We were supposed to run our 10K pace for the first six 800s, then get faster. But no one does that. Everyone runs way faster because this group is hardcore and speedy and competitive. That's why I keep going back. No pain, no gain. I just made that up.
So what do I do? Instead of running what is best for me, I get all crazy and I found myself doing 3:30 800's. Actually my first 800 was 3:17. I am not superwoman. I do not run a 6:30-7:00 minute mile for a 10K. Or for any "K".
So by #7 of these dreaded and endless 800's I was tired and my foot was killing me and I stopped. I NEVER stop. I never quit. But with my half coming up on Sunday I didn't want to overdo it. Or so I told myself. I just wanted out of there. A big cup of coffee and a trip to Outdoor Divas to look for my running dress helped my mood a bit. I found the cutest dress, but not in my size. Fortunately I have a friend who works for skirtsports.com, makers of the famed running dress. She is going to get me one before my race. Thanks, Maggi!
I am putting that ick day of speed behind me. My foot still hurts today (right foot, on the top right, when I put weight on it). I had a ten miler on the agenda, but need to heal before the race. I got a flu shot and cleaned the toilets instead. Do you find that track running is harder on your feet?
I did learn a lot about speed work, though. Like how to set my Garmin for laps. And how to keep an even pace. And how to breathe when you feel you might die. And how much mental energy it takes to keep pushing when you have nothing left.
These are the attributes that I believe make us faster and more mentally strong. We need to be willing to be really uncomfortable sometimes in our runs. It is that ability to push to our edge and stay in that place for a few minutes, seconds even, that makes us able to push even further next time. Existing with the pain and discomfort and misery, even welcoming it, is key. I actually get nervous before speed work, tempos and races because I am afraid of the discomfort. Knowing that it is temporary and doesn't define us is important. It just makes us better.
I'm not sure about a PR on Sunday. Beating my 1:47 time from my last half will be hard and it's only been a month. The only dependable thing about a race is that something unexpected will happen. Sand storm. Diarrhea. Aid station is out of water. Cramp in your pinkie. Who knows, but it always makes for a great story.
On a new subject, I was excited yesterday to get these from Lara Bar:
They sent me some new flavors (well, new to me) to try: Peanut Butter & Jelly (dates, peanuts, cherries, salt); Cashew Cookie (cashews, dates); Tropical Fruit Tart (dates, pineapple, coconut, almonds, coconut oil, orange juice concentrate, orange peel); and Apple Pie (dates, almonds, apples, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon).
Lara Bars are genius. I'm not just saying that cause they're based in Denver. Anyone who can make a yummy and healthful product with minimal, basic ingredients and no preservatives and not have it taste like turd is on the right track. The PB&J sounds really good.So tell me - provided you never got injured, do you find you keep getting faster if you train consistently? Do you usually get PRs on the races you run? What's your race secret? How do you keep going and pushing when every cell in your body is telling you to stop?