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  • Writer's pictureAnderson Bobo

Running 2020 or: How I learned to stop worrying

Updated: May 14, 2020

Today would’ve been my final race of the season so I find it fitting to do a review / update. I was due to for a journal session.

What a crazy time we live in. The past 5 months have been one of stagnation but also growth. Let’s start at the beginning.

In terms of consistency, that was not what winter training brought. I had an okay winter training but has hindered by a weak hip that happens whenever I sit around and do nothing. I still had an okay base but didn’t do many workouts.

When I arrived at campus I was about 100% again and pushed up the miles right away. I was also thrusted into “big boy” workouts, which I was ready for given my xc season.

The last year I have been waiting for my body to catch up and become the athlete I have always strived to be and I was here. I would embrace the grind and push myself.

You’re not going to get better if you keep doing the same things that make you mediocre.

The month of June & Feb was the best training I’ve ever had. Being a “long D guy” (long distance), most of my training was geared towards the 10k. I did about an 8 mile tempo every week which I’ve never done before. I threw up almost every time we did mile repeats, having to stop in some reps then speed up to continue the workout.

Those workouts showed me you DON’T need perfect training to race well.

“The best plan, is no plan at all”

That’s the damn truth. As long as you’re doing what you need to do, training smart, things will work out. You shouldn’t aim for perfection. Aim to push yourself. That’s what I did, having about 7-8 weeks of 70-80ish miles with a bunch of 15 mile long runs (new to me) and 5 mile doubles. This worked (for me).

We don’t aim to peak for indoor, which makes the season ending a little more bleak considering we all had room to grow.

The season was going well but I was focused on getting better, not running fast early. My last race of the season was indoor conference in the 5k where I ran 15:00, bittersweet. Yes it was a 24 second personal record but breaking 15 mins in the 5K is a huge barrier and my biggest personal goal. Yes it is upsetting to go look at (ncaa running database) and see that “15:00” on my profile. But if you told me in December when I was running 4/5 days a week that I would run 15 flat I would be ecstatic (not to mention I was on 14:40 pace for most of the race before I died very hard 💀).

Also going on the all “no plan” thing I felt like shit the entire week before the race.

I’m finally here. This is the season that I’ve been working towards getting too for a LONG time.

A couple weeks past and that’s the conclusion of the 2020 track season, punishment by coronavirus.

This season was like getting a check that I didn’t get to cash in. But I’m at peace with it. Without quarantine I wouldn’t be able to see as many korean films that I have.

Disappointment in many levels but during the quarantine I have found solace in running on my own schedule and exploring other avenues that I wouldn’t be able to during the season. I’ve tapped into my creative side more.

I ran for a couple weeks afterwards, obtaining the all mighty “campus loop” strava record (Top 3 hardest race efforts ever).

I haven’t been doing any serious training in the last two months. I still have been running and I’m in okay shape, but am now starting my build up for cross country.

Like most sports, summer training is where you can transform yourself. It’s a time of growth. It’s time where YOU can make a difference. No one can stop you from getting better. I also love the community of summer training. It seems entire running world is on the same page. All for one goal. I’ve met so many great friends in this period that I wouldn’t have if I didn’t run. So here’s to growth.

Normally, when the outdoor season concludes it leaves you with a fire inside. You end the season on a good race, watch NCAA nationals, you get amped. Without those, which historically conclude the season, I’ve been looking for the spark that I usually have. Maybe this is due to isolation? Maybe because it doesn’t “feel like summer” without the normal rituals that’s usually end with school getting out.

When you can’t look outwards, you can look inward.

Every summer I have a few words that I embody and use to fuel me (last years was next level / make the jump). I haven’t found those words yet but I am close to finding them. The last few days I have become increasing excited for what’s to come and I’m ready to work! The spark has been lit.

(As I've been writing this it seems to me my words for the summer may deal with “transformation” and “growth”.)

Alas, my final cross country season? Let’s not focus on the finish, but the steps needed to get their, so we can hold our heads high and embrace those around us.

To another summer grinding on the pavement,

Anderson Bobo

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