Can’t be on every day. Not every race runs to plan and not every workout is spectacular. The trick is to not let the bad performances get you down. This is one of the lessons of sports. You have to lose to learn how to win. I felt heavy all weekend, both on my 15 miler yesterday and my 8 miler today. I can’t point to anything. My legs were heavy and my attitude sort of blah. About like I felt here in front of the UT Alumni Center at 25 miles into the Austin Marathon, running one of my slowest miles of the race. But not all miles were like this and it was a good race overall. Looking forward to next week.
I need strong motivation to work speed drills into my workouts. It’s not easy running fast solo. I should maybe consider running with a team. I won’t because I don’t want to work with other people’s schedules, but I’m aware of the benefits. I’ve been adding some fartleks into my daily runs and I like running fast. Unless I’m feeling strong and quick though, I skip the speed workout. Sluggish and speed don’t go well together.
I’m working on speed to prepare for the Bolder Boulder. For some reason my race plan is to beat myself – my time 26 years ago. That race is too competitive to think I can medal in my age division so I’ve contrived my own personal two man race – me against me. My muscles need to re-learn how to run fast though. And I need to work on my cardio for those hills. The snow and rain made my hilly trails too muddy this weekend so I ran the Lobo Trail, which is almost perfectly flat.
A young girl passed me after five miles yesterday and made me realize I’d slowed down for no good reason. I chased after her for the next mile because she wasn’t running a pace beyond my limits. Once she noticed me though she sped up and I lost her. That was arguably a bit early to start racing in a 15 mile run, but it suggests my sluggishness was mental. Today, despite starting out super slow I did in fact loosen up a bit and got in a few faster miles. But then, for whatever slacker reason I quit a quarter mile short and walked in. This weekend was a waste but there are five more weeks. Training starts for reals tomorrow.
Ed, you serendipitously hit upon my technique for doing speed work without joining a team: I run where I’m sure to cross attractive women runners. I always pick up my pace and improve my form while within eyesight, then slow a bit (or collapse, if they’ve decided to match my pace) once they’re gone. “Fartlek” actually translates “here comes a girl,” but nobody wants to believe it.
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