The Drill Sergeant And The Cheerleader

I remember feeling really good about myself when I started boot camp because it meant I was working out 5 days a week. When I started training for my first 10K last Spring, I would do a long run on Saturdays to get myself up to being able to run 6 miles. That meant SIX DAYS A WEEK OF EXERCISE. I was so impressed with myself back then, now? Six is a norm. And I often blow it off like not a big deal.

I periodically (but rarely) ran the evening of boot camp, but when I did I thought, “THIS IS INSANE” because – what in the hell? TWO WORKOUTS IN ONE DAY? When I started my half-marathon training last August I avoided those “2-A-Day” situations by either skipping the mid-week runs (I felt like boot camp kept me in 3-mile shape so if it was less than 3-miles I thought boot camp was sufficient) or skipping boot camp.

Eventually, however, I had to stop skipping both.

One year later and I do 2-A-Day workouts at least twice a week. Often I do them 3 times a week. Boot camp in the morning, 4-8 mile run in the evening. I usually run Saturday AND Sunday. This week? I’ve done FOUR 2-a-days. I’ve done boot camp every morning and I’ve run at least 4 miles every night. I ran 7 miles on Tuesday.

This is my life training for a 50-Miler.

It’s weird, doing two workouts a day like it’s nothing. Because, I remember when I used to think it was insane and something I should make a BIG. HUGE. DEAL. about. I would talk about it constantly, “I had a 2-a-day this week, so I’m really tired.” Now? I did four and didn’t even flinch. I’ve run 22 miles since Monday and done 4 boot camp workouts and I didn’t even make a tiny deal out of it.

Although – I’ll be honest – I’m worn the eff out.

The main reason this worked out this way this week is because I was trying to make up a few of the miles of training I missed while traveling. The other reason is there were groups running every night, and since I now hate running alone, I didn’t want to miss out on any of those groups in case I had a night with no group options. Either way? I ran four nights this week to my usual three and I didn’t miss any boot camp mornings.

And I kinda forgot how awesome that is.

Sometimes I feel like I need to be in better touch with Kim from a year ago because I’m becoming a bit jaded. I used to be really impressed with myself but now I’m getting hard on myself. Dammit, Kim. Why did you skip so many miles last week while traveling? YOU BETTER RUN EXTRA THIS WEEK! Who is this drill sergeant inside of my head? What happened to my inner-cheerleader?

I think it’s a good thing to have both. In order to push myself further than the cheerleader thought possible, I have to bring out the drill sergeant. Because while it’s not a huge deal that I missed those runs while traveling, I still need to make sure I get my body ready for this big race in November and that means being as disciplined about training as possible. I guess the crazier my goals, the more I realize how much I need both in my life. I need the cheerleader to be all, “HOLY CRAP, GIRL! You did FOUR 2-a-days this week? And two of your nightly runs were in the pouring rain? YOU ARE AWESOME!” And I need the drill sergeant to say, “BUT NOT AWESOME ENOUGH. You have a 20-miler you have to run on Saturday. SUCK IT UP.”

Right now I think I’m doing an okay job of keeping both at the ready, some days I feel like I’m leaning on one or the other more than necessary, but for the most part they’re both there.

But if I make it through my 20-mile long run tomorrow successfully? I’m giving the drill sergeant the rest of the weekend off. The cheerleader will be taking me to dinner.

4 thoughts on “The Drill Sergeant And The Cheerleader”

  1. #1 – you are awesome, no matter what.
    #2 – not gonna lie, I still think I’m pretty awesome just for going to the gym 4-5 days a week… until I read your posts and realize I’m nowhere near what you’re doing. 😉

  2. I’ll be honest, I’m looking forward to Spring when I can be proud of my 4-5 days of working out! This shit is exhausting 😉

  3. My jaw just dropped so far I thought it might fall off. That’s a lot of exercise! I’m so freaking impressed! I’m curious though, when do your muscles/joints have recovery time? Or are you at the point where you don’t need as much recovery as those of us new to running? Although I don’t ache as much as I did at first I still feel like I need a day in between runs for my poor hips and knees.

  4. That’s a really good point – I find I don’t need anywhere near as much recovery time as I used to. I even ran a bit the day after my trail marathon. No problem! Of course, many would say that means I’m not “pushing it” as hard as I should be, but when I’m running for distance? I want to finish always feeling like I could do more, otherwise I feel like I’ve gone too fast and am miserable. So I take it easy enough maybe that I don’t need as much recovery?

    Also – I think the strength training from boot camp really helps keep me from needing as much recovery time because I am so much stronger than I used to be!

    However – on a normal week, I take Mondays off from running because Saturday and Sunday together are enough to force me into a rest day 😉

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