when your office isn't the track
Sometimes I'm really jealous of professional athletes. Like...
It can be exhausting to be both invested heavily in a career (in the traditional sense) and a running career at the same time. I never feel like there are enough hours. There is always something I'm neglecting. And in the darkest weeks I feel like I'm not good at both or either or anything. I imagine that would happen with or without running though. I have my cave days.
- When I share the workout track with two high school lunch hours and two gym classes. And on my last mile of a grueling workout having a group of boys make loud fart noises at me every time I come down the last 100m. Actually that was a pretty solid burn. Solid.
- When I'm doing that workout all alone.
- When I fill up my bathtub with three bags of ice and one block because the tap only runs lukewarm.
- When I can't nap under my desk.
- When massage isn't on my schedule.
- When my work day totally eats my workout.
- When I pay for shoes.
- When no one wants my autograph.
- When Twitter won't give me my blue badge.
- When I have to stretch my own damn hamstrings
But then I think about the pressure of running as your job. And how every ache and pain would bring flashes of HOLY SH*T if break, what will I do??!
What brought this topic up was not just the fart calls during my track workout today but an article I read April issue of Running Times. Apparently it's not online, so get your paper copy to read "It's About Time" by Alex Kurt. He compares the schedules of an amateur runner with a 50/hour week job and a professional runner. How they used their time on and off the roads. Chris Erichsen, the runner with the 50 hour a week job competed in the 2012 Olympic Trials and has a marathon PR of 2:16:31. What's interesting to me is that when he was given three months to devote to training he overtrained. He realized the balance was good.
|they weren't joking about the loneliness of the long distance runner...|
I also see examples of pros that thrive with more on their plate than just running. See: Lauren Fleshman. I friggin can't find the reference, but in an interview she said she's a better runner when her life is full. Not just full to be full, but full of other things she's passionate about. Like Picky Bars, freelance writing, Believe I Am...full plate.
At the end of the day, the amateurs (hey that's us!) are pretty damn lucky. No one is watching but you. Which can be lonely, and defeating at times, but only if you ignore the best part. We get to run for ourselves. And we have this online community of runners to be a part of. A community created organically to bolster each other. To encourage and support. And inspire. To make the road less lonely.
For instance, this week Emily Sweats gave us a glimpse into how she trains at the level she does, while maintaining a full time job and social life. Seeing someone else, even though they are a continent away, setting their alarm for before 5am made me feel less alone. And slightly less crazy.
So here's to fart-serenaded track workouts, 4:45am wake-up calls and ice filled bathtubs. Amateur style.