Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Running Confidence

One interesting thing coming out of being coached is that I'm becoming more confident as a runner.  I did a brief running stint in 2000 - 2001, mainly running 3 mile 4-5 times a week, until my IT band self destructed.  Then I trained for a half marathon the fall of 2007, which consisted of mostly walking with some easy jogging.  Didn't end up running the race though, because my foot decided to mysteriously fracture itself. Then in May 2008, once my foot healed, I started running 2-3 miles a few times a week, with the goal of doing a sprint triathlon that fall.  I got hooked, signed up for larger and more frequent races in 2009, the Houston Half Marathon in Jan 2010, and now I have 2 HIMs.

I never considered myself a runner.  Running and me have had a very rocky relationship, which has made me very tentatvie (read: slow).  Its almost like I'm afraid of going fast - for fear that I'll get injured again.

My current coach is having me do speed work on Tuesdays.  There was last week's crazy workout. And I shocked myself by going a sub-10 minute/mile pace for the upper Z4 segments - and consistenly maintaining it.  Yesterday was my first track workout.  1 x 1200 Z2 warm up; 4 x 800 Z4; 1 x 1200 cool down.  I had never done a track workout and was very intimidated.  In reality, it was pretty comparable to swimming sets.  Once I realized that, it wasn't so bad.  And track running was kinda nice, because you didn't have to really think about how far to run for the intervals, which gave me time to "feel" pacing and speed.  I know so well what my swim pacing is, but for running, I've really only done "survival mode".  I managed to negative-split (or come even toward the end) of each of my 800's - finishing them in ~4:47 average.  That's a 9:34 average pace.  Craziness.  The concept of me sustaning that pace for a half mile - and repeating it 4 times simply didn't exist in my head.  And then add to it that the pace wasn't super hard.  I was pushing it, but it wasn't "OMG I'm going to puke" pushing it.

This speed work is making me realize what I'm actually capable of.  My legs can move faster.  I'm not injured (knock on wood).  I can sustain faster paces.  I don't feel like dying when I'm done.   And its fun.

Very interesting stuff indeed.....

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