The last few weeks have been really good, in a lot of ways. Training is going well overall and I'm managing the Tweaks and Freaks as best I can as we lead up to race day. 38 days... to be exact. It's amazing how there always seems to be so much time left in the training block right up until you realize there's NO TIME LEFT in the training block. The summer whizzed by so fast. It's been a great summer so far, and I've enjoyed the 'juggle struggle' of managing life, kids, work, and training. It has been challenging trying to manage finances after my wife lost her job but she's back to working (thank you God) and we are getting closer to getting back on our feet during this transition.
I don't want to dwell on the physical side of things too much, but, there are some very real challenges to trying to run at a high level. (relative to what I've done in the past) This week I've been sick with whatever nasty head cold the kids and wife had. That's just LIFE. The kids pile on when I get home from work and there's no way to avoid the slobbery kisses and playtime. That's just a fact. And I SO don't hate it... I love those munchkins. So I'm not stressing about it. Fitness is high, and even though I feel like a snot-factory my head is still 'in the game'.
On another note, my foot issues seemingly have finally faded away for the most part. Phew. Now my achilles is lit up a little bit (as it always does the last 3rd of the training cycle) but I'm taping it and managing my workouts to not flare it up anymore. I've raced with tendinitis before and I'm prepared to do it again. I'm trying hard to stay OUT of my own head in this area, honestly. One day at a time.
On the training side, I'm two 20-milers into the cycle with at least 1 more to go before I taper in 3 weeks. I've had one 20 that was a SLOG and one in the pouring rain that felt incredible. This year I feel like I'm running with a higher level of calm (mental maturity?), in general. Maybe it's just patience while I'm out there but I've definitely made a conscious effort to reign it in a bit mid-run. It hasn't been a perfect cycle but miles are increasing, long runs are up to 20, speed work has been happening every Tuesday since March, etc... I'm putting the pieces together as best I know how and as best I can fit it into the busy dad life.
I feel like it's hard to respond with anything other than "I'm so busy" or "It's just really BUSY right now". That's just an auto-response that flows out of us even when we aren't paying attention. And, let's be real... it's true. But, it's never NOT busy. It's always going to be busy, for the rest of my life. This is adulthood, this is fatherhood, this is being a professional at work, this is trying to be as professional of an athlete as I can. This is it. We need to stop dwelling on how real the struggle is and start banking on how real the joy is. The JOY in these things is very real too. In fact, it's often times sitting in the shadow of struggle that we are allowing to dim our day(s). It's exhausting being around people that never allow the joys in their life to WIN over the struggles, and so help me if I ever become like that.
So I won't. I won't do it. I won't let the 'struggle' win. It's too easy that way. It's the LAZY, selfish route. I love running. Why? Because in a zillion ways it brings me JOY. I'm on a mission to rid myself of the things/people/thoughts/habits that steal my joy. Period.