The depths of despair.
The height of glory.
I've been thinking a lot lately about the difference between deep and high. As a triathlete, one of the reasons I train hard is that I want to be faster (duh.) Obviously, once you get beyond the "I just want to finish mentality" of completing your first sprint, olympic, half-ironman, full ironman triathlon, everyone just wants to get faster, and I am most certainly one of those people. For the past two years one of my goals has been to go under 6 hours in a half-ironman. I have been very close a few times, but still haven't been able to shave those few minutes off.
After Rev3 Quassy, though, I was feeling a little bit down about the direction my running has taken over the past year. Basically, I have slowed down. Granted a lot of the slowing down has been purposeful to work on my base aerobic level and really develop that system that is going to power me through 140.6 miles in September. However, it is always nice to see some results in terms of improved speed over the long haul. I had a long conversation with Sonja about this after Quassy and she said something that really resonated with me. She said, "You might not be getting faster, but your fitness is getting deeper." Meaning, even though I can't run at X pace, I can hold Y pace for a lot longer.
At first I protested..."well, that's great, but I want to be faster." Then I realized you have to dig deep before you shoot high. The taller the building is the deeper the foundation needs to be, and the foundation is there long before the top floor is complete. Once I wrapped my head around this, I was comforted to see that yes, my hard work is paying off. It may not be as tangible right this very minute as running fast would be, but the base is getting deeper with every slow mile I run.
I'm racing Syracuse 70.3 this weekend, and I'm hoping to see if I can build a few stories of my building on top of my deep foundation. I honestly have no idea how this will go. I have no time goals. I have some HR goals, and I have a plan, but mostly my goals are mental.