Yesterday's run was tough.
Saturday I ran the race and the one mile fun run. Sunday I had an AMAZING eight mile run. I should have taken Monday completely off....but I was feeling pretty spunky so I decided to go ahead and go to Hard Body's spin class for some run-recovery. I know what you're thinking-that's NOT what recovery looks like. But, let me just publicly admit--I went with the full intention to CHEAT. See, the way I see it, if you don't put tension on the wheel, you really aren't working.
Wrong. Not completely wrong, but wrong nonetheless! My legs were really screaming afterward.
They were really unhappy that night when I went and "ran" two miles with the NOBO group. That group has the full gamut of abilities (well, relatively speaking of course). There are people that can run 9:00 miles and then there are people who are doing good to walk a 20:00 mile. Since I'm a mentor and not a coach, I have the luxury of choosing what sub-group to "run" with. I set out with the run 2/walk 2 group. Even within smaller groups there are people who have various paces so it's very diverse. I ended up being the "sweeper" who gets to run with the back of the packer.
Let me just tell you...I LOVE the determination of the back of the pack person. I was there in my group many times, one time I was WAY behind everyone else. This particular person is battling some health issues and was well behind everyone else--and yet she was positive and upbeat. And, she's making improvements every week. I loved being able to help her focus on her breathing and slowing her pace down. More than that, I loved being able to run in with her in the end.
I think finishing strong is really key for me, mentally more than anything else. That's one tip I've given to every one I've had the opportunity to run with in the group....and the one tip every one of them has been able to brag on week after week.
Tuesday I went to run the trails with Daisy. My legs were not feeling great, but they haven't been feeling really great at the start of any run lately. But, Tuesday, everything felt harder. It didn't seem like I could really get good air in my lungs. My legs seemed to stay tight. And...just like in the race, and so many times before, I reached a point where I felt like I "HAD TO" walk. It was much further in than it usually is when I allow myself to give in to laziness, but that really doesn't make me feel any better. After I walked a minute, we started back again for a few minutes and I saw the road. (Remember the road is "six minutes" to the car-with an slight uphill finish.)
Mentally I was drained. It felt like I was just not going to make it, so I told Daisy I "needed" to walk to the road (maybe 15-30 seconds). When we started running again, I kept telling myself "SIX MINUTES to the car. I can do anything for SIX MINUTES." We got to the uphill section and Daisy started surging ahead. I matched her and we pushed it in at a nice steady almost sprint. If she hadn't pushed, there's no way I would have had the gumption to do it....even with my own voice in my head cheering "FINISH STRONG!!"
After I caught my breath, she basically told me NO MORE WALKING. She said it in a much nicer way...something like she's convinced I really don't need to walk, that it's a mental battle that I'm fighting and there's no other way to get past it but to keep running even when I feel like I need to walk.
The thing is I really don't know what it is that "makes" me walk. I really don't think about it; when I do have time to process the thought that I "need" to walk, I tell myself just run to "X" and keep playing that game until I realize I didn't need that break after all. It's SO darn frustrating after having some really great runs. With the exception of the race, the whole last week has been phenomenal.
Having said all that, the time we set was, by far, my best time up there on that trail (I didn't have my Garmin last time, when we ran the whole thing, but I still think this time beat that one). The average moving pace was 11:27. That's great. I should be happy. I should be ecstatic. And yet, all I can think is "BUT I WALKED"....especially when I have no good reason to have "needed" that break.
Having no good reason makes it really hard because I don't know what to do to correct it, to improve. If Daisy is right and it's simply going to take a "mind over matter" attitude and pushing through the "feeling"...I don't know that I've got the wherewithal to make that happen.
To make it even worse. I feel horrible even complaining about "having to" walk a couple of minutes when there are people in the NOBO group who are out there proud as heck they finished walking two whole miles. I was told there have been people in that group whose longest walks might have been to the mail box and back before setting their sights on a 5K.
I just ran EIGHT miles on Saturday....and I'm bemoaning the fact that I felt the need to walk during a 3.4 mile trail run two days later? ...Well, yes. Because I don't understand it. I don't know WHY. There needs to be a why for me to fix it. Again, if it's just a matter of bring my strong will under submission....I don't know if I can make that happen. Even though I'm fully aware that it's MY will I'm trying to get control of!
Thanks for stopping in...come again soon!