A Lot Of Help From Jack Daniels

a lot of help from Jack DanielsThis week I had a lot of help from Jack Daniels to get through it all. Not Jack Daniels the Tennessee Whiskey but Jack Daniels the famous running coach.

This has been a challenging week running. I have a big race a month from today and my February training schedule is extremely regimented and focused. Typically I take two rest days per week, Monday and Friday but this week I had to switch things around some.

We are going to Denver for the Valentines Day weekend and will be gone Saturday and Sunday which meant that in order to get all of my workouts in this week I had to do all of my runs back to back Monday through Friday without a break from the previous week. Definitely a challenge but it was something that I felt was doable.

I was doing great until Thursday though… Thursday my plan was to do a 20 miler (which would have been Saturday’s run) but I came up short and only did ten. I waited until mid day to run and while the temps were gloriously warm and the sun was out and the weather was amazing, the downside was that I was running in puddles, slush, and all kinds of other unpleasantness from all of the melting snow.

My brain just could not handle it so I bailed and cut the run short.

A Lot Of Help From Jack Daniels

When I got home, I felt rather dejected for bailing on the run but at the same time extremely relieved and happy to not be out there still running. However, it setup a dilemma for me which was I HAD to get the 20 miler in on Friday, no excuses. It had to be done.

But I had my doubts… all of the fatigue from the week was piling up and I wasn’t sure if I could actually do 20 miles. After giving it some thought I realized that to have any chance at all to get the run completed I had to get out early before things melted. I had to choose ice and crunchy frozen stuff to run on over warm and pleasant temperatures.

Still struggling with the thought of being out there for 20 miles I remembered something that I had read once in Jack Daniels famous book, Daniels’ Running Formula. I am only paraphrasing but what I remember was that sometimes when you go out for a run and you feel like crap, your best option is to push even harder because it just might make you feel better. Brilliant!

So thinking about Friday’s run, and having that concept in my brain, I decided to ramp up the run and run it harder than I normally would by going out an average ten beats per minute higher for my heart rate, a twenty mile tempo run if you will.

This set up three things for me… one… It gave me a challenge because running twenty miles at that level of effort and sustaining it is damned hard. Second, I knew that by running faster, I would be out there less time and that was something that my brain was very happy about. Lastly, I knew that if I could pull of the run just like that, not only would it be a huge confidence booster in and of itself, but to pull it off after the week of training I already had would be even a greater confidence builder for me.

Challenge accepted… Challenge met… I did the full run, 20 miles, in 2:44:10, with an average heart rate of 153 beats per minute. YAY! Now I get two days off to rest and I get to enjoy my weekend knowing the work is behind me.

When life gets hard and chaotic it is easy to slip into whatever mode is available to us just to get by but sometimes that level of effort will just not do. No, we have to push back even harder and by doing so in the end not only will we get through whatever it is more quickly, in the end it just might end up being easier! A lot of help from Jack Daniels regardless of if you are a runner or not.

Thank you Dr. Jack Daniels!

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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Photo By Claudia K 06 Feb 2016

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