Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Good Old Fashion Comeback Story

I think most people have heard the story of Eric Avila who was a state champion in 2007 in the 3200, who after that title admits to being an idiot and not approaching things right dropping out of college and stopping running completely.  Well he completed a full redemption, coming full circle and breaking 4 minutes in the mile at a meet last week in front of tons of support.  It's a great read if you haven't read it and the video of him crossing the finish line is such emotion it's fantastic (see here).  I think all of us runners who have taken some time off, love a redemption story, something that tells us, we can come full circle too.  Eric had been working in manual labor for a time, but got back into running and achieved such a fantastic thing.  Something I imagine at one point he thought he could never achieve again and it was past him.  Just reading this I know it's something I can apply to my approach to running going forward.

Back in college when I stopped running my senior year, my college coach told me "Someday Nick you are going to regret leaving when you still having more left to accomplish.  Leaving when you still have the fitness to do great things"  I'm paraphrasing a little bit it's been a while but running for me at that point in my life wasn't the same, I had moved on.  For many years I rarely gave it a second thought until I started to get really overweight, my wedding photo's will haunt me forever.  I tried tons of other activities to lose weight but it always came back to running, so I casually started up again.  But it was never about being competitive, about carving out time each day to run and do many other activities.  It was just about losing some weight.  Losing some weight and then running a marathon, but just one that's it.  But once I finished I got the itch again, running grabbed me and I was hooked.  And all the great races and times in my life I had run, no longer seemed unachievable.  That I could still achieve all that I wanted even this many years later, but am I sure?  I am older now,  past my prime?  Many years away from the game.  A great story of someone like Eric helps to level set you, to realize that your effort is on you.  If you want to do great things in running, or anything else in life...put in the effort.  Go for it, don't feel it's too late, that you can never do that again.  After reading this story about Eric, I know I no longer have an ounce of doubt that I can be great again, no doubt that I will put in the effort to run all the times I once dreamed, and at worst case I'll sure as heck enjoy the ride with the friends I have made along the way.

Training Week of  6/2

Monday - A nice easy recovery run, felt pretty good post race.  - 8 Miles
Tuesday - Another 8 mile recovery run, giving myself an extra day post race.  Also worked on core and did plyometrics post run - 8 miles
Wednesday - First workout since Boston - Warmed up for 3 miles, hit the track to do a 3-4 mile tempo.  Felt rough, tempo's are a good effort but should feel at a pace you can maintain.  At 3.5 miles I called it, while running at 6:00 min/pace on the track.  A good starting workout, I finished the workout with 4 x 200 ranging from 31-35 seconds and a 2.5 mile cool down. - 10.5 miles
Thursday - Recovery run 8.5 miles at work, and added 6 x hill strides at the end of the run
Friday -  Made it my long run.  Hit up 8.5 miles in Baltimore at a good clip around 6:20 pace, and met up with Graham for the 25/25/25 challenge(25 beers, miles, wings).  I did not participate but tacked on another 4.5 miles - 13 miles
Saturday - Off day- worked in the yard the entire day - 0 miles
Sunday - Felt terrible the entire run plagued with stomach issues - 8 miles

Total - 56 miles