Friday, September 11, 2009

Fear and Loathing in Carrier Park

Intervals - I fear and hate them as much as the next runner. Having said that, I’m feeling good about my interval workout yesterday.

Here’s the actual workout:

Dynamic Stretch warm up
2 miles @ recovery pace
5 x 1 Mile @ 10K pace (8:03) with 2 minutes active recovery
2 miles cool down

Why do workouts like this always look so easy on paper? Why do they not come with a warning:

So about my workout. The first four intervals were all right at about 8:00 on the nose. But on the 5th one, the doubts started. I began thinking I couldn’t possibly run the last one in 8:00. I began cultivating an alternate scenario whereby it was right and proper to scale the last interval down to 800m. Or not even run it at all…

I let these thoughts run for the full 2 minutes of my recovery, then shut them down and started my last mile, not knowing what would happen. I convinced myself I would not look at Garmin until I was at least at the halfway point. Yes, at the halfway point, I would decide what to do next. Perhaps I would quit if I saw a discouraging number. Just hold on, I told myself.

After an eternity, I stole a look, thinking I would be off-pace for sure. And Garmin says…7:46 average pace. Yay! With renewed confidence I knocked off the last mile easily at 8:00 flat, feeling grateful to have won the battle with the dreaded doubt demons. Until next time.

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