I drove down to Central Park in the morning and attempted to do a 20-mile long training run by myself, against the normal counterclockwise flow of runner/biker traffic. I had run a 3:47:07 NYC Marathon Tuneup 18-Miler the Sunday before and I figured I would run a similar route only reverse course, removing the steep Cat Hill incline, or maybe just do one loop and then run around the whole island of Manhattan. All I got was tedium, changing music along the way, trying to stay in the moment. I was only 34 days away from the Nov. 4 ING NYC Marathon, but I felt blah and unpushed. After 6 miles, I was at Columbus Circle and I just bailed, called it a 6-miler, kind of disappointed.
Two things happened after that.
I watched this premiere episode of "On The Run" from the New York Road Runners, who stage the NYC Marathon and all my regular weekend races. Look for the incredible story of the "One Spirit Runners" from the Lakota reservation of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and see how inspired you are as they prepare to send some of their own to the NYC Marathon as a once-in-a-lifetime event. It made me appreciate what am doing much more, as this will be my 10th marathon overall and third NYCM. I look forward to running with them. I needed that!
Secondly, my wife said, "Why don't you just go to the gym?" TWO A DAYS, I thought.
It went from a dismal training day to one of my best ones. NEVER GIVE UP.
Speedrope training, 8 sessions...
10 roundhouse kicks each side on big bags from taekwondo black belt routines, 3 sets...
As you can see, I tried to shake it up, introduce new (or old) wrinkles, confuse my muscles, have some fun, get my heartrate way up. Mostly I worked on my legs. I used the standing squat press with free weights for three sets. I hit all the leg machines and did 15 reps x 3 sets on each. In the gym I also did 100 crunches plus 50 leglifts, lots of stretching.
Instead of looking at my 20-mile long run as a failed 6-miler, I was able to look at my day as a lap around hilly Central Park, a great gym sessions, strength training plus running, and an inspiring video.
33 days to 5 boroughs. How do you turn a bad day into a good one?