I don't know why that phrase was stuck in my head today as I ran 8 miles of the Middlebury Rev 3 Half Iron run loop, but it seemed to motivate me. For those of you who don't know about the Rev 3 course it's hilly. I figure that next year this is going to be my season opener as I didn't do any long distance races in 2010. Anyway I've been trying to train on the Rev loop whenever I have the chance. Today the weather was an absurdly warm for November 65F. My initial plan had been to run the full 13 miles but since I ran 8 miles yesterday and didn't really eat much today I bailed after 9 miles. The opening 3 miles are flat to down hill, and follow the bike loop for the Pat Griskus tris. At mile 4 or 5 the road goes from tar and chipseal to a weather beaten trail for about a mile to a mile and a half, likewise the trail rolls. There's a quick detour through a housing development to the turn around and then the loop continues around the backside of Lake Quassapaug. The changing leaves yet warm temperatures made it feel kind of surreal, that it was late November but it felt like spring again. It was good to run in short sleeves on a training run, granted since we got our first snowfall of the season on Monday I have a feeling winter is going to be pretty crazy, probably frigid one day then unseasonably warm the next.
But back to today's run. Today my focus was on just getting some miles and hill work in as I have two short road races. A five miler in Waterbury next Sunday, then the Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving. I kept thinking ahead to next June, when I would be trying to attack on this leg of the race. I kept thinking about what some of my training partners had said during the summer. One comment was I'm one of the most underestimated local athletes. Let's face it at 175lbs. I'm not one of these skinny, anorexic, cyclist, marathoner types. I don't eat tofu, Ice cream is not the devil, and I'm pretty sure I eat enough red meat to be declared PETA's public enemy number 1. But where was I oh yes, I'm underestimated. Many a muscled bound athlete has looked at me at the start line and is like "No Prob I've got this pudgy kid beat I'll collect my medal, and probably have two beers and a few tofu burgers under my belt before this kid leaves T-2." Only to see me huff and puff by them on the run, or just not see me period until I'm going to the award stand...at least that's how it used to be. 2010 was the first time I felt vunerable. My training wasn't where it should have been. My mind wasn't with it and I was in a constant state of adjustment. So as I ran today I was trying to focus on staying positive, I was focusing on becoming stronger, I wanted to be that determined SOB that wasn't intimidated by distance, pain, or the fact the guys running against me had better muscle definition and six pack abs. Essentially I wanted to get back to the point where I would be able to take my run to a whole nother level. I guess the best motto for it would be "Unleash the Cracken." After all if the Cracken was a mythological beast that would bring about a difficult situations and shake the strongest of heroes to their core, then that's what I want my run leg to be. I want the uber cyclists looking back with dread. I want to be back at the point I was at Ironman New Zealand a few years ago, when I was passing more people on the run than I was being passed by. I want to know if I get beat that the people who beat me truly were the better athletes, so as I churned out the miles today I was thinking about how best to attack the hills. I was debating on how I should plan my runs, if I should start surging. I was trying to get back to a place where I was in 2007 when I was training for my first Ironman, I'm hoping 2011 will be the year I'll be able to get back to where I was in before I got tossed a life curveball.
Today's run was good my legs took a beating but they needed it, the soul needed it, the mind needed it. In general I needed the run because it's helping get back to where I belong. So this week I'll prep for my 5 miler, in another week I'll get a 4 mile road race and some turkey in my system and then the planing for 2011. Rev3's there and maybe a marathon before it, it's taken me a while to try to fight it but sport is my life and I need to take it back.