Tuesday, April 11, 2017

My 2017 and Some Pre-Boston Thoughts

My 2017 started off amazing, I now have a new member of my family my amazing beautiful daughter Chloe Anne Klastava and she is my world. I'm a Dad!  Being beat down and injured post JFK it became easy to shift my focus on her but finally in early January I decided to get some help in the form of Physical Therapy for my left hip issue.  As I’ve written about in great length it was the best decision I made to get my 2017 going in the right direction. Before I began PT in mid-January I was ready to toss in the towel for Boston, heck I was 14 weeks out, couldn’t run without significant pain, was doing almost no mileage and I had no way out of this vicious cycle.  But something clicked, PT was fun and my Physical Therapist Stacie was super helpful and engaging and gave me so many amazing ways to strengthen my glutes and get rid of the pain.   It was a slow struggle back, the rest of my January consisted of light mileage and no workouts and I didn’t really start getting in any consistent weeks until Mid-February.  But then something clicked, I started getting in some quality long runs with a good group of Falls Road teammates, I started getting in some workouts and I had a solid Club Challenge 10 Miler.  In March I got in some solid workouts leading up to Shamrock 5k and ran my 2nd best 5k ever and then took on the toughest race I have ever run, HAT 50k.

In previous years I always targeted a half marathon 4 weeks away from a Marathon, well this year I did the opposite and targeted a 50k (31 miles) as my race 4 weeks out thinking the longer distance and time on my feet would be helpful.  HAT was tough, hilly, and full of technical trails on a hot day.  I ran 1 solid loop and was in the hurt box for the entire second 13.5 mile loop.  But alas that is Ultra running, you vs yourself going to the darkest places you thought were only made up.  I still feel like a champ for winning the battle against my mind that day and managed to finish 3rd overall.  And then we were on the home stretch only my body was broke down.  Since HAT I’ve basically just done a bunch of easy runs and a long run or two but almost nothing hard.  I’ve basically aired on the side of utmost caution because of how I broke myself down leading up to JFK and here we are 6 days away from the race.

I get asked everyday how I am feeling, how is my training going into Boston and it’s weird I don’t know how to explain it.  I basically respond with "It’s a mixed bag" because this cycle has been unlike any I have ever had.  I spent 4-5 weeks of it getting healthy so I could manage a full workload.  I then found my fitness from last year pretty quickly and put together some good races and then I did HAT and it broke me a little.  I’ve hit none of my key workouts, I haven’t done a ton of workouts in general and I’ve done no Marathon Pace work,  but I have rocked 5 20+ mile long runs and got in some consistent weeks in the middle.   Three years ago if you would have asked me how I felt after that type of training cycle I would have told you I am going to bomb this race, but that’s not me anymore.  I have this aura of positivity around me that I keep trying to push on others, because I believe it to be the key to some of my success.  I also acknowledge that I am here 15 weeks later with 6 days to race, I have done the work that I could fit in and now there is nothing left but to leave it all out there.  I don’t want my mental mind to convince me I can’t achieve a goal I set.  I am going to achieve my goal or close to it on Marathon Monday or I am going to go down in flames and reach a new level of suffering.  But I will believe in myself, I believe that I did all I could this training cycle and for once in my life I trained smart and was careful instead of continuing to push that line we all struggle with as runners.  And hopefully come Monday that will be the difference.

I guess my last bit of advice for anyone who made it this far is to just believe in yourself and your training.  You have done the work for many weeks, don’t compare yourself to previous versions of yourself and convince yourself you are not capable of meeting the goals you set.  Past Nick Klastava was a very different person full of many faults and insecurities that I have navigated past.  I don’t care what I ran in a half in 2014 leading up to Boston, I care about all the training I have done the past 3 years and all the work I have done this year to put the best version of myself on the line on 17 April.  Marathon Monday is a special day, most of us experience crowds and an atmosphere we are never used to.  Special things happen that day, so don’t doubt yourself now.  Get to the line with confidence and see what happens and then post-race you can come back and evaluate what went wrong/right.  That’s what I will do.

Lastly, I love this quote from Jenny Simpson and it’s going to be my mantra on Marathon Monday “Sometimes being in a dark place is part of navigating those troubled waters.  When you come out on the other side, you just know more about yourself and you know more about what you’re capable of.”