It’s been a while, but so far my track workouts are improving (I think). Just the other day, the guys were running 5X 1600 meters at 6 minute mile pace. However, I don’t have quite the stamina built up for that yet, so I altered the workout and chose to do 5X800 meters. It was a good workout, and I ended up negative splitting each time.
Today, I am meeting up to go for another tempo run. Last week, we went on an 8 mile tempo at Umstead Park over what was mostly an uphill climb. It was a little chilly, and I really wanted to stay with them as long as I could because I knew that they would be pushing the pace. I actually ended up staying with them for almost the entire run, with the exception of the very last mile in which they sort of took off and my tired body just couldn’t push anymore.
The best feeling came during the run when I asked one of the guys what pace we were running (He had one of those fancy watches that tells you the pace). You see, I’m pretty good at guessing what pace is being run because I’ve been running the vast majority of my runs at right around 7-minute mile pace. However, due to the fact that we started off the run kinda’ fast AND the fact that I was tired, I wasn’t sure what the pace was because it simply felt fast. So, that being said, you could imagine how pleased I was when I was informed that we had been running sub 7-minute mile pace the entire time and were currently running around 6:37 pace!
Never Underestimate Yourself
It seems like there a million reasons that I could have chosen not to run with those guys last week for that tempo run. First of all, I knew it was going to be a tempo run (and I have always loathed tempos), then there was the fact that I was exhausted and it was cold outside. However, there’s something to be said for the fact that I had already dedicated to meet up with these gentlemen and once with them, I was determined not to let them drop me (at least not for the vast majority of the run). I’ve looked at it pretty realistically: I’m not completely out of shape, but I wouldn’t say that I’m in the greatest shape of my life right now either. Additionally, I know that these guys are better than me at the distance stuff- heck, they’re marathoners! I wouldn’t jump up to say that any one of them is a better runner than me; it’s that they’ve been training for something totally outside of anything I’ve done.
All of that aside though, I am willing to learn from them, and by training with people who are better than you, you will (usually) become better as well.
To become the runner you are, you can’t dwell on the runner you’re not. Start with what you’ve got – whether it’s mental, physical or just the support of your family – and then just run. There really aren’t any rules about what your running should be – you don’t have to run “fast”, need to run “long”, sign up for races, run on a treadmill or run at all unless you really want to. Deciding on the runner you want to be is the most important thing of all. -Amy Hunold-VanGundy