5.04.2011

Ready, Set, Go! 10K Tempo Run

It always amazes me how many thoughts rush through my mind before, during, and after a run. It can be quite inspiring and can be translated to all aspects of life.

Today's scheduled training run was a total distance of 10.2 miles. After a 1 mile warm-up I ran 10K at race pace and followed it all up with 3 miles at a recovery pace. I loved the run and it worked me harder, in some regards, than my 14 mile run last week. I think the "challenge" was the final 3 miles on tired legs but the end result was great!

My ponderings today centered around success and competition.

Question 1: How do you measure success? What makes you a successful mother, a successful employee, a successful runner, or a successful citizen? I guess it is all relative depending on what is important to you. There is one underlying element that needs to be remembered, what you consider a sign of success could be completely different than what someone else considers a sign of success. For the really hard question, do I consider myself successful? Absolutely! I set multiple goals for myself in my personal and professional life and I do reach them. To me, that is success. It isn't about status, income, or title. Those are just labels used in life, which brings me to question 2.

Question 2: We live in a competitive world but is competition healthy? The ongoing drive of competition could leave people feeling unsuccessful so this is unhealthy. Competition to achieve unrealistic goals or against unequal components is not healthy. But competition as a motivator to improve oneself and to be the best you that you can be is definitely healthy. I loved that today I could run along side others at the gym and we were on equal footing. We were all side by side doing the best run we could do today and we were in it together even though we were all running at a different pace. If you put us outside, we would have spaced out but in the gym we were indeed all equal. For that matter, you could really consider all runners in a race equal as they each work to achieve their own personal goals. You never know, that person who comes in last in a race may have just achieved a new personal record for themselves that day.

And that brings me to my final comments. I read a quick inspirational quote from Matt Fitzgerald that focused on how mental training is so important for distance runners. He recommended that you include an assessment of your mental state in your training to help yourself hone this skill. I think that is a great idea! I often think about the mental stamina that is needed along with the physical stamina to run longer distances but not once have I considered evaluating my mental state for each run. I do assess my overall feeling and note any aches but from now on I will incorporate a mental state assessment.

My mental state today: I started out feeling good and during the tempo part of the run, I did dig in deep and focus my mind and body on keeping my pace for the entire 10K. When my legs were tired during the final 3, I focused on the benefits of running on tired legs and let myself cherish each mile's accomplishment. My mind trick was that after completing each additional mile I could slow my recovery pace if I really wanted/needed to. The end result, I never slowed it down and even opted to do a final push for the later quarter of a mile.

Run Nutrition: I opted for a Gatorade Prime01 again today and drank it prior to my run. I chose a berry flavor and it was nice but I do believe I prefer the orange. During the run I did a GU gel - tri-berry flavor. I loved this flavor and it was so much more pleasant than the mandarin orange I had last week!

What's next? A fantastic massage tonight, a rest day tomorrow, and more running on Friday!

Click HERE to find out why my numbers are all orange.

2 comments:

  1. When I run tempo runs, I try to meditate. I count to 100 over and over and focus on the counting and my breathing. Most times I don't worry about time, just feel and focus. Keep working on tempos - they are very beneficial physically and mentally (and get easier with time)

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  2. Great feedback! I never thought about using counting during my runs but am definitely going to apply it. I already do the repeated counting to 100 when putting my daughter to bed at time to keep myself calm when I know I have a million things to do before I go to bed.

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