I had a longer speed interval to do today, 20 minute warm up then a pace I wasn't sure I could hold for a full 60 minutes. I've held that pace...barely...in a race scenerio. I've held that pace for shorter distances on road..I've held faster paces on a nice flat soft track-shorte distances though. So yesterday i spent much time pondering and plotting a course...of course trying to make it as flat as possible on road! Although Tahlequah is not particularly hilly, it is not particularly flat either. So after dinner I drove out my course. Then I thought, how am I going to keep myself motivated to stay at a pace I'm not sure I can do for 60 minute,s which I'm sure will seem like an eternity. Bear chase. I'll imagine a bear chasing me. It will be a predawn solo run with headlamp anyway adding to seeming reality of being chased. That may be enough to keep me moving. So...this morning after 20 minutes of warm up....ready...set...go! That pace didn't seem so bad at first and I felt like the bear and I were loping along...I imagined the bear not being highly motivated at that point to catch me...Ha..and me not being highly motivated to outrun him...yet. The first part of the course was downhill/flat which made it seem deceptively easy. Then came that slight uphill grade at about 25 minutes...oh so slight...but of course felt like 6%....Now I was starting to picture the bear getting a little more motivated to catch me. The slight uphill continued on to about 45 minutes where I decided I did not care any longer whether or not the bear caught me, or mangled my body and used my bones for toothpicks....Uh oh.... Gonna have to ditch that visualization. Thinking...thinking... moved on to visualizing being chased down by another runner. That did the trick. Kicked back in the game and finished staying in my goal pace zone. I had to laugh as I ran.... What's more frightening to me? Another runner catching me. Another human being chasing me down is more motivating to me than the threat of death. That's just wrong.