Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Training Reflections: Make it Hurt, Make it Count.

I'm alive! Don't worry, I have been keeping up with my running despite being swamped with school and work. How fitting that during the week of midterms I finally decide to sit down and write this post. ;)

I want to reflect on my training for the last two months.

Running, for me, is 99% mental.  I run when I'm happy, stressed, or sad.  I run to free myself of any connections to my daily responsibilities, giving myself 2 hours of blissful "me time." I also run to contemplate issues that weigh heavy on my mind.

The mental part of becoming a better runner, however, is a different game of its own. It requires transforming your attitude about yourself from negative to positive. My attitude going into a run determines how I feel the entire duration. If I go in thinking that I'm too tired, then yes, within two miles I'll feel like I need to stop or slow down. Self-doubt is one of the worst things that hinders our abilities to become better runners. I've found that I'm good at running set distances, but awful at keeping pace.

You don't know what you're capable of until you actually do it. I has this mental debate about a week ago when I realized that I had just skimmed through this training cycle without any real work. Sure, I ran pretty much every day, fitting in about 60-70 miles a week, but none these were quality workouts designed to make me a better runner.

So two weeks out from this race, I tested myself to see how far I could push it.

Workout One: Closed a 10 mile run with a final mile of 6:57<--- I never run sub-seven miles, let alone at the end of a run!

Workout Two: Two sets of 5 milers, with the second set faster than the first. <--faster than my sub 1:40 half marathon goal pace!

Needless to say, I've been selling myself short. How fast am I capable of running? Much faster than I've been giving myself credit for.

What am I going to run this Sunday? I don't really know. A sub 1:40 would be great, but I'm greedy and I know my body can do a lot more than my mind says it can. All I can do is taper, fuel up, and get ready to run.

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