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May 11, 2012 / elodie kaye

No Man’s Land

I’m in the space between training cycles, when you’re finished with the deepest part of recovery, but not quite all the scars have scabbed over.  Daily, sometimes hourly, I veer between twin impulses, to dive into another 20-week build-up that peaks in the frothy marathon of my dreams, or the downy warmth of the bed.  The aimlessness feels uncomfortable and confused, but I need to take my time travelling through this fallow space.  I want to be a little hungrier for hard training before I begin.  As I cruise through mandated easy miles I’m exploring how I feel about the season past, and dreaming about the one to come.  Inevitably when a training cycle brings injury, I have to deconstruct it, what I did right, what I’d change, and how to dodge the blow next time.  As much for myself as anyone, I’ll be doing a series of short posts in the coming days about what I’m thinking.

By way of summary, I started a half-marathon training cycle, 19 weeks from late December to early May, and planned two tune-ups for April an 8K and a 10K.  I completed 13 weeks of training before I felt the glimmer of a hamstring injury, and improvised my way through the two tune-up races.  Last weekend was my goal half-marathon; I chose to pace a friend for 11 miles instead of racing.

In spite of falling short of my ‘A’ race, I’m happy with my running this spring.  I loved the two races I finished; I had a blast at both of them and raced better than I expected.  I knew my chances might be better if I traded them both for the half, but my priority was to secure at least one finish of any distance.  After so much time away, I thought it would be better to pass through all the stages of training to racing, both physical and mental.  Becoming too attached to any particular outcome might have aborted some parts of the process, and I’m glad I resisted.  I became reacquainted with what it feels like to train, easy, hard and in-between.  I played with a good selection of different workouts, hills long and short, paces slow, medium and fast, all the way from 11:45 mpm to 8:15 mpm.  It was hard, but the rhythm was also familiar, like coming home.

The only wish I didn’t satisfy is to get back on the trails.  Agility on uneven surfaces wasn’t what I would’ve wished for last fall.  The warmest Toronto winter ever didn’t give me much of a chance to practise on hard-packed snow either, which would’ve been a nice, tame warm-up for spring trail running.  Soon I hope to splash some mud on this blank space between.

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4 Comments

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  1. saragracer / May 11 2012 4:40 pm

    Elodie, I just wanted to say hi! I’m still reading – and running, although just for fun, not with any real training or consistency. Keep writing!

    • elodie kaye / May 11 2012 5:37 pm

      Sara! It’s so good to hear from you! 🙂 I wish I were a better social media netizen, it would be easier to keep up with you. Running for joy is where it’s at! Striving can feel good too, but all things in their time and season, it’s better to wait until the moment is ripe.

  2. Maggie H. / May 12 2012 9:31 am

    Elodie your writing captures so much. So much of it at this point in my own training I can see myself through your words. Nice post.

    • elodie kaye / May 12 2012 12:26 pm

      Thanks, Maggie. The ebb and flow of work and rest with the seasons is one of the things I love most about running, but I have to admit it doesn’t always feel comfortable. I agree we both need to bide our time, but our day is coming! 🙂

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