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Tempo

September 10, 2011

Gain time on the downhill. Put time in the bank and see how much you can hang onto on the uphill.

It was tempo night and I have been running this route, this workout for months. In total I have dropped 40 seconds per mile off my time on this route. The set is nothing secret, it’s one nearly everyone in the world does. 2 X 20 min tempo. Over and over this season I have run this. Snow, wind, rain, eight billion degrees.

I found different ways to keep myself amused as I slowly gained progress over time, over heart rate and over the mental demons that haunt us all when the going gets tough. Some days it was heart rate, some days it was average pace, some days it was time from this point to that point and to the light pole in between.

I knew this was the last one of my 2011 season and it suddenly became important that I finish it and finish it well.

I ran by average pace per 20 minutes and I was running well.

Focus on what you can control… is what I reminded myself every few minutes. What could I control?

Form.

nutrition

My mojo.

That’s exactly what I focused on. I would glance at the pace every few minutes, I was playing a game and I was here to win the game. I was here to PR. I knew there had to be some sort of strategery…. yes… strategery. My strength is my strength. My mental and physical strength. Hills are always where I shine brightest. This course is hilly.

I knew if I could bank time on the descents I could drop that average pace and then on the ascent I would fight like hell to see how well I could hold it. I only lost 2 seconds on what I had gained on the downhill and I was able to keep resetting and then resetting my form, my mojo and when the going got tough I resisted distraction; reaching for the bottle in the fuel belt, blowing the snot rocket…. the little things we do without even realizing it when it gets hard.

It’s always hard. This stuff is always hard. Whether you are Chrissie Wellington or Sister Madonna. This thing we do and the word easy just dont’ go together.

If I wanted easy I would play with play dough.

If I wanted easy I would sleep till 7am every morning.

If I wanted easy I would do something else.

Then again compared with some of the sh*t I have endured in my life…… this is easy.

But easy doesn’t excite me. Even after all these years I find thrill in the challenge of doing, being, turning myself inside out as I run down the road at a pace I can only call… hauling ass. We all have that pace and you don’t need to throw a number on it. Whether you are running sub five or sub ten you hauling ass is your hauling ass.

So own it. Believe in it. Live it and light it up.

This is a PR day Eggers. Make it yours. Gain the time on the descent again here and keep it, hold it, don’t allow it to get away from you. Control what you can control Eggers. Shoulders down, keep the arms at 90 or less, use your upper body. Run from your core. Light on your feet. Look at the watch, on pace, on target, you are holding it. In this twenty-minute set you have three minutes to go. Visualize the finish line, look at the time you came here to get and it’s in your hands. You can do anything on earth for three minutes girl.

Today you flipped the switch and that’s what you come out here to do time and time and time again. While this aint’ nothing compared to what you’ve been through, you have never felt more alive, more excited, more driven. This is your chance to achieve.

Sometimes the thoughts come just like this. Other times in a space of 20 minutes I might think three things. It just depends on the day. I have learned that the strongest muscle in your body is the space between your ears. It’s also the furthest distance you ever have to travel.

Fortunately for me, I have traveled far from ear to ear. I have traveled far and I have traversed the unthinkable time and time again.

As I finished the run I smiled. The last one of the 2011 season. I likely won’t run this workout again until January, after a good 12 weeks of base building. I’ve accomplished a lot on these 8 miles.

The time gains have truthfully been secondary.

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One comment

  1. What a great run – LOVE this post Mary! You’re right – if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.



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