When I can no longer delay, I make my break. Unlike the dog who breaks free of his chain & bolts down the road, I take off at the slowest pace possible, ready to suffer the consequences of my AM "Coffee Capture." It's a sweat fest, but I get it done. (7 miles at 10:04 avg)
On my last post I mentioned the upcoming Greek Fest 5k. I"m ending my 5th week of a 12 week 5k training plan. My recent best time was mid April, at the Zydeco 5k in Gulf Shores (26:08). I'm in no rush to see big jumps in speed, but I do love seeing results from my training. It's getting hot here, but with my recent speed work, I did have a goal to go sub 26:00. I'm talking about a goal of 25:58 would have been cool with me.
I've been doing some reading about, and practicing "mind work." It's given me a new and exciting focus. With this return to "whatever happens", let's be real, I'm older now. I don't let that get in my way, and I feel great, but at the same time, I am a realist. At 48, I'm being extra cautious, training wise. I truly feel the mind work will benefit me as much as the physical work this time around. This time around, I will have self imposed limits on my training, but I think the mind work will pick up the slack. I've come to realize for all of the HEAVY training I did in the past, if I had a weakness, it was the mind. (ex. - slowing down at the end of workouts = slowing down at the end of races). I've been practicing not letting myself slow down in the last part of the workouts. I've been using mantras. Some of my recent favorites :
"Finish Strong", "This is Where Growth Happens", "Maintain the Pace".I'm already seeing the results from practicing this.
The Greek Fest 5k is in New Orleans. Typically, New Orleans is flat, very few hills, but lucky me, this course was changed this year, and the new course included a hill. Also, while waiting for the start, and warming up for the race, I realized we would be running out with the wind at our back, and the return would be into the wind.
My return to racing is a little different this time around. Over the past 3 plus years, the few races that I've entered, I DO NOT "RACE". I have promised myself to stay out of the "hurt zone." For me, this has made the return more enjoyable. In the first mile of the Greek Fest 5k, I kept reminding myself that I was going to fast, but I continued on with the wind at my back. I realized it was going to take me to a hurt that I don't like to go to these days. (racing) As we made the turn, hello wind.....
During the 3rd mile, I tried really hard to maintain my pace, but felt like I had fallen off. I was running a little harder than I wanted to, but not "all out racing." To my BIG surprise, I finished the race at 25:37. A 31 second improvement over my recent best time in a 5k. Excitement !
Even though I'm no where near where I used to be, I still run "by the numbers." I thankful that I can enjoy THIS new journey now. Yes, it's different, yes it's slower, yes the training volume is much lower, but guess what......IT'S FUN AGAIN ! Of course, as soon as I get in the car (hubby driving home) I HAVE TO look at my splits. 8:09 (too fast, wind at my back), 8:20 (perfect pace, & into the wind), last mile - 8:19 (finish strong, finish strong, maintain the pace, maintain the pace......) The 3rd mile shows me the "mind work" is working it's magic.
I'm not sure about any other 5ks this summer. I will continue on with the 2nd half of the 5k training plan, and I may run a 5k at the end of the program but it will be HOT then (mid July), so I may be happy to end my spring racing with the Greek Fest 5k. To be continued......