Mind Games

Yesterday my daughters wore their pretty red dresses (despite the early morning tantrums about them not being pink) and performed in the pre-school Christmas show. I was teary-eyed watching them stomp their feet on the way to Bethlehem and singing about the baby they were going to see. Hands in the air, “Jesus!”

Last year I arrived a minute before the show, because I took too long running, getting showered and ready. My mother was not pleased and the face of disappointment that met me in the pew left no doubt about it. Mother’s have a supreme power and that was the proof.  It lasts far longer than the age of 18 and can make this 40-year-old want to be sent to her room.

In order to ensure that I got there early this year, I decided my final short run of the week would have to be two miles, instead of the planned three.  I haven’t run that short in ages, and in the rush to get back and go through the routine of hair drying, makeup applying, and clothes picking, I probably ran faster than I should have.

When I returned home, I quickly plugged in the USB port to attach the Garmin and pulled up Garmin Connect. Analyzing my runs is proving to be a useful tool. It was obvious that I was running harder than normal, based on my numbers…

Average moving pace: 11:47, Best pace 8:42

Average heart rate 153BPM, Max heart rate 183BPM

I read in Runner’s World that the whole point of the long run is to prepare the legs for, “Running long.” Running too fast is like racing, and defeats the intended purpose. My attempts at running more slowly during the higher mileage outings is affecting my pride and becoming the downfall of my long runs.  It’s become more of a mind game than a running game. Whenever I see my pace slow to what it should be (closer to a 15 minute mile), my ego gets a bruising.  My pride can’t take it and mind games aren’t nice.

I’m eagerly waiting for Brian to wake up so that I can hit the road and get some of this resolved. I am determined to keep my heart rate steady on today’s 13 miler. It will be difficult to see my pace (and my shadow) running so sluggishly, but I’m curious to know if the last three miles of this long run will feel different.

He’s up.

I’m off.

Wish me luck.

5 thoughts on “Mind Games

  1. We have all been there. It is hard to accept that the long run pace needs to be slower than the short run. Personally, I just aim for a pace based upon the type of run (2-5, 6-10, 10+ miles). When I need an ego boost, I crank out a fast 2-3 mile run and aim for a new PR on my pace, even if it is only by a sec or two. Keep on running!

  2. I agree with Roberts, we have all been there – we have our good and bad days. I am with you on trying to slow down my pace for long runs- I was suppose to run a 5k race tomorrow, but know I have to get a long run in tomorrow and I think I am going to not go and run the 5k because I think it will hurt my ego running it at a pace I am not use to running races.

  3. I definitely ran slow, but felt a lot better at mile 9 than I did last week. I was also able to pick up my pace when I knew I was close to home. At the end of last week’s 12 miler I was like a dead duck, with nothing left. I’d say that today was an improvement!

    Thanks for your comments…. I really appreciate them!!!!!

  4. That’s funny you mention that. I always knew I had to run the long runs slow, but this year my running coach has suggested I build in several miles of Marathon Goal Pace (MGP). So today, I ran twenty with six miles (miles 10-16) at my MGP. The last four miles were difficult, but adding in some MGP has created a nice challenge for me during the long runs. Otherwise I feel like you – sluggish and even bored.

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