The real training, it has been said, is done between the workouts.
With a sore knee-induced two-day rest period behind me, I'm not 100% sure about that old coaching statement. As I write this, the roads beckon me for an hour long session, and I'm chomping at the bit to get outside.
There are a few benefits of (even a short) layoff. I feel pretty rested, despite the high mileage of late. I'm not going into the sauna already physically exhausted. Last night's 32-minute session was almost...dare I say...comfortable.
But fear not for me or my knee. All systems are a "go"--I'm just playing any small ache that drifts to the other side of "uncomfortable" very conservatively. Why wreck the entire plan now since I've invested so much? The poker player who wants to stay in the game doesn't move "all in" with every 7-2 off suit, right?
Running is the easy part--it's taking time off that tests my will, my patience, and my resolve. I've got to tap into my two decades of endurance athletic experience in order to know that good things indeed come to those who wait.
Or, as Axl Rose might have put it...
Sage advice comes today from the blog of my friend Lisa Smith-Batchen, a steeled veteran of dozens of hot weather races around the globe:
"The one thing I do know is this: you can ONLY think about the things you can control right then and there at the very second it is happening. You can't change what happened 2 seconds ago or the last step you took..you can only think about the next 2 seconds and the next steps you will take. You can't sit and worry about how hot it is or complain that it is to hot..you can ONLY control the steps to help keep yourself as cooled down as possible..the heat is not going to go away just because you want it to..."