Thursday, December 17, 2015

Training To Suffer At The Track

The Across The Years 72 hour race is coming up in less than two weeks. AHHHH!

The course is a one mile loop in Phoenix around the spring training facilities for the White Sox and Dodgers. It's actually really nice. It circles a pond, and there is some sidewalk but mostly smooth dirt trail. (You can see course pictures from last year's race report HERE.)

I think race-specific training is SO important. My training has targeted two areas:
1) Training my legs to run.
2) Training my mind to "get in the zone" and stay focused when the course starts to get mundane.

So for my race-specific training over the last few months, I've done most of my running at the middle school track.

In the past month, 110 of the miles I've run have been on this quarter mile track. (I just realized that's a total of 440 laps - ha ha!) I love the middle school track because it's dirt. My feet are always happier on dirt....even if that dirt is a track.

For a few of those miles I've been joined by some really hairy training partners that have horrible breath. Training partner number one: Aunt Jackie.

Training partner number two: Little Debbie.

On many of those miles, I've been able to get "in the zone", tune out everything around me, and just keep running hour after hour.

But a hefty chunk of those miles have been quite miserable. I go really early before work and run for hours. Or at night after the kids go to bed I go run for hours. I've run that track in rain, snow, and wind that blew so hard it almost knocked me down. Many of those miles were when it was bitter, stinging cold outside.

The following picture is during one of those times when my body felt frozen to the core. I wasn't having fun. At all. And that's EXACTLY what I wanted to happen in my training. I wanted to get used to being miserable and get better at learning how to suffer because there is absolutely NO doubt that I'll need those tools at Across The Years when things start to get ugly.

When things do get ugly, which they undoubtedly will, I'll remember moments like this. I'll remind myself that I trained for this! I'll acknowledge the suffering.....and then keep moving forward. (Hopefully!)


  1. We runners are a weird mob. We put ourselves through misery so we can enjoy the misery a little bit better during an event. Most people would just choose to sit on a couch and watch TV.

  2. It's definitely a mind scale. I got out the last couple of days in 0F weather and it really is all mental. When you dress out you are warm and can embrace the spectacular winter light before sunrise. I find that once I've conquered that first 0 dark hundred morning it gets easier and becomes habit. As in: my new "average". Plus Fast Cory is a mutant animal with a ridiculously large can-do attitude.

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