Speedwork and brainwork today! track work with 2x400 and 4x1000 at near max effort...well, I was hoping they'd be more "near" max effort as opposed to just plain "max effort!".
Speedwork runs/track runs are always my favorite and most nerve wracking runs. I absolutely love the challenge, but I tend to get very nervous about them and worry worry worry, before AND during. I'm working on that though and am making brain progress, which I hope will enhance speed progress. Intentional or not, I knew coach was taking me to an uncomfortable place today to do some work. Instead of fearing it (well a little healthy fear), I looked at it as an opportunity to build and construct. I would be going into a "disaster zone"...that place where effort/pace feels like you are dying, not sure if you can keep it up, fearing failing and just falling completely off pace or quitting before the interval is over feel. This was where I was going to be working today. I wanted to work on my brain here... in that place... and I did.
The 15min warm-up always seems forever as I anticipate the intervals, so I just relaxed, told myself to enjoy warming up, no need to get my hr up immediately, it would rise plenty later. I gradually worked up to zone 3. Next, increasing speed over a couple minutes or so and a 400m at a little under what the speed intervals would be. Took a minute to regroup and off for my first 400m. First felt pretty decent, had to back off to keep from going too fast on both.
Next up...the 100
0m intervals. "Ok brain" I thought. I pulled out my mantras "just go for it" which allows me to let go and clear my mind and relax. The first lap went smoothly, second lap was feeling pretty tough, but hanging in there, the last half lap was intense but no need to add any mantras. Nice rest after that one. Second 1000m the first lap didn't feel quite as good and by the mid-end of the second lap my pace was faltering..Here came the worry, "i'm n
ot going to hold it"...then I reminded myself, "who cares?!", "just go for it". I relaxed again and pushed. I was at max effort the last 200-400 of that one for sure despite a slower pace. Hands on knees after and a short walk before resuming a slow jog for the completion of the rest interval.
3rd 1000: A little worry eeking in, Hello Walter! "You didn't hold the pace on the last one...how much slower are you going to go on this one?" "Are you just going to fall apart and quit?". I looked at Walter, "w
ho cares?!" and "just go for it"-that felt good. Walter disappeared and I took off, but I was holding back a little worrying about what I should do to not blow up "what effort can I maintain for the next __ meters? I was thinking about the
next 400, 800 meters, I was not in the moment. I was worried about the future (albeit short future!). Finished that one a little slower than the last.
#4: This one I
spent trying to figure out what I could maintain for the full 1000. Again, I was letting fear hold me back a bit. I didn't want to blow and quit. I was working this puzzle, but it wasn't working, it didn't feel right. This ended up being my slowest interval. Ok Ok I thought, what does my brain need to do. I'm missing something, I know it, I just don't know what it is.
#5: Again started out thinking, holding back a bit trying to figure how the next 400, 800 meters was going to play out and then it hit me. "run in the moment". Aha! Don't worry about the next 400m. Don't worry about blowing up. Run in the moment, moment by moment, don't worry about the next moment. And blammo, I felt it. The puzzle piece fit and I ran in the moment. With that slight shift in thinking my pace came back down being the 2nd fastest interval. Now, the only interval I stayed on my goal pace was the first. All 4 of the following intervals were over. But the coooolest thing is, I'm not disappointed. Last year or even 3 months ago I would have been beating myself up about it. Not today. I hit the construction site and worked. And worked well. I gave it my best physically and mentally and made progress on the construction of an ultrarunner.