Sunday, April 01, 2007

Reclaiming my Run

Saturday 16.0 miles/2:21:41/8:51 average pace

After a less-than-stellar week, I was nervous about this long run. I was specifically worried about that dang side stitch, and I was generally worried about my skill as a runner. This is what happens to me during the taper.

I realized at some point yesterday morning that I was basically dealing with some kind of attitude problem. I had "runner's block." My head was filled with negative thoughts, doubt, and anxiety. The good news is that I realized this. I actively pushed aside the negative thoughts and forced myself to think positive. Literally, I thought "This is going to suck..." and immediately replaced it with "I'm going to do great." Just saying the words to myself, and intercepting the negative thoughts, worked perfectly. I had a great run. I was denying my body permission to run well. Not that I think I gave myself that side stitch, although maybe I did, but there's an incredible mind-body connection. Finally, after almost three years of running, I am aware of this and I realize that I am in control.

Zach and I drove up to the Lafayette-Moraga trail, which is a pretty but somewhat hilly run. He did the first 11 miles with me. :) I ran a huge negative split, which I owe partly to the course - I ran the hard hills at the beginning of the run.

I did the first 8 miles in 1:13:20, a 9:10 average pace.

The last 8 miles took me 1:08:21, five full minutes faster, for a 8:33 average pace. That isn't skewed by any fast miles either, I was pretty consistent 8:20-8:40.

Yesterday after my fantastic run, and while rejoicing in my new positive attitude, I thought about Boston, and my goals there. Of course my #1 goal is to have fun. I don't really care exactly how fast or slow I go, but I want to enjoy every mile. I feel confident that I can do this. :) Specifically, I plan to start the race at a comfortable pace, saving myself for the hills in the last half. I plan to take a pace of about 8:30 ish and assuming it feels easy, hang there for the first half. If all goes well, I will run strong through the hills and to the finish and finish around 3:40-3:45. So I guess my goal is to get a second-best time (that is, beat my 3:45 Avenue of the Giants time). If it's a dream day, I'll get the BQ, but I'm not going to really plan for that. Low 3:40's would definitely please me. If the early miles don't feel easy, if it really just isn't that kind of day, I will back off the pace and do my best. I know Boston is a tough course, but I'm a good runner. I'm not that fast, but I'm consistent, I'm smart, and I'm freaking queen of the negative split. My goal is to prove this at Boston. :) And to have the experience of a lifetime.

We went swimming today, I did 20 laps = 1000 meters in about 32 minutes. It was so fun, Zach and I shared a lane - he swam his 1000 without stopping :O in just over 20 minutes. Holy moly! I definitely stopped to rest, but not too much. I swam slow and focused on my form and felt strong.

I actually swam and ran the same number of times this week. Obviously ran a lot longer each time though.

TOTAL miles for week 3: 34.5

PLUS 3x swimming for a total of 2500 meters, and 2x upper body and core weights.


Cory said...

Awesome to hear your running has taken a turn for the better!! Go get em in Boston!

Fran said...

Enjoy the Boston experience and have fun. I'm envious.

Michele said...

uggg, blogger just ate my comment.

Positive thinking is so important, glad you got your head in check.
Great run, wish i could negitive split.

TJ said...

sounds like you're gonna have a great race no matter what your finish time is. have fun!

Milotis said...

Awesome swimming this week! I think the positive attitude will really pay off in the race. Plus it's your husband's birthday so it will be a great day no matter what!! :-)

Bob Gentile said...

Good Run & Better attitude, which is what will give U a great race time...

keep the head Focused Jen and the other stuff will fall in place;-)

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

It is just amazing how your mental state can have such a dramatic impact on your physical performance in something like running...huh. Sometimes we just need to be reminded when we get in a funk.

You got it!!