Monday, January 23, 2012

Mind Games on the Run

C - day of rest

So the 10 miler yesterday was an interesting mental exercise for me.  It was a wonderful run and I enjoyed the time that I got to spend with D, but, for me, it also turned into a series of mind games.  I don't think D was ever aware of this, but somewhere around mile 4 he started to break away from me.  As in, I looked up from the snow-sludge that I was fighting my way through, and he was more than two driveways away from me.  
Noooo! Mentally willing D to slow down or, better yet, me to speed up. 
This should not have been a huge deal, but I started to worry that this meant that he was becoming too fast for me to run distance runs with anymore.  I made a point of not asking him to slow down, but rather pushing myself forward harder and faster.  Long runs are supposed to be more than a minute slower than your regular pace, but I am not particularly skilled at judging my pace and I worry about wearing myself out too early.  Nevertheless, I pushed . . and it (mostly) worked.

D and I traded off who was leading during the rest of the 10 miles (the sidewalks were not clear enough to fit two abreast), but I made a point of not letting him lead again for too long.  I don't think he had any idea this was going on- love you D. 

My I-am-not-too-slow-to-run-with-D strategy also included pushing the pace during last mile.  I know I have to tire him out before the last quarter mile or else he'll break into a sprint at the end of the run and leave me far behind.  My final ending push totally would have worked, but we got stuck at a long traffic light and all bets were off.  The last third of a mile was up hill to the finish, and D had no problem with it.  D's greatest running talent is leisurely accelerating up hills, and I'm hoping some of this talent will rub off.  In the meantime, I'm grateful that we got to run together, but a little jealous that D won a race he didn't even know he was in.

Hopefully my mind games gave us both a better work out, and next time I can bring it just a little bit more!

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