Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Run with determination

Pre-workout fuel: Slice of whole-wheat bread with reduced fat Jiff, half a banana and a Diet Coke
Workout: Ran 7.71 miles in 1 hour, 7 minutes and 20 seconds; average pace, 8:43.

"I ran and ran every day, and I acquired a sense of determination, this sense of spirit that I would never, never, give up, no matter what else happened."
- Wilma Rudolph, U.S. track star

I have said it before and I'll say it again: Mile repeats scare me shitless. The intensity, the possibility of failure, the feeling of death as that last repeat comes to end ... it's not fun. But the Runner's World plan called for 4x1 mile repeats at a pace of 8:15, and I was going to do my best to get it done.

My goal for this workout, besides getting it done, was to run the repeats in negative splits - ideally at 8:15, 8:10, 8:05 and 8:00. The first one started out slow. Very slow. In the first third of a mile, the average pace barely crept above 8:30.

"Not going to work," I thought to myself. "You need to kick it up."

Repeat No. 1: 8:03. Although I was glad to see my pace increase, I was a bit unnerved. I had really wanted to negative split and an 8:03 on the first repeat was going to make that difficult. I made a decision in that first recovery jog that I would do my best to negative split the second repeat and go from there.

Repeat No. 2: 7:58. Negative split ... Great! Half-way finished ... GREAT! This repeat went a bit better but still not easy.

Repeat No. 3: 7:56. Negative split ... again ... but barely. I didn't feel like I wanted to die at the end, like I did at the end of my third repeat that last time. That's good at least.

Repeat No. 4: I decided to go all out and, well, go home. I knew it was going to be difficult to do three miles under 8, and I tried to give myself a buffer in the beginning. I lost a bit of time, as I expected, from .5 to .75 but just threw myself into it at the end. "I could always walk home," I thought.

7:42 - Booyah!

This workout wasn't easy ... at all. And it's probably my last really tough run before Fort-4-Fitness. However, it was a clear example of where a little determination can take you.

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