My last few runs for training have been….well….educational. I have really started the process of trying to figure out what I can do to trust that I am a better running that I let myself realize. If you read my last race recap, I mentioned I was going to talk more about the reflection I have been doing and what I realized when I was running.
I doubt myself during almost every race I run, the longer the race the less I tend to do this. I know I can run slower and do that for an extended period of time no problem. But running fast? That is where I struggle. Not because I can’t do it, not because I am untrained, but because it hurts and I give up mentally.
At my race Saturday my leg hurt and so I wasn’t pushing hard. But around mile 2, just like in every other 5k I have ran in the last year. I wanted to quit. I wanted to just stop running and take a break (which I didn’t actually do). Why? I wasn’t exhausted, my legs felt fine for the most part and my breathing wasn’t too labored. So why do I do this? Why do I want to give up?
I have come to realize, its a numbers game with me now. Before and by that I mean pre-Garmin. I never had this issue. I didn’t care what pace I was running, I didn’t care if I felt uncomfortable, I didn’t care if I was exhausted when I finished a race. Now, I am never exhausted when I finish, I care too much about pace and I let the numbers get to me. I let them rule my race and my training runs for that matter!! So I am out to knock these numbers out of my life.
This process started last night. My plan called for 3 miles with 6 – 100m strides. I did these on a treadmill for a purpose and it is working. Last week I ran my strides at around 7:30 pace with the fastest being around a 7:15 pace, however after each stride I would slow down to around 10 min/mile pace instead of keeping it at 9:31ish. This week I did the run at 9:31 pace and the last mile at 9:22 pace with the first 3 strides at 7:31, 7:18 and 7:10 pace with recovery being 9:31 pace. The last three strides we all 6:58 pace with recovery at 9:31/9:22 pace. I felt like I was working but not like I was pushing too hard. The 6:58 strides were comfortable, and I could tell that I still had a lot of speed left until I would be pushing too hard. After the first one I really had to convince myself I could do more of them at that speed. It was the 6…it was intimidating me. Plus, I finished 50 seconds faster than I did this week than last and didn’t feel like I over did it.
I pushed myself and made it through them all and finished the run feeling great!!! I loved it. I know I can do more than I am letting myself believe. On the way home the hubs and I talked about it, he made a great point. He asked if I watch my Garmin when I run at races. I said “yes”, he then said why don’t you not wear it at your next race. Now to clarify, my hubs DOES NOT run, I mean not at all. But he is realizing that I am seeing numbers and holding myself to them. Not just letting myself run. I need to not fear the numbers and not be intimidated. I am not the same runner I was a year ago or even 6 months ago. I am also going to make sure that at my next 5 or 10 k I do not watch/wear my Garmin. For a half or full it makes sense. I don’t want to bonk by going out too fast, so I need to watch my pace but the shorter races are going to be different from now on. I am not going to be intimidated and I am going to let myself grow as a runner. I am the only thing holding me back!
Have you had an A-HA moment?
What do you do to break through the hard moments?
Do you rely on your Garmin/GPS too much?