This weekend I ran my fifth race. So far I’ve got two 5k’s, a 10k and a virtual 10k, and an 8k under my belt.
As the weather is getting warmer, I’ll be hanging up my racing shoes for the summer, looking to get back into the mix stronger and faster in the fall. My friend the treadmill will keep me busy over the summer – my reliable pacing buddy.
I’m not the best pacer. I do have a rhythm and I get into it and I can just go. But often I find my rhythm when running on the track or road is more intense than I can maintain for the entire run. Or that I can maintain without the adrenaline of race day.
In April, I ran my first 10k in a time that was about 10 minutes faster than I had dreamed possible. Leading up to this race I had a dreadful, I mean awful, tear-inducing last training run. I couldn’t do the distance I wanted at the speed I wanted, I had to stop many times, I had to drop down to a walk. I cried. I so wanted to be successful.
So, no one was more surprised than I to find my finishing time was blistering in comparison and my splits were unimaginable to me.
I thrive on race day.
However, there comes a point in most races when I think I just can’t keep going. My legs keep turning over but my head keeps saying, you’re tired, your lungs need a break, slow down. Because I’m not a great pacer, I’m not great at slowing down. I can hit the gas and I can maintain but I struggle to rate myself back.
I would like, one time, for the last two miles to not be such a struggle. I love leaving it all out on the course, but I’d like to feel a little fresher, especially in the longer races. This summer is all about adding distance and learning to better understand my pace.
Lastly, I’ve turned into one of those running shoe nerds. I covet. And I can spot over-pronation 10 steps away.
Mental will is a muscle that needs exercise, just like the muscles of the body. ~ Lynn Jennings