Friday, December 19, 2014

Mind over Matter, the Flip Side

I'm a big believer that our bodies can cash much bigger checks than our mind wants to write.

But convincing the mind is the hard part.

So yesterday, Speedy Track Club decided to substitute the regular weekly interval workout with a one-mile time trial. I knew about it for a few weeks, but I hadn't really bought in to it. I guess I could run an all-out mile. But I did so well in the summer with the mile (a surprising 5:52) that I wasn't motivated to try and beat that yet. But my training is going well, so I figured I'd give it a shot.

Then JJ posted on Loopville that she did a 5:58. There's some motivation, right? Kind of wanted to beat that.

So I warm up with a mile, and I feel sluggish. Then we do 6x100 accelerations. Meh. Then 6x200 at race pace with 100 jogs. Dang! That's pretty hard work for before a race! I just wasn't feeling speedy. And I think I was afraid of the pain that running sub-6 would bring. Mentally I had already checked out. I was considering bailing altogether and not running it. Then I thought I would just run a hard 6:30 or so. Walking to the line, I still hadn't decided on a strategy.

There are two guys I do intervals with that are normally the same pace as I am. And they are master pacers. Every interval they are right on pace. They were shooting for sub-6. So I figured to chase them for a while and see how it felt. Stay close to 6 minute pace and hopefully I could finish strong and go sub-6.

So off we go, and I slip into my spot behind the fast people and ahead of the slower ones. My pacers were just ahead of me, but already slipping away. And I let them. I had already convinced myself not to really push myself. Fail.

But I was still running hard. Went through lap 1 in 90 seconds anyway. Surprised me a little. So I thought I might as well keep this up for a while. It was hard, but I figured to keep at it as long as my body would let me. Lap two my pacers got a little further ahead (20 yards maybe?) and I ran 92.

Lap 3 I was hurting, but passed a couple people and maintained. Another 92. But now I could smell the finish and pushed on the gas - and there was plenty left in the tank! It was tough, but I was accelerating. I started to catch up to my pacers who had gotten further ahead. I realized maybe I could slip under 6 if I cranked it up. So I did. And there was even more left! On the last stretch I probably made up ten yards on my guys, and Garmin had me running sub-5 pace, but I finished just behind them by about a second. In 6:01. D'oh!

So, last lap 87. And the speed I felt at the end convinced me I definitely could have run faster. Probably a lot faster. I just needed to tell myself to shut up and go out harder and go for it. Oh well. Lesson learned. My negative mind conquered my able body. This time.

Still. 6:01 is pretty fast. And now I want to smash it next year! No reason I can't get a lot faster! (if I stay healthy) 5:30 sounds like a good goal...

No comments:

Post a Comment