I do not know why I was so psyched out about this.
I look happy here – at the gym at 5:30 a.m. this morning getting ready to do a tempo run. I am faking it. I was really not that excited.
In fact, I was kind of stressed. Which is totally and completely stupid because it’s just a dumb 6 mile tempo run done at a small gym in Longmont, Colorado at the wee hours of the morning for God’s sake. It’s not like it’s the Olympic Trials.
Why stressed? Let’s break it down.
- I haven’t done structured speed work/tempo work in a long time
- I haven’t trained for a marathon in a long time (2 years)
- I have injury PTSD
- Sometimes I am afraid to be too tired
- Sometimes I am afraid to hurt
The good news is I knew my brain was messing with me and that I just needed to get out of my head to make this a really good, quality, kick ass run.
So, after a long warm up, I kicked in the tempo miles at 7.3 mph (8:12 pace). I realize this is a warm up, easy pace for some of you, but it is not easy for me.
I talked to myself the whole time:
- Do not stop and rest. If you stop and rest, it is not a tempo run it is an interval run and that is not what you’re here for (got this reminder from this girl)
- You are strong, steady, perfect, capable
- You are not injured. Nothing hurts. Stop being scared.
- Don’t be afraid to give it your all. Balls to the wall (oops, I don’t have balls – but nipples to the wall sounds stupid)
- I thought of a quote in one of my favorite running books (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running): “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.”
These two songs also helped.
Yes, I am old school with my music sometimes. These songs will get even a limp, lazy and drunk person up and running. (Clearly I was going for a HEART theme for Valentine’s Day - not really, pure coincidence actually).
All of this ranting and raving in my brain worked. I got my head in the game and there was this almost immediate physical turn around. It wasn’t that hard. Not at all. Even when my stomach started cramping at mile 5 and I let some (not so innocent) farts fly, I kept going. The feeling at the end? Exhilaration. Confidence to start my day. And, I wasn’t even faking it.
Moral of the story – your mind can be your own worst enemy. So, make friends with it and make it work for you.
Speed work: love it or hate it? I like to say we have a love/hate relationship
What’s one song people might be surprised to find on your iPod? Greased Lightening from Grease. I always skip it when it comes on, but somehow I still love that song – especially the part that goes, “You know I ain’t bragging, she’s a real pussy wagon!” DANG, that was kind of advanced for 1978. I used to run around as an 11 year old singing that with no clue about what it meant.
Happy VD! Hope you don’t have any STDs this year.