieve a PR time in the Fall for the Half Marathon distance. The transition has been phenomenal in terms of having a coach help Ashley and I achieve our running goals. The difference between our running approach in the first year to the current year is the motto: training with a purpose. Every workout assigned by coach Jake has a purpose whether it be a recovery run from a hard workout to pushing the limits in a speed workout to test our fitness levels. I’m not alone in this training, but together with Ashley, coach Jake, and the Two Rivers Running Club, everyone sets individual personal goals but together we are working as a team.
A new workout introduced by coach Jake was a hill workout scheduled to run at our current 5K pace up a hill for 30 seconds and jog back down for a total of 10 times. Ashley and I looked at each other before the ascent of Abshire Sledding Hill knowing we were going to finish this workout as a team. We took off very fast and up the hill we went and back down in a jog. After a couple of up and downs the legs started to get tired and the breathing got heavier but there was no stopping us in completing all 10 strides. The next day we had soreness in the legs but when reflecting on our paces of the hill workout, we knew that in our first year of running we would not have been able to do that particular workout with the same intensity.
This week reminded me that goal setting is an important tool for life and sports. Anyone struggling in a current training moment should join with friends who are going through the same experience and work as a team to help each other out. The most difficult step in goal setting is the setup process of coming up with a goal because we never want to experience failure. Without a goal there is no failure. Failure is important in every training plan to teach us perseverance and humility in the toughest times.
Training Log: April 25th through April 30th
Total Miles: 25.1 (two easy runs, two speed workouts, one long run)
Cyclist (Bike) Riding Miles: 20