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.