I have to admit I learned a lot about training today from the television show Downton Abbey. I also must admit that I did not write yesterday because I was watching one of the episodes from season three. Recently a friend of mine lent me seasons one and two to watch. Within the first 10 minutes of episode one of season one I was hooked. Now I can’t get enough of it. Now I am catching up on season three both online and on the DVD that is already out even though Masterpiece Theater is televising it. Today while I was running in the evening, I watched part of episodes two and three. Lo and behold I learned something that was very applicable to my training.
Without giving away the story line (because I know at least one person reading this is about to start watching it soon…) in episode two I heard a quote while I was running my warm-up that set the tone for the rest of my tempo run. The quote is “You are being tested, and when you are tested you get stronger.” How true that statement was. Just this morning when I got to the pool I just didn’t have it in me to swim in the lap pool. The lap pool is a little bit cooler than what we refer to as the leisure pool. The lap pool is about 78°. While the leisure pool is about 83°. I usually swim in the lap pool which is 25 meters, the leisure pool lanes are 20 yards long. Even though the leisure pool is shorter than I prefer, I was chilled to the bone and decided to swim in the “warm” pool. I swam 3,000 yards and felt good knowing I got a good workout in but did’t push too hard knowing I needed to run hard tonight in my tempo run. My test this morning was refraining from pushing myself too much in swimming at the risk of negatively impacting my run. Sometimes strength comes from restraint.
Back to my run workout – I knew through my run I was going to be tested, which has been a common occurrence when I run lately. the workout was to run four 1 mile repeats at my 10K race pace. I determined that pace to be between 9:55 and 10:05 per mile. I also had a minute walk recovery between each mile. The first mile I ran in 9:47. Boy did I feel great! After my minute recovery walk I started the second mile. About three quarters of the mile in, the doubts started coming into my mind. “You are being tested” kept running through my mind and became my mantra for the run. It helped me break through. At this point I was watching episode three and I heard another quote that had to make me laugh. Once again, without giving anything away, the quote was “Stop your whining, and do something”. Boy did that hit home! So I stopped my whining in my head, and I did something. I ran. And I finished my workout strong.
Life is full of tests. We always face trials, we are stronger when we get through them. We can pass sometime. Sometimes we fail. But we keep going on. Just quit whining and do something. The initial impact of the tests we face sometimes brings misery. Get back up and do it again. With victory and strength can also come reward. Mine is to treat myself to watching another episode of Downton Abbey.