Remember to Look FAR Enough Back...

>> Saturday, October 23, 2010

I wrote about this issue around a year ago. And it's "that time of year" when I need to keep reminding myself of this.

Two weeks after the TC 10 Mile, I felt like I had lost ALL the speed / endurance / training that Coach Jen had given me. I started thinking those thoughts of "well, I can already feel myself going downhill, and I'll never be that fast again. Oh well....."      *deep sigh*

The problem was I was only looking 2 weeks into the past. I was missing the bigger picture. And I need to remind myself of some of this now and then:

 Nov 2007 5K PR of 19:11 6:10.5 / mile
 March 2008 5 mile PR of 30:30 6:06.0 / mile
 Oct 2009 10 mile PR of 1:02:43 6:16.3 / mile
 March 2010 5K PR of 17:11 5:31.8 / mile
 Oct 2010 10 mile PR of 59:05 5:54.5 / mile

Here's my point: in the fall of 2007 when I raced my 19:11 5K PR, if you had told me that within a few years I was going to run 10 miles at a pace that was 15 seconds faster PER MILE than that 5K, I would have punched you in the face. Then stolen your wallet. Then rented some DVDs from the "RedBox" at McDonalds with your credit card without ever returning them.

Bottom line: I would have thought you were nuts.

But I DID just that. (Not the "punching you in the face" part, but the "running a 10 mile race at a pace 0:15 / mile faster than my 2007 5K PR pace" part.)

So when I start getting slightly depressed that my running speed is leaving me, or my biking power is "taking the winter off," or I haven't been to the pool for a while, I just start looking FARTHER back. In the past 4 years, I've come a LLLOOOONNNNGGGGG way. I can't lose sight of that.

I don't know how much longer I can expect this speed to continue. Whenever I look back, I just feel SUPER lucky / blessed that I've been able to throw down numbers like that.

Stop and look at where you've been. No, not over the last month (because maybe you've "let yourself go" over the last few weeks). But look "long term." I bet you're better off now than you were a few years ago. Maybe you've got a better level of fitness. Maybe your career's coming along. Maybe you've grown in your family life. Maybe you've been doing a few small house projects that have really done a lot to your home, but you've been too focused on each little project to be able to enjoy the "real" view of what you've done.

Step back, take a long look, and enjoy your accomplishments.

Where will you or I be in another 4 years? Who knows. But I'm excited to find out.....

My 2007 5K PR and my 2010 10 mile PR


Megan 6:47 PM, October 23, 2010  

YAY! awesome progress.

Heather 6:48 PM, October 23, 2010  

What a great post and so true!

Anonymous,  10:11 PM, October 23, 2010  

That's good advice. Looking back over years, rather than months, makes me feel better!

Anonymous,  11:44 PM, October 23, 2010  

Excellent Post - I've actually had my CC stolen and Redbox issues.

jenez_world 2:12 AM, October 24, 2010  

thanks for the reminder. so true and just what i needed.

Steve Stenzel 3:19 AM, October 24, 2010  

Oops - Sorry Anonymous... I didn't mean to dig up old issues.... ;)

Christi 8:40 AM, October 24, 2010  

Great post! I needed that reminder and I am glad that you put it out there for me and everyone else!

Jenn 9:08 AM, October 24, 2010  

Great Post! Wow-You are smokin' fast! I'm also from Minnesota! Fun to find your blog. Awesome improvement over the years!

Jennifer Harrison 10:07 AM, October 24, 2010  

Good blog! You have much more in there...the key is what the marathon pace can be...Always room for improvement esp at your age and with some of your pure raw run talent,, if you would just not eat cinnamon cereal crap. :) KIDDING.

TriEric 10:31 AM, October 24, 2010  

You have many good years ahead of you. I have friends running faster and further now than in prior years.

Your youth will stick with you for a long time. You have the right mindset for it.

Dr. TriRunner 11:32 AM, October 24, 2010  

Thanks for the reminder Mr. Speedo :D

TRI-james 11:40 AM, October 24, 2010  

You are absolutely correct. It is easy to lose sight of the big picture!

Amy 1:09 PM, October 24, 2010  

As I sit here in my surgical boot, not having done serious training since March, I bemoan my loss of fitness.

BUT - when I look back 4 years to my first 5K, I couldn't even run the whole thing without needing to stop. Although I obviously can't run now (surgical boot!), I know that once I get the OK to start running again, that I will not be starting over, and it will take less time to get back to fighting shape.

Thanks for the reminder!

Steve Stenzel 5:23 PM, October 24, 2010  

YES Amy! That's exactly why I posted this! Good luck with your recovery!!

Steph 8:18 AM, October 25, 2010  

Wow, you have no idea how much I needed to read something like this right now... so very true. Thanks for the reminder!

My Life and Running 10:40 AM, October 25, 2010  

Great post. Thanks for sharing!

CoachLiz 5:03 PM, October 25, 2010  

Great post! I still think I am slow, but the progress that I have made from just a few years ago is unthinkable. If someone would have told me a few years ago after finishing my first 70.3 race that I would race one five years older and 44 minutes faster and with a whole lot less pain I would that told them that they were smoking crack.

Keep getting faster dude!

GoBigGreen 10:29 AM, October 26, 2010  

you know what i am going to say Steve, as we get more mature ( older) we have to train just as hard but rest harder. It kinda sucks, in some ways, but as Jen said, you have more in there but you have to be smarter about it how you tap that well.
:) We cant tap it 24/7 that was what we did in highschool and college ( Wait, how old are you?) hahaha.
Good job, pretty impressive!

GoBigGreen 10:29 AM, October 26, 2010  
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