I'm feeling pretty tired today. But then maybe if I didn't stay up until 12:30 playing poker I wouldn't be so tired! Why am I bringing up poker? Because, believe it or not, there are a lot of similarities between running and poker.
Yesterday for example - I made the final table of an online tournament. I got there by taking a few calculated risks along the way, but mostly by outlasting my opponents. I made it by maintaining my concentration through hand after hand after hand. As I was sitting there yawning, I couldn't help but think about how much like marathon training this was. Each day I play an hour or two. I follow my play plan. Even when the cards my tempt me to deviate. Sometimes I make a few bucks. Other times I lose a couple. Each day I run an hour or two. I follow my training plan. Even when my mind or body tempt me to deviate. Sometimes I feel like I've accomplished something. Other times I don't.
But the bottom line is I put in the time to get better. Both on the trails and the poker table. Day after day I see the same scenery and the same lousy cards. Why do I do it? Because every now and then there's a seat at a final table that most players won't get to. And because every now and then there's a finish line that most people won't get to.
Oh - yesterday's run? Just a boring nine miles. Average pace 9:45. Average heart rate 80% of max. As hard as I try, sometimes I just can't keep things fresh. Speaking of which - on tap today - five recovery miles.