Sep 20, 2007

the big dog run report

after my high as a kite tuesday morning intervals in which i looked at each mile interval as a separate event, coach tells me to apply the same thinking to the big dog run. break it down. smaller, more bite-size bits. not one huge intimidating shit fast big dog run.

i start right away with the game - just make it to valetta. and then, just make it up this hill. i spent the first half of the run convinced they are going slower - because for one thing, i can talk. but also because for the most part, save where i fell off just a bit after that hill, and had to work a little to get it back and close the gap a bit, i'm with them. nevermind that my heartrate was so sky high by the time we got to water stop that i think had i been able to give 5% more effort my heart was in danger of exploding. i arrived to halfway point at the same time as group. this is progress.

its at this point, once we start running again that i'd come to the spots where i would normally lose them - oh, last week, i was dropped here ... and so on. but i'd get to these spots & be pleasantly surprised that i was still with them.

so i started the game again, and every every little "interval", the end of the street, the end of the alley, the top of the hill - i was still with everyone. the game ended about 45 minutes into run when i was no longer with everyone ... they had sped off into the dark, completley out of sight -- which was perfectly fine. i saw the whole run as progress. i kept up longer than i have in about 5 weeks ... basically, since my speedwork tuesdays became part of the schedule.

this whole breaking it down thing is really nothing short of genius. and i know, i know - its common running knowledge or something, its mentioned in every issue of runner's world, i think ... i don't know why i never really did it before. it's like i have to be told these things. and the fact that the advice came from coach just made it more kosher or something. he says, try such & such. and it's done. hell, he could tell me that eating jalepeno peppers will make me faster & i'd do it.

but i digress. i'd look at these big dog runs as just that - BIG. ominous. they hung over me like a cloud every wednesday night. and it never had a silver lining. i'd look at the runs as a whole thing. a big bitter pill of a shit fast long run at 5 am. if i broke it down, and just focused on making it to the end of the street, the hill, the water fountain. i was focused on me, making it to a certain point. i wasn't freaking out about keeping up -- which is a much more intimidating thing to focus on. the fact that i did keep up was just a bonus.

the icing on the proverbial cake i can't eat.


Gotta Run..... said...

Each week I am amazed at how much the mind plays a role in how runs take shape. Just think... it only took hundreds of miles to figure out and apply this new way of thining. Boy we have so much to learn.

Great job girly!! Now you can start getting the mental game on for next week.

runliarun said...

Oh, they hang over me like a cloud too, these big runs. And even if I break them up - which I do because usually I run on a 3-mile loop, and tell myself "just one more loop" - they are still horrendously big and only when they are done do I feel right again.

Julie D said...

Hi! Just found your blog... I am very impressed by how athletic you are. Sets a standard for me... =P

Vickie said...

Its always a mind game trying to overcome not only our fears but realizing our abilities. Now that you are in reality breaking down the run, visualize it ahead of time too and how you will feel. I still to this day visualize the last 1/4 mile and the favorite part of a run I did quite often whenever I am getting close to the end of a race, just to keep me going. The reason that part was my favorite was because I would be done then.

Holden said...

And next week, it will be 50 minutes. And so on! I'm very proud of you!


Anonymous said...

Go, chica, go!