Today's Miles: 8 miles - long, slow run
I was disappointed in my last race. I didn’t meet my time goal by over 2 minutes. I still met other goals, but I just missed my goal...BY TWO MINUTES!! I was so close! And I have been kicking myself in the teeth ever since. WHY?!
I have all kinds of excuses…it was hot, it was humid, it was hilly….oh cry me a river. And suddenly one day I realized what it was….I simply was not racing.
Does that sound stupid after I say “I ran a 10K or I ran a 10K race?” Well, of course it sounds a little stupid. My goal at that 10K was not “to just finish.” I had a time goal. In order to meet that time goal, I needed to push myself to get across that finish line in a certain time. I did not have time to be on cruise control. I needed to race….balls to the walls….throw down the gauntlet….kick it in overdrive and RACE.
But I alas…. I did not. Well, I did in the last mile. Every mile up to that last mile, I was holding back. It was like I was just on another long run. I may have pushed it up a little from a normal “long, slow run.” But I just don’t feel like I RACED. I kept telling myself…don’t push it too hard or you’ll flame out. Would I?
I’ve got to get it in my head that if I’m going to get faster and cross the finish line within a time goal…..I’ve got to RACE….for the ENTIRE RACE. I’ve got to be willing to lay it on the line and absolutely risk failing. I didn’t want to fail – and failure to me would be a DNF or bonking out before the end of the race and walking or limping in.
I’ve also realized that I haven’t been training to race! I’ve been training to RUN. I’ve been logging the miles. No doubt about that. I’ve been spending some time at the track on speed sessions. But I’ve not been running long sustained fast runs….tempo runs. So I’m altering my training plans to add in a tempo run with each cycle and we’ll see how this goes. Yesterday was my first real tempo run...and I surprised myself by running a 9:11 minute-mile. That's totally flipping HUGE for me!
The last thing I’ve realized is:
I didn’t take a risk because I didn’t want to fail…..and I feel like I failed anyway….
(Hmmmm, maybe this is a take-home lesson outside of racing too.)
So….now I’m itching to sign up for a 5K and let it flipping go. Lay it on the line and flat out run…RACE. Do I have it in me? Can I be that risk taker? Can I overcome my mental obstacles?
We shall see.