For some strange reason when I woke up for my track session this morning I had no fear. No hesitation. I usually do….
Today’s track session, according to the plan, called for 6 x 800-meter repeats at 3:15 (6:30 minute per mile pace).
I ran 8 x 800-meter repeats at 3:04 (6:06-6:08 min/mile) with 400-meter recovery jog in-between. Nearly dead on my splits read:
3:04, 3:04, 3:03, 3:03,
3:04, 3:04, 3:04, 3:03
Right on the freaking money. I have never run such perfectly close splits in my life. I am usually a little more all over the place.
At first, I freaked when I checked my watch. I thought, “Great, I went out way too fast and now I’m going to suffer and bomb the rest of this workout.” But that’s not what happened….
This workout felt darn near flawless. Not easy. Not too hard. I felt challenged yet comfortable. I don’t know what happened. Maybe it was magic? Maybe it was the slightly cooler temps? Maybe my summer fitness is finally catching up? Maybe it was my NUUN hydration? Maybe it was the playlist I told y’all about last Friday that I had blasting in my Yurbuds (I may or may not have had the song “Rise” on repeat a lap or two…). Maybe it was the “Super Hero” muffins I snacked on last night…??
All I know is when I completed my workout I was in shock. Did I really just hammer that out? Was I really able to jog my intervals and run a comfortable cool-down? Only 48 hours post 18-mile long run Sunday morning? Will I be in trouble later?
All I know is that right now I feel good. I feel strong. Maybe I’m capable of so much more than I realize. I know we are supposed to follow the plan according to pace. But, when you’re body tells you it’s ready for more you listen. Maybe this is bad advice. I’m not sure. But, I do know that I am feeling fearless today. And I’m soaking that up.
Something that kept popping up in my head during my workout was the quote from the great Muhammad Ali:
After my first four 800 meters repeats didn’t hurt and I realized I wasn’t getting too winded, I knew I could push on. By the seventh repeat, I was starting to feel it. That’s when I knew I was working. I thought there’s no way I’m going to finish this strong and then I immediately told my brain to shut up, turn the animal loose and just breathe.
And so I did.
How to do hard things? One word:
Don’t take it too easy on yourself. When it’s time to run hard, push through. Be the champion you know you are.
Have you ever surprised yourself after a workout or race?