I went to Dale's cross country meet yesterday. There were a ton of runners. There were two times when I was almost overwhelmed with emotion 1. Seeing the winner push to the finish with beautiful form and satisfaction on her face 2. When an old coach from my school got his tired, exhausted, disappointed looking daughter's attention to tell her the time he got. Her reaction was priceless. I couldn't help but love those moments when they showed pride in their achievements.
I ran this morning my usual hilly 4 miles. I tried my hardest to talk myself out of getting out of bed, but my stubborn mind got up anyway and threw on some cold gear. I saw frost on the ground as soon as I opened the garage door... "this is going to suck". I started my warm up anyway hoping I'd be sweating soon.
A few weeks back I took an entire week off from working out and I was regretting the situation because I felt like I took at least 3 steps back. Today was the day that I realized how being smart, resting, and following through with a plan pays off.
Last weeks hilly 4:
Mile 1: 7:23
Mile 2: 8:52
Mile 3: 8:55
Mile 4: 8:07
Today's hilly 4:
Mile 1: 7:48
Mile 2: 7:33
Mile 3: 6:09
Mile 4: 7:45
I think it shorted my 3rd mile a little bit. 6:09 in some of the toughest hills out there? My goal today was attack the hills and negative splits at mile 2 & 3. Once I started running I was done being negative. There were two times when I started, "well, I can coast mile 2 because of the hills.." and my mind so rudely cut itself off with a big fat, "NOPE"!
I've been in the habit lately of running comfortably. It's hard to get anywhere if you're willing to settle for comfortable. The sooner I trained my mind to know that each mile is going to be hard and each mile is going to be work, BUT each step is making me stronger, the better off I was. How do you turn the corner? How do you force yourself to push harder? To take yourself to complete exhaustion?
It's all in your head. I thought about my post as I ran today. I thought about wanting the best of me and them wanting the best for themselves and I was inspired all over again. Usually once I make it up one of those hard hills I tell myself I've made it and then I let myself recover by shuffling along for as long as I can. Not today! Today I pushed.
Something I love to do, but don't get a chance to do very often is coach. This may sound crazy but today I envisioned myself as my own coach standing on the side pushing me on with the goals I have set. "get up that hill, use the downhill, think about turnover, push, this is what you are out here to do, don't give up, you've got three more hills which means three more downhills, attack them and let your legs go". When I was tired and felt like shuffling I didn't. I took the energy and focused it somewhere else, "your quads aren't tired, use them, your arms aren't tired use them to pull you through..."
Today I would have blown my 5k PR out of the water especially on a flat fast course because I killed it on a hilly one with a mile to go. I set a new goal at that 3 hill to go mark. I wanted to make it up those hills without looking like I was dying and use the downhill before the last hill. The last hill was after the 4 mile mark so all of it was bonus work. I heard recently that you should be able to sprint the last 200 of any race no matter how tired you are because it takes different mechanics to sprint. I have tried to incorporate that. I killed that last hill to my driveway. I came inside dealt with a lot of poop, gave the destructive one a bath because of said poop and took the longest shower I've had in a long time. I was exhausted. More than exhausted and I'm still exhausted!!! But this morning's accomplishments were well worth the exhaustion and I now know what new levels my body and mind can achieve. I thank you all that read and show so much support for a HUGE chunk of that! Zona Rosa 5k next Saturday... Let's do this!