Ah yes, it must be hump week. That magic half-way through anything moment when you are so sick, tired, bored, fed-up and frustrated that you want to can it all, walk away and start something new.
I am halfway through my Half Marathon training and if I never have to tie my trainers again it will be too soon. I have hit The Wall.
This is the point where a lot of people quit. (And I am talking diet or lifestyle changes, not race training per se.) Lots of people BEGIN lifestyle or dietary change projects, do great for awhile and then lose interest, lose patience, lose focus and just drop it and walk away. We all know that January at the gym is super busy but by February, all the Resolution People have gone back to their sofas. Sometimes they quit out of boredom. Other times they get distracted and lose focus. Sometimes it’s because they are not yet seeing the results they wanted to see and doubt that their changes are having any effect. Still other times, they just start to despair that the goal seems too far away and impossible to reach.
Are you scared for me? Think I will quit? Not if you’re a regular reader you’re not! If you already “know” me, you will know that this is the point where I actually start to SHINE. For me, this Wall is at the corner of Inspiration and Vine.
Truthfully, it seems that I am genetically incapable of quitting. I can’t even quit when it would be in my best interest to do so! I wish I knew how to turn this gene on in everyone. I can flame a dying ember in client who’s resolve is waning. But I can’t do anything for those who just walk away – the ones who stop answering my calls and emails and who just sink back into the swamp of mediocrity from which they briefly rose. Sigh.
Have you ever played tug of war with a dog? Well, I have. Lots. And I can tell you that there is no way the dog will EVER let go of her end of the rope, even if it means getting her teeth yanked out.
But the dog knows something the quitters do not. She knows that the precise moment when things get tough and you really want to give up, is the very moment after which everything gets easier. (For my dog this translates as her opponent reading her fatigue and easing up, at which point she makes her move and conquers. She looks sweet, but she’s stubbornly determined. Just like her mom!)
Everything I know in life I learned from my Labrador Retriever.
Today every muscle in my body aches. Today I feel as though I am not making sufficient training progress. Today I am bored by the entire project.
But I know that because I have hit this wall, that just beyond it, my muscles are going through some massive development. Which in turn will catapult my training progress to the next level. Which in turn will inject new excitement into my training.
Here is a recap of this past week’s dreary, boring and painful training:
Sun. Feb 6th: Weights + Spinning
Mon. Feb 7th: Speed Intervals 4 x 1600 (OUCH!!!!! But I did it!) 4.42 miles (7km)
Tues. Feb. 8th: Weights
Wed. Feb 9th: 4 miles at Race Tempo (hated every second of it) 4.84 miles (7.8km) total
Thurs. Feb 10th: Strength Training at home
Fri. Feb 11th: 10 miles slow and steady. This was actually fun. When I don’t try to run faster than my normal pokey gait, I actually enjoy running. (16 km)
Total weekly mileage: 19.25 miles (31 km)
Instead of Training Chow this week, I give you Spiritual Nourishment. Instead of a song, I give you prose:
“What you need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved towards our dream.
That’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees of the oasis have appeared on the horizon’.
Every Search begins with beginner’s luck. And every Search ends with the victor’s being severly tested.”
– The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho