Sandbagging

Argh. Why do I do this??

Tonight's VO2 max was 8x800m. 1st time I've done 800s during this cycle, so I didn't really know what to expect. I consulted my "advanced marathoning" book, and it told me to shoot for 2:48s.

Plus, I knew in the back of my mind that, per the "Yasso 800" workout, if I were to do 10x800 in 2:50, it'd be a good predictor of a 2:50 marathon. So 2:48 seemed like a good goal.

So, after a longer warm-up, that's what I did. 2:49 1st one, then a couple of 2:50s (which I told myself was OK, since that's my goal marathon time), then 2:48, 2:48. I gave myself 2 minutes rest between each one. I really only needed about 45 seconds (thank you, tempo workouts for teaching my body to recover VERY quickly).

So after the 2:48, when I looked at my watch 45 seconds into the recovery jog, a lightbulb went off. I wasn't tired. Seriously -- what am I doing out here, if I'm not even going to run hard enough to make it worth it? Let's forget the "goal paces" for the last three & just run hard.

Outcome:
2:44
2:38
2:38

Much better, and I was actually tired after them. Who knew? Wish I would have run them all this way.

Why do I do this? I feel like now I run too conservatively, always hitting my times, but holding back until too late because I'm not sure I'm going to be able to finish all of them. And then I do what I did tonight -- I feel like I've wasted a workout. Granted, tonight wasn't "wasted" -- but it could have been a LOT harder.

So, in short, I have a lot of mental confidence to build in the next two weeks. I know I need to believe in my ability and trust that I can do it. I also need to be confident enough to race with reckless abandon, knowing that it'll hurt, but not caring because you know you're strong & can push through. I know I used to have it, so it's there -- I just need to find it again.

After all, "to put it simply, I think that this [racing with reckless abandon] is the difference between being good and being great.", Jen Rhines, Runner's World article 2008, talking about why her track racing was suffering.

Good to realize it during tonight's workout. I don't just want a "good" time at Twin Cities :)

Nichole Porath

Nichole is a blogger, elite level runner, and coach. She ran professionally for Brooks for two years after qualifying for the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials. During that time she founded TNC endurance, where she coaches and motivationally speaks to organizations large and small. This blog details her rise to national-level racing, and continues to follow her as she gets back into racing after starting a family. Read on, friends!

1 comment:

  1. You're in great shape and should have no problem reaching your goal in the marathon...IF... you don't kill yourself by working too hard in the workouts in the taper period. It's tempting when you cut your mileage to try to hit the track workouts as hard as possible and now you've done that, so you don't really need to repeat it. Save it for the race!

    Running with reckless abandon is something I've done (sometimes with success, often without); I think it's smart in the marathon to hold off that feeling until at least half-way. Then you can start reeling in those who went out a bit too hard.

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