Running up, over and through the cogs

With the Eye of the Tiger, Sub-3 or Bust

2.59Long have I been a sucker for classic training montages, the cheesier the better. Whether it’s Rocky Balboa racing a boat, Daniel-san whipping crane kicks to get the girl or Frank Dux redefining ninjitsu, I just can’t help but get pumped up watching that all-or-nothing training mentality in superlative action.

And, of course, a nice score doesn’t hurt.

It could be said that race day is just the exclamation point on the process, whether one reaches his goal or not. Hours and hours of training are logged so that race day simply comes down to execution. We reach our goals with compounded hard work, not by a one-day luck of the draw.

The process of training — the long, drawn out montage in real time — is what the whole experience is about for me. It’s about getting up before light to log a lactate threshold run. It’s about strict attention to clean diet while my friends pack away the pints. It’s about daily massage, supplemental strength training and lots of sleep.

It’s about doing everything in my power to make myself as good as I can be, to (as Survivor would suggest) rise up to the challenge of my rival.

My rival is me — the old me, the me who couldn’t run a block, let alone speed through 26.2 miles all in one shot.

And while that old rival self may not exist in the flesh anymore, the doubt and negativity inherent to his being still lingers. The challenge of rising up against it is still very real. I want to put it to rest forever.

My target is the Chicago Marathon; the goal is to break three hours. It’s my hometown course. It’s built for speed. And I know every tangent, every turn, every double-sided aid station.

On August 4th, backed by a summer of long, slow base mileage, I began marathon training in earnest. Right now I have eight and a half weeks to get tuned into high turnover and to make October 13 one of the most memorable days of my life.

Of course, with high expectation comes the risk of major heartbreak. If it’s 80 degrees on race day then I will have to ditch the effort and just survive. If I go out only to blow up halfway through, I’ll have to suck up defeat and look forward to the next opportunity. Or I could get injured, I could get ill, I could spontaneously combust. Any number of detrimental things lurks, ready to stop me from achieving my ultimate running goal.

But one thing is for certain: even if I do get knocked down, I’m gettin’ my ass right back up.

I’m not going to quit. I’m going to achieve this goal.

It’s going to happen.

And by putting this declaration out into the universe for all to see I feel even more driven to get the job done, one 6 minute and 50 second paced step at a time.

blueeyetigercopy
It’s the eye of the tiger
It’s the thrill of the fight
Rising up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor
Stalks his prey in the night
And he’s watching us all with the eye of the tiger

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10 responses

  1. BOO-YAH https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oomCIXGzsR0

    August 13, 2013 at 10:32

  2. Dan

    Welp, I’ll definitely have that song playing in my head for the rest of the day. Make it happen, Jeff. Use your incredible pulmonary power! Puns!

    August 13, 2013 at 10:55

  3. great post, keep up the hard work and it will happen. Sub3 belongs to you!

    August 23, 2013 at 08:12

    • Thanks! I hope you’re right :-)

      August 26, 2013 at 14:16

      • Are you doing much race pace miles in training? I found this really helped me.
        Looking forward to reading up on your progress and journey.

        August 27, 2013 at 03:57

      • Yep, sure am. You can’t expect to run a certain pace without practicing it in training. I try to run race pace or faster at least once a week.

        August 27, 2013 at 12:39

  4. Pingback: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Pacers: The 2013 Peapod Half Madness Half Marathon Race Report | TheRunFactory.com

  5. Pingback: 2013: A Year of Patience, Perseverance and Perspective | TheRunFactory.com

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