Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Track….A mind F$%^!

Last night I had some self discovery. I’m running along thinking 36:42, 43:44, 53:20…..reminding myself of the time I had to hit to stay in my M zone of 3:32-3:38 800’s. I’m strong and focused, pushing myself yet holding back enough as to not run out of steam. The program for the night was 4 x 800’s with 400 recovery jogs in between, then 4 x 400’s with a 100m float between the first 400 then a 300m float on the second, repeat once. My M zone is 2-5 sec’s faster then my 5k avg mile. I have a bad tendency of being over zealous, going to fast too soon and burning out before the end, not during tri’s or running in general just during track. This is what happened last weekend. I left the track with my head bowed in shame. I got feedback from the coach saying that it was a hard workout and I put in good effort and did a good job, what happened to me happens to most during their first workout. It was nice to hear but really it made no difference in my mind. The fact was I didn’t finish, at that point I was a quitter. Throughout the week I thought about not going back. I felt like I was intimidated by the group. Who me? Intimidated? Could that be? They all ran 4:30-6:30 min/miles, and here was Kit Kat rockin a slow 7:15. In all reality it was just me making up excuses and throwing a minor pity party, sadly I have a habit of doing this. I needed courage that I was not able to find deep down beneath myself….I turned to some team mates. I asked my big sis Michele and friend Carly to come out to track. They both want to improve their run times and I knew mentally having friends working to improve their performance would help me improve mine. So back to counting, 36:42, 43:44, 49:20, 57:20, stay focused, stay strong, don’t push too hard. I did it! I made all my 800’s. First was a 3:25, (Coach Rick said not to go faster then a 3:20 for fear of burning out), the next one I tried to focus more on just relaxing and going comfortably while pushing, 3:28, Third came in at a 3:35 and the fourth was a 3:33. Ok, first set is done, now to go to the 400’s. Since I have bike time trails tonight I didn’t want to hit this track with a 100% I wanted to go hard but not too hard it would drain me for the bike. The 400’s I hit at M pace instead of S pace (S pace is 3-5 sec faster the M pace and 9 sec faster the L pace). The first one came in at a 1:40, ok, that was a bit taxing….must try to pace myself, I have three more to go with shorter recoveries. 2nd came in at 1:46, 3rd was a 1:48 and last but not least 4th I hit a 1:42. Woot! Woot! I did the whole track workout successfully and hit my projected times. And you know what? I felt done but if you pushed me I could have done a few more laps. At this point I realized I was not intimidated by these fast track athletes that I was surrounded by, I was intimated by my self. I have come to learn track is a psychological mind fuck. I worry before hand, am I going to be able to do it all? Will I push too hard? Not enough? Will I run out of steam? I’m not a runner, I’m a triathlete….yes, yes I am a runner….These crazy thoughts are rushing through my head…. All I need to do is block them out and just run. I know thy self and what I am capable of…..I will not let fear get the best of me….I will come out victorious.

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