Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday 16 miles- Week total 100 miles.

I set my alarm for 5:00am and woke up ready to run at 4:15 with these lyrics running through my head:

Hear me.
And if I close my mind in fear
Please pry it open
See me.
And if my face becomes sincere
Hold me.
And when I start to come undone
Stitch me together
Save me.
And when you see me strut
Remind me of what left this outlaw torn..
Kind of dorky- I know! But I woke up with a fire in my gut.

Here's my jog:
WU) 6 miles easy jogging- my legs felt ok but not great. Heavy and sort of numb.
Then: 9.5 miles in 52:25. 5:31 average pace on a rolling trail. This was meant to be a progression run where I would build from ~6:00 pace down to 5:30 pace over the course of the run. I didn't wear my HR monitor because I wanted to "feel" this run... not "see" this run. And of course my i-pod was screaming.. I erred completely in the execution and my 2 mile splits were this:
2 miles: 10:50 (dumb) Way too fast- I seriously thought I was somewhere around 6:00 pace.

2 miles: 11:15 (4 miles in 22:06) Backed off a bunch- this felt like jogging.

2 miles: 11:28 (6 miles in 33:34). Started in on the rolling hills.

2 miles: 10:45 (8 miles in 44:20) I wanted to really suffer here and went through my 7th mile in 5:17 visualizing very vividly my last few miles at Vegas..

1 mile: 5:30 (9 miles in 49:50). Godsmack's 'I Stand Alone' got me through this mile.

1/2 mile: 2:34 Just for fun.. This was a winding and rolling section that put my body well beyond my 'pain' threshold. The urge to slow was overwhelming and I had to really focus on relaxing and letting the pace happen rather than making it happen. During the last minute of this I tried hard to really sense what I was feeling.. pain is not exactly the right description. My legs felt terrible and my chest was tight, but pain wasn't 'it'. Just discomfort. Once I really defined what I was feeling the pace felt a tiny bit easier. A hill in the last 100 meters though 'snapped (me) back to reality' (Eminem) and I rigged (aka: died). CD) 1/2 mile walking and jogging.

I am on the fence about this run.. of course I derive a great amount of satisfaction from "performing" in a workout like this. It is the fastest 9 miles I've ever run in a workout. What is causing the 'niggle' in the back of my brain though is the fact that I am historically a "trainer" not a "racer". I can show you workouts of mine that guys much faster cannot run. My biggest weakness is not training to run a fast race, rather it is racing a fast race. The reason for this, I believe, is the "fear of success"... or more commonly known as CHOKING. The greater my fitness the greater the risk of failure. There is less risk of failure in a workout- so I perform better. The sports psychology side of athletics is a huge component of performance and one that I certainly need to explore on a deeper level. I know that I love the journey towards a race more than I do the actual race. Looking at 20 weeks of solid training gives me more satisfaction than my race result. And that may just be how it is.. do I want to change that? I know that I never want to stop enjoying the journey but I wonder if it is possible to ALSO enjoy the race. Alan told me recently that he only enjoys racing fast and competing at the world level, racing a local 10k would not be 'fun' to him. I like to train at a high level and the race is just the end of the road. Or rather the fork in the road towards the start of a new journey. I think if I ever figure out how to elevate my game on race day then I will finally, for the first time ever, race to my potential.
I truly believe that I have an innate survival mechanism that threatens to cancel out my desire to go to the next level. When I truly am on the edge, my body lets me know quite distinctly that I am in danger. Power lifters have trained their minds to be able to override this mechanism and of course so has nearly every other 'elite' athlete out there. How do you go about overriding the desire to survive? How do you turn off a warning claxon that is reverberating in your head and turning your legs to jell-o? Practice? Motivation? I suspect it is both but more likely motivation. There has to be a very good reason to go beyond your limit and I don't think looking at the finishing clock and seeing a number is mine. I think my motivation lies more in the idea that I have simply 'done my best'. All the marathons I've run have fallen short of my best because of a moment where I decided to ease up. I regret those moments and remember them like a bad dream. And so the journey continues..


Dave said...

Hey man, great lyrics! On the topic of music, who was the guy that you had on the music section of your blog that played the African drums? I downloaded some native African drum music for my long runs, but I can't remember his name. Thanks for any info!

Lucho said...

Dave- I can't remember which drums I had posted. The Japanese Taiko drums are powerful and I remember posting them.. but traditional African? The Western African drums are the best.
Rusted Root has some great music with tons of fast drums too- 'Sister Contine' is a slower song that gets me in a groove.

RunColo said...

Tim, how many races do you do in a given year? I get the impression that you select your races rather carefully.

Sports Psychology is an interesting field. I came close to going to Graduate School for Sports Psychology but decided in the end to get my MBA instead.

On the psychological aspect, I think it's good when you're not satisfied with most of your race performances. If you are, you've probably set the bar to low. It's trying to find the medium of goals that are obtainable but too easy or difficult.

I hope you rock Vegas!

Lucho said...

I probably don't race enough Runcolo. I should be racing several 1/2 marathons this fall as a lead up to Vegas but I still treat them as 'data collecting' more than anything. I like to look at race performance then cross reference it with my training.. too geeky. I think last year I raced (off the top of my head) maybe 4 times? A 10k, a 1/2 Marathon, and 2 marathons. The 10k and half were both at the same pace as the 10k and 1/2 of my marathons.. At Austin marathon I ran faster for the first 10k than I did in the open 10k last year.
A sports psych degree would have been awesome!

BRFOOT said...

If you don't care if you win then you shouldn't care if you lose.

How do you define a win??
how do you define a loss??

You don't do it for money anymore, right?

It's just another day, and another workout.

There are probably books full of psychobabble that will talk about self motivation and visualizing success and page after page of crap...not really crap. But bottom line the numbers don't lie. You can do what you can do, you just have to do it. Take your dress off and kick some ass. :)

Lucho said...

Nice Brfoot.. I'm going to try that quote for my blog header for a few days. It sort of hits the nail in my head.

Anonymous said...

IMHO I think you should be racing more for these simple reasons:

(1) Mind and Body adjust to the stress of racing
(2) Allows for a "true" assessment of fitness at different times of the year
(3) All of your eggs are not placed in a single basket (i.e. one marathon performance)

If you were coaching someone how many times would you ask them to race? Lead by example!

kerrie said...

ha...i love the take your dress off thing but then again, maybe you'd like to race in one of those little running skirts that seem to be so popular now....

what is the AMT? is it like an elliptical trainer?

ace said...

I think this is a great post. It speaks to so much with such honesty. I think racing is a lot about being able to look yourself in the eye and not waver at what you see there. It may actually go way beyond fear to some deep level of self acceptance. I wonder sometimes if success or failure even have a place in that moment. I wonder if it comes down to are your ready to come face to face and eye to eye with your own soul and how well you can live with it when you finally do.

Lucho said...

Anonymous- I agree with you completely.. but I do need to race well in order for it to be a 'true' assessment! Or maybe the race could be more of an assessment of my mental strength than my physical..

Ace- Very nicely put! That's what I meant to say! "I wonder sometimes if success or failure even have a place in that moment". Nice..

Kerrie- The AMT is sort of an elliptical but it allows your legs complete freedom of movement on all planes. It's awesome. You can run with your natural run stride with zero impact. You can also do a stairmaster and elliptical movement if you like.
I wear a sarong around the house sometimes.. That quote is from Brfoot- I love it!