Lessons learned from a craptastic run

If you’re here to vote for my race outfit and don’t care about the run deets, just scroll to the bottom :)…

So Sunday’s long run may not have been a huge confidence booster and I may have had a small hissy fit when things didn’t go as planned (classy, I know). The more I’ve thought about it though I’m beginning to feel that the lessons learned (and some re-learned) from this run may very well have been more important than the fitness gained (or not gained). I’m not sure these things I learned will help anybody else, but I figured I’d stuff my ego in the closet and share my insights dumb-ass mistakes just in case. The workout: 10 miles easy, 3 miles at 7:55-8:05 pace, 1 mile cool. If you look at my Garmin splits the run looks perfectly executed – not the case. I mentally imploded on this bad boy, and stopped several times in the last 3 miles.

    1. Don’t think about the outcome you want to achieve, instead, focus on the steps necessary to get there. aka stay in the moment aka run the mile you’re in aka don’t be stupid. This one may just be a lesson that pertains to my own athletic psyche, but its one that I’ve learned before. It’s amazing what can happen once you learn what makes  you “tick” and perform. And equally humbling what happens when you forget. Given my current 5k PR pace of a crawling 7:50/mile I was fairly confident that I could come close to hitting that (or going faster) on the 3 mile portion of my run. And then I fixated on that – it became really important to me that I do that, and for some pretty dumb reasons. Saturday night, Sunday morning before I ran, and during the first 10 miles all I was thinking about was succeeding rather than staying within each mile and at each moment doing the appropriate things at that time to have a successful run, which really should have been all that mattered.

      Step by Step, Day by Day...Those Tanners were onto something with that jingle. Source

      Step by Step, Day by Day…Those Tanners were onto something with that jingle. Source

    2. Read your workouts carefully/it’s amazing what a little perspective will do. I’m a little embarrassed about this one. Usually, I hawk over my precious google drive doc that my coach updates each week with her special formula for success. Sunday, I figured I’d looked at it enough, knew the workout, and didn’t need to take one last peek. Unfortunately I remembered the workout as 10 easy, 3 @ 7:55 pace, 1 cool. So when I struggled to hit 7:55 on the first mile instead of a) just being reasonable with myself, and b) relaxing, knowing I was still well under my pace range, I completely freaked out, got pissed off, and mentally checked out. Had I done A. and B. I probably would have been much more successful. (aka not stopped 2x in the last mile and a half)
    3. If it says easy, run it EASY. Lately on twitter I feel like there’s been a lot of talk about making sure you don’t run in the “between pace” – i.e. not slow enough to be easy but not fast enough to give the best benefits. Sunday, I’m pretty sure I ran quite a bit of my 10 miles “easy” hovering on or well into that “between” pace. I looked at my Garmin pace way too much, pushed it a little too much up the hills, and most importantly didn’t listen when my body was saying that the pace I was running really wasn’t all that easy. The result was that during my faster miles my legs had the pizzaz but my heart rate/breathing was through the roof. Once again I was focusing on the end result and not doing what I needed in the moment to succeed.
  1. The little things matter. Due to an unexpected house guest and a busy couple of days I neglected quite a few things that I usually do all the time, but especially at the end of the week when my running load is the heaviest. We ended up spending Friday and Saturday night at Cavs games, eating less than desirable/normal dinners and staying up wayyy too late. I didn’t make an effort to get my fluids in, didn’t wear compression socks as much as I normally do, slept in, didn’t eat enough pre-run, the list goes on and on and on.
  2. Sometimes, you are going to have bad runs/workouts. It’s not the end of the world. It also doesn’t mean that you’re going to crap the bed on your next race. I’m not going to lie, I think I’ve been on a bit of a honeymoon period with my running for the past 5 months. Since I started running consistently again in September after a couple month hiatus the bad runs have really been few and far between. Mostly I’ve been living on runner cloud 9, getting faster, recovering well, staying motivated, enjoying {almost} every step. But the fact of the matter is that no one is perfect. Your body won’t always respond when you tell it to “go faster”. And sometimes, mentally you will falter. I’d kind of forgotten that lately.honeymooncoll

I have no idea why this formatted in A, B, C and then 1, 2 format, but it makes me want to add a 3 so I can make a cheesy statement about how it’s easy as ABC, 123…Don’t worry, I’ll spare you.

I’m really excited for the 5k this weekend…

And hopefully I’ll be able to get another post out this week before the race talking more about that – goals, thoughts going in, etc. But for now I have a much more important matter to solve and I need your help:

Which outfit do I go with?!?!?outfitchoice

I could go with #1 and represent TeamETP again, #2 with some of my new Oiselle duds, or #3 with the Go Fast, Take Chances tee that got me through a difficult treadmill workout… Give me your vote!!!

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4 thoughts on “Lessons learned from a craptastic run

  1. I vote 3, I really like the green shorts! Also I am totally with you, I will sometimes stare at my Garmin wayyyy too much. I think my “easy” has gotten quicker and I am still shocked by it so I trick myself into think I’m going fast. Who knows, its a total mind play!

  2. Pingback: 5k: Some Final Thoughts « eat good, live good, feel good

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