TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Friday, July 11, 2014

No Perspective

I don’t know what’s the matter with me, except for the notion that I may have lost all, and I mean ALL perspective on strength and training.  When I run less than ten miles, I consider it a short run.  Nine miles:  short run.  If I put in less than 40 miles during a week, I feel like a failure.  I never feel strong in my training.  In fact, I feel like a complete weakling.  All. The. Time.  I go to the gym, spend an hour on the elliptical, a half hour on the treadmill for speed work, then an hour on the cycle.  I can top that off with thirty minutes of weights, another fifteen minutes of ab work, and I feel like I can’t do anything strength and endurance-wise, like I have no strength at all.

What is the matter with me?

I try and go with it and still plug through these workouts, enjoying the trails like I do.  But when it’s all said and done, I don’t get a sense of accomplishment.  I feel like I came up short, like I failed.  Like I don’t try hard enough.

Such is the truth concerning my training.

Still, I go out there and run those trails, not because they give me greater strength or endurance, but because they clear my mind and fill it with beauty. 

My first and only run thus far this week, came on late in the week – Thursday afternoon, 1 o’ clock in the afternoon, to be exact.  The heat was strong, and the air was heavy.  I didn’t feel like I could do it.  But I just started running, like I always do.  Sweat dripped down onto my face early on – it was so damn hot.  The hills were empty.  Really.  Empty.  I decided to run up Meadows Trail, a steep hot climb.  I didn’t fret going up, and I power-hiked most of it.  At the top of Meadows, I looked back at the Santa Ana Mountains and took in the view of my beloved Saddleback.

I continued on across Top of the World with no idea about my pace, as my garmin battery was dead (& I didn’t notice until I parked my truck).  Funny thing.  I really can’t tell how fast (or slow)  I’m running.  A 15 minute pace feels the same as a 10 minute pace to me.  Go figure.  The only difference I’ve noted on trails is that with the quicker pace, my steps are shorter.  And so I took shorter steps in a hopeful attempt to pick up my pace. 

Thursday’s heat run measured 9.4 miles.  And I only know that (because I wasn’t wearing a garmin) because I’ve run the route before.  My route:  Aliso Creek Canyon, Wood Canyon, Meadows Trail, Top of the World, West Ridge, Mathis, Wood Canyon, Aliso Creek Trail.

My swing break in Alta Laguna Park at Top of the World:

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