Hey Loopsters! It's been a while, but I wrote this one because I had an epiphany (?) of sorts. I don't want to overshare with weekly updates and whatnot, but I thought this one might be useful to somebody out there.
Hey, hey hey! After last Sunday’s half marathon (read about it here, if you like), I’ve had some thoughts about how it went and what I might have learned from it. There are lessons to be learned from so many races that we run, both the good and the bad (probably the ugly too). I’ll share these thoughts with you runners out there and hope that they help.
Running Shamrock was a total surprise. I wasn’t aware that I’d be running it until less than a week until race day. The next half marathon on my actual schedule is the Kentucky Derby Festival Mini on April 27th. To be honest, I haven’t REALLY been training for it anyway. I made a training plan, only to not stick to it AT ALL. I think it’s a combo of my injury and the winter, but I just haven’t had “the drive” in me for a while. It’s that and I’ve been enjoying myself too much just running to run.
The plan for Shamrock was that I didn’t have a plan. I just started running. After the first mile, my watch told me I’d run a 7:00 mile.
As you can see, the first 4 miles were all right at 7:00/mile or so. Here’s what’s crazy to me. I hadn’t run 4 miles straight at that pace since October (I had to look it up). I can’t speak for everyone, but I think that we often worry about getting out of shape quickly, or that we need to work hard to maintain a certain level of fitness. I’m starting to believe that maybe it’s just the mind that gets out of shape quickly.
I’ve been running and racing for 10 years now. I’ve ramped up and I’ve wound down, so many times that I can’t count. Sometimes we are confident in our fitness and in our training, and we decide to go for that PR. Other times, our feet drag and we feel like we’re working WAY harder than the pace would have us think we should. Don’t get me wrong, training hard and putting in the work pays off and slacking can hurt performance, but maybe it isn’t as critical as we believe it to be.
Other than some unfortunate potty stops, I strung together quite a few fast miles for a guy that hadn’t been running long or running fast. My body remembered how to run fast miles. My mind just had to give it a chance to prove that.