Something Good Can Work
Decisions decisions. I feel like I have come to a fork in the road and I have all this potential to make something good happen for myself soon but I am torn about what that something good should be.
My foot is on the mend, miles are slowly building up, I've gotten in some decent long runs at decent paces and I am wondering if I should go forward with plans to make Columbus whatever it will be, run sans watch and the best effort I can on the day. Or if perhaps I should back off to the half or run the full as a slower training run and try one last go at 2:46 at California International in December. If my body could handle training I believe there is a real possibility I could get in shape to go that route but I would need to ensure that Columbus didn't do too much damage as recovery would need to be short and real training with some actual tempos and runs at marathon pace would need to happen starting soon.
Then if I go that route I have to decide how to train. Do I try to do a 12 week block (which is already a little short as it would have started two weeks ago) like I did for Columbus last year just upping the paces a bit? Or do I go with my gut instincts which are saying I need to back off the speed/track for awhile to really stay healthy. In which case what do I change to get 2:46 fitness without intervals?
I feel like I would like to actually start building a good base for some big race next spring. Focus on getting my mileage up while staying healthy, build in some hill training, then some anaerobic stuff before a final build to something big whether it be Boston or a road ultra.
But there is this lingering OTQ attempt over my head and it is proving difficult to let go of even though that may be my best route right now.
The problem with this OTQ attempt is that deep down I believe that the training I need to do for that is not the training I want to do right now. I am really enjoying my current "freedom" from the demands of running XYZ pace or running XYZ miles on this given day. I can honestly say every run I have done the past few weeks has been fun. That has not been the case for me in the build up to Boston and Indy. Admittedly I have changed my attitude towards things, but I do believe that letting go of a schedule has made me so much healthier mentally and I do not want to lose that. Thinking about the demands of hitting track and tempo paces right now kind of makes me ill. I am sure it would come back faster than I think but looking at my training from last year and this spring makes me cringe. The trails are calling my name and if I gave up on the 2:46 attempt I could do some fun local trail races this fall and get my trail legs dirty again. If I go for the 2:46 those things have to be tabled for yet another year.
But then I have these flashes where I see myself running through that finish with 2:45:xx on the clock and I know my heart also desires that. I swear my heart broke a bit while talking to the RD for C'Bus and hearing about how everyone that hits the OTQ will be draped in an American flag coming down the chute. What runner hasn't dreamt of finishing with their countries flag draped around them elated with a phenomenal performance?
And so I am torn and I need to make a decision here shortly. Can I be happy with a subpar or perhaps even no effort at Columbus to try and salvage something better in December? And if that something better isn't a 2:46 will I be disappointed I didn't just have fun and go for it at C'Bus to start training for something else this spring?
Where's that crystal ball when I need it?