Monday, August 10, 2009

Question That Rhythm and Rant




I am back into the rhythm of training.

Yesterday I had my long run and I was able to click off 13 or 14 miles without much stress. I was thinking of hitting the ocean in the afternoon but I was a too tired, so instead I sat on my bed. I was pleased to have a great long run in the rain. I am not the biggest fan of training in the rain as I would much prefer hot sun but my run still went by fast and was effortless. I found a nice rhythm early, went into la la land, and before I knew it I was done. Today I had an easy 5 or 6 miles on the Seawall and in the Park. Again I had a good run with no pain and without much effort. Today was quite cool which was annoying but manageable.

I feel like I am starting to get over the initial hump of training. There is a period after a break when the excitement to be training again has worn off while fitness has not yet returned. It is during this period when running becomes a bit of a chore. Runs do not feel good, they feel slow, laboured and painful. Everything aches and the previous free time and energy are replaced with scheduled exhaustion. Once over the initial hump, easy runs are once again easy, 5 miles seems like a joke, long runs are boring but easy, workouts are fun and tempos are tolerable. I think I am over the hump.

I have had my first real blog question! (My first blog question was from N.H. Said individual was wondering how I manage to run faster than him even in high heels? It is all about balls and talent...)

"J.D., What do you think of in the last 1/3 of your race?"

Depending on the race and how fast I am running usually relates to what I am thinking. If I am running well and fast there is not usually much going on in my brain besides trying to figure out split times and a few key words. I think "go". This is a key word for me. I may almost get into a mantra with this and just have go, go, go over and over and over again. I try to remember to lift my feet off of the ground and keep moving. With regards to splits I usually try to figure out what my time will be and also how much time I have left to race. With 3 km remaining I will tell myself less then 9 minutes. I tend to be very generous with myself with my pace in the last few kilometres. When I am in pain, hardly able to breath and absolutely exhausted 'less then 9 minutes' seems way shorter than '10 something minutes'.

If I am running poorly then 'quit' pops into my mind (I have only dropped out of 1 race in my life). I will try to convince myself to run faster but that will rarely happen. Sometimes my mind will wander and I will think about dinner last Tuesday when I should have had the fish rather then the awful chicken and what was up with that lady with the green dress back there, I wonder if the grass is still green at home, I hope I watered my plants because they were wilted, it would be nice for someone to buy me flowers, I wonder if that guy is gay, oh! 2 km to go. My mind wandering is very nice in long runs but in the shorter races it has been a problem. I would be running indoor track and be with the lead group, after 5 laps I would have my outfit planned for the partying after the race but have lost touch with the leaders and run yet another dismal track meet. When running poorly I really struggle with negative self talk and try to turn it into something positive. If the race is going really bad then I will think of a workout or a game I can play to pass the time until I am done and I can go home. I have been in track meets when the thought of avoiding getting lapped has gotten me to the finish line in a reasonable time. When running poorly my mind goes where ever it can to avoid the pain.

Generally the last 1/3 of any race, rather good or bad, is painful and not that pleasant. The races I have run both the best and the worst I have thought about dropping out of the race at many different times. If I am running well there is motivation to go hard and the mantra 'go' will keep me motivated to the finish line. If I actually figure out my splits and I have an idea of what my time will be then I have even more motivation to run hard. Conversely, if I am running poorly, I may not push as hard to the line to enable good training into the next week. If I have a bad day there is not much point in ruining a good week of training by killing myself for a shitty time with a bad placing. I will take it back a notch and try to coast a bit with a little push at the end. I hope that answers the question!

Caution! Rant

I had it in my mind to blog today about the terrible drivers in the city of Vancouver and defend the cyclists of the city. I cycle to work most days and have had to learn to ride very aggressively to avoid getting killed. I generally ride to the rules of the road though this has led to the highest amount of risk for me. Today I was nearly side swiped 4 times by cars trying to sidle up beside me heading into stop signs or red lights. I am fed up with having to defend not only my use of the roads but also the use of a designated bike lane. The one message I want drivers to understand is that when you hit me I die. That is right DIE! Dead, not breathing, not loving, plain old dead. I believe a human life is worth more then the five minutes one has to wait in traffic. If you are late you should have left earlier! Save me my life and chill out!

Rant done! I like questions so send me more! runninggay@gmail.com

Happy Training!

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