Expectations and goals can be quite interesting. Once you determine your goals, then you set in motion a plan to achieve them. Expectations are created based on your perceived ability to achieve these goals. Most of us wouldn’t create a goal that we thought we had no realistic opportunity to achieve.
But what if you create the goal and someone else creates the plan? That often happens when working with a coach. You tell him or her your goal and then he/she tells you how to achieve it. It only works if you have trust. Trust not only in your coach, but trust in yourself that you can push farther than you think. The interesting thing is you can think you trust and believe in yourself, but in reality you are held back by doubts you didnt know you had.
How do I know this? Because tonight I pushed passed a barrier that I didn’t even know I had.
Two weeks ago I did mile repeats for the first time. My coach, Ben Bartlett, had scheduled them during the week, but due to my schedule I wasn’t able to attempt the workout until that Saturday. Interesting thing is I read the workout wrong and ended up doing 3 1-mile repeats instead of two. I couldn’t believe it. I can only remember running a mile without stopping on two previous occasions, yet on that night I did three of them — in one workout! I was over the moon. YAY!!
Fast forward two weeks to yesterday and I saw the workout for my long run on Sunday January 5 [Ben gives me my workout schedule one week at a time].
Endurance Run (1:00:00)
WU: 5x(2:00 walk/2:00 jog)
MS: 3×1 mile run at HR 155-165, 3:00 walk breaks between reps
CD: 5:00 walking at slight incline followed by gentle stretching
My first thought was to panic. My following thoughts were “he wants me to 3 1-mile repeats after a 20 minute run/walk warm-up? He thinks I can do all of this in an hour? I can’t do this! I’ve never done this! How am I going to do this?”;
We’ve had bad weather over the last few days. It snowed on Thursday night and it’s been brutally cold (my fav type of weather). However, we’re expecting freezing rain on Sunday morning so I decided to move my long run to gym tonight (Saturday). Fortunately one of the new treadmills was available at the gym. It has a softer belt and it’s perfectly calibrated. I started at 6:30 so I really didn’t have a lot of cushion time since the gym closes at 8 pm on Saturday nights. My best guesstimate was I would finish in longer than an hour and I decided that I’d do the best that I could, but I know I couldn’t do it in a hour. No way. I don’t run fast enough.” In mind my I was being realistic and positive, even though I basically believed that I couldn’t do it. [Looking back I don’t know why I didn’t think I could do it in an hour. My average mi/mi for the 3 1-mile splits I did two weeks ago was 12:30. If I did that pace plus another 25 minutes put me at 62.5 minutes.]
I started off with a 2:00 walking warm-up. My legs were a little stiff from the squats I did on Friday afternoon. Then I started running. I couldn’t believe that I was running about 11:00 mi/mi and it felt comfortable. My first thought was “maybe I should slow down”, but I decided to keep going as it didn’t feel like I was over doing it. I could always slow down later. But I didn’t need to slow down; I was able to keep up this running pace through all five run intervals. Hmmm…okay. Time to start the mile repeats.
[Don’t think just run. Take it one mile at a time. Listen to the music. Zone out. Don’t stop running. Just get through the first mile then you’ll have 3:00 to walk and decide out what to do next.]
I figured I’d let my body dictate the pace. Surprisingly enough I kept up an average pace about 11:15 mi/mi. [Where was this coming from??]
Well, let’s see what happens during the second mile.
[Again, don’t think just run. Take it one mile at a time. Listen to the music. Zone out. Don’t stop running. Just get through the second mile then you’ll have 3:00 to walk and decide out what to do next.]
OMGoodness, it was about the same pace as the first mile, except for the two times I had to stop to adjust my sock. At one point I was running under a 11:00 mi/mi pace. [OK you did two 1-mile repeats, but what will happen during the third one??]
[Again, don’t think just run. Listen to the music. Zone out. Take the last mile one step at a time. Go as far as you can. Even if you stop running, you’ve still done well, but if possible dont stop running. Just get through this mile then you’re done.]
So I started the third mile repeat. I was pretty hot as the gym isn’t well ventilated. I slowed down to a “wog” four times to drink, but only for 20-30 seconds each time. Basically I kept going. I don’t know how, but I did it. Interestingly enough I think this was my fastest mile. It started right at mile 4 and I ran it in under 12:00 minutes…awesome!
The icing on the cake — I finished the workout in 1:05:04. Just 5 minutes longer than the plan. All I can say is “!!!!!!!!!!”
So maybe my stretching and quasi-strength training is starting to pay off. I also think it was the slow 5K I did on January 1. It allowed my to work on my form and really use my feet and big muscles (especially my glutes) as I run.
[Who knew I could do this? How did I do this? Can I do this again??]
Whatever it is, I did something tonight that I’ve never done before. BUT it was on the treadmill. I’ll need to overcome the same mental hurdle when I run on the road. My neighborhood is very hilly and hills are a game changer. Fortunately I like hills. I’m strange like that.
So long story short (too late)…never underestimate yourself. And even when you do, you may end up doing something that will surprise your. [I like surprises]