I’m so close. I can feel it. I just need to find the final piece of the puzzle and it will all come together.
I’m talking about running, of course.
Saturday was my first indoor attempt at a 5K. I didn’t run a time that I’m necessarily happy with, but it’s a starting point.
Not terrible, but not great. Last year my first meet out (not until April, mind you) I also ran a 21:12 two months out of surgery. This is frustrating because two years ago at my first outdoor meet, I ran a 19:56. A few weeks later I turned around and ran a 19:45.
What I’ve been struggling with is where that gap is coming from. Why can I not run my freshman year times when I’m stronger than I’ve ever been.
That’s it. I just need to get out of my own head. My knee is 100% healed, I run further than I’ve ever run before, and I am at a completely healthy weight (I was still very much disordered freshman year) but I’m still not getting faster.
On Saturday, I knew what my 200 splits had to be. 47-48. If I could hit that, I’d run a 20:30 or better, which is where my coach had me starting out. The first 10 laps I felt confident, maybe even great. We went out a bit slow at first because of the pack, but once everyone began to disperse, I found my groove. I even thought to myself “Oh, I can totally keep this up for the whole race”. I was within 5-10 seconds of my set pace during the speed workout Tuesday, and everything is finally coming together.
But then something happened around lap 10. I ran a 50 instead of a 48. Then a 51. That’s when my head started playing games with me. I wasn’t ridiculously tired at all. Sure, I was uncomfortable, but I could have pushed it. I don’t know what it was but I couldn’t get myself to do it. Once my coach started yelling “surge now, surge now”, I lost it. My laps got progressively slower, bottoming out at 54. It doesn’t take a genius to know that that is not a good split.
I tried to get back on pace but I grew increasingly frustrated. I could feel it on my face every time I came around to hear my next split. I forgot how to have fun and relax. That’s the key to my race.
If I can just relax, I can get to where I need to be. Where I want to be. Which is a very low 19 minute 5K. I know it’s doable, I just need to figure out how to get from point A to point B. That’s the difficult part.
Hopefully today’s track workout will make me believe that, although I won’t be thinking it while I’m
suffering through running it today…
What do you do to get out of your own head?