Monday, February 11, 2013
Assessing the progress...and finding out you're not where you think you are!
When you're training to lift weights or for track and field, you can get a pretty good idea where your performance is at all times. Of course, "game day" performance is a whole other animal, but that's true in whatever sport you do. Most sports though, you can only judge how well you're doing by getting out and competing. For me, in obstacle racing, my biggest weakness had been running. I'd been working on that for about 2 months at the gym...doing an exercise regimen that I could tell was really improving my stamina. Naturally I was excited because I knew if I improved on the running, my race performance would be significantly better. But like I said, you can't really judge how you're doing unless you get out on the course. So I decided to do a "test run". Get out to one of the parks I would run at on days off, Muttontown Preserve. I knew those woods well, and I knew what I had done in previous runs there so it would be a great progress test.
The day I originally planned on didn't work out, so I ended up running on Christmas Eve day...just a couple of days before leaving to visit my daughter and her family in Florida. I was working that morning and figured on heading to the Preserve right afterwards. I was actually pretty excited...a lot more excited about the run than about Christmas...lol. After working so hard, day after day at the gym, I just couldn't wait to see how much I had improved! Everything was going perfectly...good cool day, finished up on time. I was on the trail and ready to run like the wind! Yeah...well...the one thing I hadn't prepared for was reality. I got about twice as far as I had in the past and that was it. Done...gasping for air! Disappointment doesn't even begin to tell the story. If I'd had a sword I would have fallen on it! I think I was actually in shock...the only question in my mind had been how much better I'd gotten. Now I was facing disaster!
How we deal with adversity is the only true measure of character. On the positive side I regrouped and managed to have a decent enough run. But needless to say, changes were needed...and fast. In two months I would be running in the heat of Miami...and running a distance twice as far as I'd attempted to date...and I was NOT comfortable at all that I could do that in the first place. So in true Spartan fashion...I think...I headed straight from this catastrophe to the gym. Obviously my training plan had some gaps...at the moment feeling something like the Grand Canyon unfortunately. For now though, I had to get ready for my trip to visit my daughter and her family in Florida. Next up will be the new training program and the Spartan Race demonstration event in Times Square. Until then....
Review of the Miami Super Spartan