I really need to learn some mental tricks to keep me running when the going gets tough. Saturday morning's 8 miler really kicked my pa-too-ty as I ended up walking a lot more than I wanted to. Still, I want to learn from the experience and not get down about one, single workout.
Since my new running buddy, Jo, wasn't available due to illness, I was going to try to run with the 5/1 group. But after a little less than a half a mile, they were out of sight. The 5/1 group must be averaging 12 - 13 minute miles or better. Again, there really isn't a group that I fit into. Am I complaining? No, not really. I'm going to stick with this no matter what. Oh, did I mention that 10 weeks into the program, the head coach has quit (well, she really wasn't there to begin with) because it was interfering with her own marathon training and over half the Red group has pretty much dropped out. I ran by 2 coaches on their return trip yesterday morning, running by themselves at "their own" pace. I don't think I have to complain and speak too badly about the program. These few facts speak volumes. Like Jo said, we were so spoiled by PIM (back in the day). Still, there is some energy left and they may be able to salvage the program for those that remain. The new Red team head coach has a lot of excitement and really seems to care about the new runners and seeing the program head in a better direction. It just hurts me so bad to lose potential entrants to the sport of running. I mean really hurts.
Ok, back to the run. I think in a way, I was still recovering from the SMARTie Hop workout on Thursday. The workout introduced some new stresses to my ankles and lower legs. Good stresses, mind you. But you know how it is the first time you really do a new exercise. It sort of "shocks" your system. Well, I think my ankles and lower legs were kind of shocked from Thursdays workout. Now, I just need to continue those kinds of exercises and continue to improve my coordination and strength in my ankles. Even though I was still recovering, I felt stronger and more stable on my feet and didn't experience the discomfort and imbalance that normally plagues me going up and down hills and slightly graded or beveled surfaces.
Again, I think the trouble I experienced on this run was mental. I never cramped up or felt out of breath. I just got tired. I know the humidity was very high and it felt like a big thumb pressing down on me. At the time I don't think I realized this but looking back and remembering the run, I know my body could have performed better but my mind slowed me down to a crawl. I ended up walking quite a bit, maybe a half a mile or a little more in total.
Still, the one thought process that works well for me is the one where I know exactly how much further I have to go and it's not too far (maybe a mile or a little more) and I say to myself, ok, Vic, you want to finish strong. Now run the rest of the way in and finish strong. That works!! It's just the middle of the run, the tough miles, that give me fits. Interestingly, I think it has something to do with not knowing where I am on the course. Not knowing my pace, not knowing how far I've gone, not knowing how far I have left. That really does something to my mind. I'm still not familiar with TH Park. That stretch between Dairy Ashford and Eldridge is a lot longer than the Kirkwood/Dairy Ashford leg. Well, I just went and looked it up. Eldridge to Dairy Ashford it 1.10 miles. Dairy Ashford to Kirkwood is 1.5 miles. Maybe knowing that will help. But the Dairy Ashford/Kirdwood has some mean hills, too. I can see just from this post that the thinks I am thinking about are not the things I should be thinking about on a run. I need some more mental tricks to practice and try to find some that work for me.
No stats really to report. I didn't even bring my watch at all so I don't even know my total time. I did make it back in time for most of the seminar and in plenty time to make an announcement and collect registrations for the Koala/Luke's Locker Half marathon. Lot's of questions and excitement about the race. Some of the questions I didn't have an answer but I committed to find out and report back next week.