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Week Four: On Competing

March 24, 2017

Week Four: On Competing

Tuesday night I got a text while sitting on the couch eating a quesadilla, flipping through tv channels.

Wanna play volleyball tonight? We need a sub!

I thought about my tired legs from our lunch run and about the unknown workout I had ahead of me the next day. I worried about getting hurt, totally ruining myself for the rest of the week's training, and feared I’d be too fast-twitch muscle depleted to even be capable of playing at all. I went anyway. Growing up playing team sports (“ball sports” as I lovingly refer to them here in enduro-land) I had a constant presence of competition and motivation in my everyday athletic life. I was a competitor, and I hated to lose. Workouts and practices were all driven by the purpose of preparing your body to perform at its highest possible level, and to win.

Sarah Softball Volleyball17 year old Sarah likes tall socks, hates losing, knows nothing about "marathoning"

Going to that gym Tuesday night I knew I wasn’t bringing my sharpest game and that I wouldn't be able to contribute like I once could. I knew that would be humbling, and for someone who hates to lose, frustrating. I also knew that I'd be hilariously sore for days afterwards and that running might be a major casualty of my night of fun at the net. I was right. About all of it. But that was fine, because being on that court, even if it wasn't with my best game and we lost two of three, gave me a taste again of what it felt like to be an athlete again. Something running hadn't given me in a really long time. Competing in running is never going to feel like competing on the court or field did, where there's a direct opponent, a winner and a loser. But that doesn't take away from the sport of it. Giving your best - your CURRENT best - that's competing. And that’s why I’m running this marathon. Not because I hope to beat some previous time or add some flashy accolade to my running resume. It's not to gun for a podium spot or be troubled with the nuisance of flying back to Oregon with a massive cardboard check. (Obviously.) I'm training to feel that athletic fire again, the burning desire to push your body further, faster, and harder than it went yesterday, so that on May 21st I'm ready to leave it all out there and give the Cleveland Marathon my best. Whatever that ends up being. (And probably being even more sore than I still am after that hour of volleyball, two days later.)

Lauren Fleshman Coaches a Mid Packer

Week Four:


10min WU, 20min @ MP, 10min Easy, 20min @ HMP, 5min CD

Fleshman calls it: 20/20 (AKA Hindsight)

Sarah calls it: Three-on-the-tree (where's second?)

Effort: MP = Marathon Pace, HMP = Half Marathon Pace

Threat of puking: 1 – of – 5

First of all, yes, playing 60 minutes of volleyball the night before made this workout 10,000% harder than it could've been, and the carnage is still very real two days later. I felt like an absolute water buffalo for the first ohhhhh 40 minutes or so before my legs finally loosened up just in time for the HMP section. (Which shockingly, felt really great and flew by.) Second of all, this workout was a pretty clear realization that I've misplaced all gears between "granny shuffle" and "time trial." Oops. Anything between those two efforts feels absolutely clunky and awful, and from what I know about transmissions (little) and long distance running (possibly even less), that might pose a bit of a problem. So these next few weeks we'll work on shifting through the gear tree with a little more tact and less just punching in the clutch and gunning like a bat out of hell. I'm not really sure how, hopefully Lauren does... She's smart like that.

- Sarah

  • I conned a few guinea pigs into "joining" me for the week five workout, so look for a few extra perspectives next week!