Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Voice in Your Head is Lying

Tuesday afternoon I found myself contemplating that evening's scheduled track workout. For a variety of work and personal reasons, I had missed the last few track workouts. Missing a few workouts makes it harder to stay on track (pun intended!), and the voice in my head was not helping me. It said:

  • It's really hot and humid out there. I haven't adjusted yet. I should stay inside.
  • My toe has hurt all day. I might do some damage if I try to do speedwork right now.
  • I've been having weird heart palpitations off and on all day. Something might be wrong with me. That heat and humidity won't help.
  • My running clothes feel so tight. Look at that blob of skin on my back squeezing out of my sports bra. I can't go out like this

Let's Make a Deal

But I recognized these were all excuses and that I needed to get back in the Tuesday track habit. I promised myself that all I needed to do was go there - I could spend the whole time walking instead of doing the workout if I didn't feel up to it when I got there.

A Little Help from a Friend

I felt hesitant when I got there, but Susan nudged me to warm-up. She listened to my fears. She reminded me to just do one interval at a time

The workout was:
  • 1 mile (3 minutes rest)
  • 2 repeats of 1/2 mile (3 minutes rest after each)
  • 4 repeats of 1/4 mile (3 minutes rest after each)

Interval 1

I ran the first mile grudgingly. By the end of the last lap I felt exhausted. I was telling myself that was enough of an effort. I ran a mile in this heat, I got out there, I could walk for the rest of the time.

Six More Intervals

During the 3 minute rest, Susan said, "do the next one, see how you feel." One interval at a time. Three minutes is a long rest. By the end of it, I felt like I could do another 1/2 mile. 

Two laps around the track goes so much more quickly than 4 laps. It wasn't too long until I had my next rest. I proceeded to focus on the interval I was in and get to the next rest period.


I did the whole workout and was kind of surprised given the way I felt going into it. When I checked my paces at home, I realized that I had even achieved the goal of getting faster along the way:
  • 1 mile at 12:34 pace
  • 2 repeats of 1/2 mile at 12:20 and 12:22 paces
  • 4 repeats of 1/4 mile at 11:55, 11:39, 11:14, 10:03 paces

Ignore that Voice

There you have it - evidence that the voice in my head was lying to me all along. The next time the voice in your head suggests you can't do something, ignore it. Or go find a good friend to help you ignore it. Thank you Susan.