Monday, 28 July 2008

A careful choice of words

Run:  6.1km @ 33min (Rideau Canal)
- tempo run for 13min @4min35/km

Today's tempo run was slightly shorter than last weeks but I just couldn't hang on to it at the pace I set.  I was bound and determined to nail 16min @ 4min30/km but for whatever reason I could only do 13min at that pace.  Now that I'm showered up and back at the office, I'm a little disappointed about it.

I'm very happy with the 13min at that pace, and how I dealt with the discomfort of it all.  But what made me fall short?  Heat?  Humidity?  Appetite?  Dehydration?  While the latter two probably had something to do with it, I think the biggest factor to all this is something that I fight to maintain in training and in races - mental focus.

When I look back, I was hurting, but not hurting badly.  My HR was around 95%max, but I wasn't feeling bad because of it.  My legs were burning, but my form was still good.  There was nothing physical about my run that would have provided cause for medical concern, but there was something mentally that switched on, took over, and caused me to stop.  Whatever that "something" was, it was stronger than my will and drive to make it to 16min.

Just like the "something" that has hindered my half-marathon performances in the past.

But is it all that bad?  Nah, not really.  This is just another bump in the road along the journey I've chosen to take.  I've hit these bumps before - injuries, fear, challenges, flat tires, bumped goggles.  And what's important about these bumps is that you learn to work through them, and not around them.

So I will continue to work through these issues, physically and mentally, and get stronger in both aspects.  My next chance to work on this comes on Wednesday, where Peter and I will meet up for hill work at the Rideau Canal Locks near Parliament Hill.  Peter says 5 repeats, but I think I can squeeze out a couple more....

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