This morning’s Big River Training Team run was a pace run, a shorter distance meant to be run at the pace we want to run in our races. Generally this is anywhere from 30 seconds to 1:30 faster than the pace we run our long runs. Since I’ve been in the 10:30-11 long run group, I decided to try for a 10 minute pace. I’ve been having some serious motivation problems on my shorter runs–stopping to walk at 2.80, 2, and 0.7 (!!!) miles my past few runs. So a 10 minute pace would be a big enough challenge if I could run the whole time.
We met at Grant’s Trail, off highway 55 and only about a 10 minute drive for me.
We ran a slower mile to warm up and then met back at the start to take off with our pace groups. Before we began I heard someone say it was 97% humidity. Neat.
I felt pretty uncomfortable a few times and was able to work through it. It began before 2 miles. I told myself to stay in the mile and that leaving the group was not an option. It passed and I was happy. I was running next to the pace leader and feeling strong. Around 3 miles I thought, “hmm, haven’t done this continuously in a while” and realized I was unbelievably sweaty but again did not entertain thoughts of stopping. I focused on my breathing, which was evening out nicely.
My initial plan was 4 miles, but I was feeling good (such a pleasant surprise) after the 2 mile turn around point, and also at 2.5, so I didn’t turn around until 3 miles, when the rest of my group did.
Around 4 miles I felt pretty exhausted. Last night I got in bed before 10 like a very responsible runner but then I proceeded to refresh twitter until 2am, following what was going on in Ferguson with people breaking the midnight curfew. When my alarm went off at 6am I hit snooze and seriously considered turning it off and giving up. But then I thought of this guy.
He’s one of the best follows for information about Ferguson. He’s an alderman who has been tweeting relevant info at all hours of the day–anytime I check my feed, he’s in it. I can’t imagine he’s been getting much sleep.
So I figured if he can do hard things on no sleep, so can I. I repeated these things to myself over and over:
“I can do hard things.”
“I am a machine. I was built to move.”
That worked for another 1.50 miles. After 5.50, I was truly exhausted and told my group I was walking. They ran the last .50.
I have no regrets about walking. I haven’t run 5.50 miles straight in three weeks, especially at a slightly faster pace. And walking helps me to avoid soreness. And 6 miles is 6 miles, even if the end is walking!
I’m hoping the mental push I made through miles 4-5.50 helps me push through tough parts of runs in the future. My brain needs this training as much as my legs do.