The First Four Miles

Good news! In case this writing career doesn't pan out, I suspect I have a strong future in 1-900 phone sex lines as every day I get better and better at this heavy breathing thing.

Yes, today was a running day. 

In fact, today's run was one of the longest tempo runs of the FURMAN FIRST program: a one mile warm-up followed by 10 miles at marathon pace, or 8:23/mile for me. Here is what I learned from today's run:

  • Overdressing is a bad thing
  • I must remember to pack sunglasses for Boston
  • Starting out too fast will always come back to bite me in the end
  • I sound (and possibly look) like an asthmatic walrus the first four miles of any run
  • There is a lot of guano on the Greenway

I struggled to hold pace today. Which makes no sense as Barefoot Josh and I ran a faster pace than this for the same distance two weeks ago. But as several of my running friends point out, there's just no telling who's going to show up on any given day for a run. Some days are just better than others.

However, if I needed a reminder that so much of this running business is mental, I had it today. 

I pushed myself through the last two miles, taking several walk breaks, then hauling a** the last half mile to make sure I made pace. Once the official run was over, I took a deep breath, relaxed, and went into a slow and easy cool-down run for a mile. The difference was immense. No strain, no heavy breathing, just a nice easy pace. No worries...

I looked at my watch at the end of my cool-down mile and guess what? I ran it at race pace - an 8:23. But since I didn't HAVE to run that fast and wasn't worrying about pace, it all came easy. 

MENTAL. I just have to get my head in the game.