Monday, September 5, 2016

It must be difficult to learn the English language.  We have so many different rules when it comes to proper sentence structure.  There are also many words that have different meanings depending on how they are used in a sentence.  Take, for instance, the post topic for today: will.  I’m sure there are many words out there that are equally different in their meaning, but for me, on this day and on the week I just had, the word will kept coming up in my mind.

Will is the present singular and plural of would.  Would, of course, is used to talk about a possible situation that has not happened or that you are imagining (among other things).  I often hear people use another word immediately after the word would, which is but.  Like, “Vince, will you take the trash out?  I would, but…..” You get the picture, right?

This post would be easy to finish by just stopping right here and saying that this past week I did what I said I was going to do, in which case, we say something like this.  “I will complete my training.  I will do it in so many minutes and seconds.  I will.”  But this isn’t the definition of the word will that I kept focusing on.  The definition I kept focusing on was this one: used to express determination, insistence, persistence, or willfulness.

That definition crept into my mind on Wednesday when I tackled the toughest of my interval sessions yet.  The intervals stretched out to a few mile repeats with some 800’s and a few 400’s sprinkled in for good measure.  Not only that, but with the shortened days, there is less daylight.  An already difficult workout can seem ten times harder when faced with the blankness of the dark.  It can feel even more overwhelming than it already is.  Fortunately the one main factor that can make or break a workout cooperated.  The weather.  With a cooling misty fog and temperatures that have at least become bearable, it made for better conditions and allowed my will to take over.  Wednesday felt good, but with any marathon training program, the next difficult test is never far away, and that test would come on Saturday.  The weekly long run stretched out to 16 miles.

Friday night while watching the weather forecast I became excited at the possibility of running in a steady rain with winds pushing 20 mph.  A tropical storm system had formed in the Gulf of Mexico and was moving along the east coast.  Finally, some cooling relief would come my way and allow me the opportunity to truly gauge the level of my training.  With the recent heat wave it has been difficult to know where I stand with just 9 weeks remaining before New York City. As I departed the house on Saturday morning I did so with the knowledge that I have struggled mightily on the weekly long run.  My mental barrier had been coming around the 5-mile mark where walking had become a regular thing.  But with cooperative weather and the realization that even though I’ve struggled recently, those runs were doing their jobs.  I clipped off mile after mile at a good slow run pace of just under 9:00/mile.  While doing so I thought back on my many long training runs and the difficult races I’ve run and realized that there is one theme that has existed in all of them; will.  The will to push myself that extra step.  The will to know that I can do whatever I set my mind to.  The will that exists deep within the recesses of my mind that have carried me through many barriers and over many obstacles through the years.  Not only in running, but life in general.

It certainly helps me to have weather that is ideal.  And I realize that my 16-miler will give way to several 18 and 20 miles runs in the coming weeks.  A quick glance at the forecast shows temperatures climbing once again to near 90.  Which guarantees one thing.  That aforementioned will is going to be tested once again and once again it will come down to a simple question.  One that I seem to ask myself over and over again.  Will I or won’t I?

Run on…

August, 2016 ends up a top 10 month!

August, 2016 ends up a top 10 month!

It was a dark and foggy morning (after the sun had started to come up)

It was a dark and foggy morning (after the sun had started to come up)

Running into the unknown.

Running into the unknown.