Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Mind over matter

It's only Weds and already the mental part of running is coming to the fore. Most day's it's easy to get out the door, especially when it's a nice day and you've only got a short easy run to contend with. Tues for example was an easy double day with 4 miles on the mill at 6:45am followed by 6 more in the noontime light snow and mild conditions. Don't even have to think about it, 'Just do it, eh!?'

Drumroll... A bit tougher to get going today despite a beautiful, sunny calm day with above normal temps near the freezing point. The reason, a 15 miler with down-hill repeats, sounds like fun eh? Started out with stretching, an easy 1 mile warmup, more stretching and then begin. Ran the repeats on an 800m hill going from Pottery Creek to the top of Joe's Point road, which was mostly snow covered from last night's little sprinkle (only an inch or 2).
As I said, these were downhill repeats which were done at about marathon pace or a bit harder with the focus on form and turnover. First loop in 7:43, then dog it back up the long gradual hill for an 8:04 2nd loop, ouch! better pick it up a bit on those uphill 'recovery' jogs; next repeats in 7:52, 7:51, 7:51 (counting), and 6th (more counting) and last in 7:45! It was a nice feeling to run a bit faster than normal and most of the downs felt fairly smooth. I tried to think faster turnover, quick feet, raising my knees and of course the last 5 miles of the Boston course on tired legs. Some other points from a book that Andrew had lent me also helped.

Downhill running tips from Higdon, Run Fast. Relax it’s free speed!

1. Starting down, tilt forward, from the waist. How much you tilt depends on the steepness of the hill. Lean forward so the torso is perpendicular with the surface of the hill.

2. As you move faster, raise your knees and lengthen your stride to cope with the increased speed and faster stride rate.

3. For better balance, esp. on uneven ground, allow your elbows to rise up and out.

4. To cushion the shock of descent, land more on the balls of your feet than on your heels.

5. Most important is to practice and concentrate but don’t overdo it as it is easy to get injured running downhill with up to 40% more leg shock than on the flat.

After 6 miles of hill repeats, I thought it was enough punishment for the day but still had about 8 miles left to do. And this is where the mind comes into play, the lazy body is tired and wants to go home but the evil master says 'NO, keep going this way, that way, hurry up, no slacking!' . So it was a jog back home for more Gatorade and then a 2 mile measured loop at medium effort which came out a surprising 7:40 pace. Then 5 more around the Point to finish me off in 2:03 . The rest of the day was just resting at the keyboard and even bummed a ride home as I felt too beat to walk the one mile home.

Tonite, it feels nice to sit and type while watching the Olympics out of the corner of my eye. The men's hockey team blew it I guess but they never did come together as a 'team'. Meanwhile the amateurs are doing well for Canada with the medals still coming. Go Canada!

Hmmm, should I go to volleyball Mike? I'll try not to lose my keys ;-)


Mike said...

Grrrr! Don't remind me about those keys. When I joke about all the runners who get injured doing other sports-volleyball, basketball and the like, I'm actually jealous. From so much "sport-specific" training all I seem to be able to do is run a straight line. Even bending down to pick up the newspaper or stretching to change a lightbulb seems to mean risking a herniated disc or at the very least a nasty case of tennis elbow.

Unknown said...

Brutal workout Mike. You know an inch or two of snow around here and it would be called the Blizzard of 2006.

Love2Run said...

On a good day I can barely touch my toes and can't jump worth beans anymore but it's fun to get out. However, last night I was just too tired and stayed on the couch. Still feeling the effects today (which is a good sign) and resting up for another go at it (tempo) on Friday.

Rob, I thought it was cold out your way with all the power failures & stuff. No snow? wish we could export it some days!

Paul The Jogger said...

You're such an inspiration to me when I can't find the motivation. I think I do a lot more than I used to but I can't demonstrate your commitment. Keep it up and much respect from me.

Dawn - Pink Chick Tris said...

I love the snowy park bench. Kind of looking like that around here now.

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