Thursday, November 13, 2014

Run the Mile You're In

Run the mile you're in. Run the mile you're in. That was my mantra today...

One of my takeaways from the sports psychology luncheon I went to this week was to stay in the present. Don't dwell on the past or think about the future. Focus on what you are doing at the moment.

Goal marathon pace run day and I had 7 miles on the schedule. I should be able to do this. Why is it that I always freak out about pace days? It's like a test... did I train well enough the preceding days to do this? Of course I can do this yet, more often than not, I feel like I end up bailing. I should have been able to do 5 miles at 8:45 pace 2 weeks ago yet I couldn't. Now I had 7 on my plate... and it was snowing.

Well, not snowing snowing but temps in the 20's with snow flurries... like snowflakes you can see. I almost retreated to the hamster track but I knew I had to do this on the road.

Suck it up buttercup...

Tights, long sleeve shirt, jacket, headband, gloves... I think I'm ready. Just go do it.

Miles 1-5 were fine. I knew I was too fast. I tried to reign myself in and just think about the pace for this mile. Miles 4 and 5 are always the hardest ones. Mile 4 starts and ends on a hill so I always end up speeding up at the end of Mile 3 in anticipation. Mile 5 ends on a short steep hill next to my house so I usually end every run sprinting up this hill. Today though, rather than turn around and go back down the hill to do another 2 miles I decided to run past my house on a road that had more of a gradual up and down grade than the previous 5 so I wouldn't have to climb so many hills and end my run on a hill.
I sprinted up the hill to finish Mile 5. As soon as I got to the top I went from feeling perfectly fine to "OMG, I think all my insides are going to fall out and I'm going to crap myself!" Boom. Just like that - in less than 3 seconds - I went from fine to total disaster. I did exert myself pretty hard going up that hill but I wasn't expecting to feel so horrible at the top.
For at least a quarter mile I considered calling the run, but each step was taking me further and further from my house. No! Suck it up and finish! Another couple hundred yards and I tried to fix my posture and my stride. My insides were calming down. I don't think I really crapped myself. I peeked at my watch. 9:41 pace. OK, see what I can salvage. I suck at runner math, especially when I feel bad... I'm not sure if I have 20 seconds or 40 seconds in the bank... maybe I can still average 8:45.
I made it to the 6 mile mark and saw 9:20. I was feeling better and there was more downhill than uphill to the finish. I tagged SR 144 and sprinted home.

What I learned today...
- I am capable of running 7 miles at 8:45 pace
- I need to slow down my early miles. 8-10 seconds a mile is too fast. It will catch up to me later. Better to run slower in the beginning. This is a horrible habit I have. I have never run a negative split ever in a race. My subconscious always wants to bank a couple seconds here and there in the beginning for later but I know that it really just hurts me later. I have to trust myself more.
- I have enough strength/mentality/gas to overcome a craptastic mile and comeback with a 8:10 7th mile. I have the ability to do this.
So happy I gutted out Mile 6 today!

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