While I am somewhat ashamed to admit, I am a Chelsea Handler fan and her mindlesly entertaining books have been summertime reads since grad school. That being said, I am totally ripping this post title from her “Lies” book because my creativity is spotty at best and I thought it would be a creative hook to wrap a race report in a post that is really about self-talk on the run. And athletes tend to lie to ourselves quite a bit-and lying gets us nowhere.
But I digress. After an unfortunate foot-tissue smashing incident sadly self-induced from excessive shoe lace tension, I rescheduled my mid-fall 5k for Saturday at the low key Run The Woodlands series (the Luke's Locker crew does a nice job, btw). My training has been going the best it has in years and I'm putting in both consistently decent mileage AND workouts on a regular basis. And I'm enjoying it-a lot. I was more than ready to run well over the weekend, even after skipping workouts to heal my smashed tendons.
So I'll be honest and say I was mostly confident, but there was still some stragglers of doubt about how well I can actually run this race-even with two degrees in psyc and recent evidence by hitting my workout splits. (Sigh.... I'm getting there!). This race was more just a 'checkpoint' in training and for fun more than anything, but if you're competitive like I am, you can't help but put forth an honest effort.
Long story short I did some things that I rarely, if ever have been able to pull off in a 5k distance before-notably negative splitting and overcoming a sub-par second mile. Run enough 5ks hard and you understand these races are not for the faint of heart-even with the short distance!
I managed to start and finish with the 1st F position and finished in 20:20-something. The sub-20 will come another day. I guess this means that somehow I am 3-0 on my season currently! My first mile was 6:25 after dialing back from a 5:50 first quarter, second mile was mostly up a steady incline (not hill) and my pace slowed to a 6:40ish. Third mile was faster and just over a 6:30 with a strong kick at the end.
In the past have mentally imploded when the second mile is not as smooth and this race was a first of sorts where I ralleyed a bit towards the end. I also caught myself in some lies on this one and will provide examples. I tell my athletes in the office to record their negative self-talk and write out a rebuttal to it, and I will use the same practice here. Luckily there wasn't too much this time around, but here are a couple racing untruths/evidence and rebuttal:
Pre-Race: "It's going to hurt, I don't know if I can hang the whole time"./"Pain is part of the game, sweetheart (Yes I switch from first to second-person regularly in my head!), you don't learn to deal without accepting it."
Starting line-seeing lanky girl with long ponytail, a small entourage, and her game face on wearing bright pink Brooks: "she looks like she's fast, maybe I should adjust my goals."/ "Pay attention to YOUR race plan and yourself-you can't control her."
Somewhere between Mile 1.2 and Mile 2: "This always happens. I just don't have it anymore". /"Don't fight the course, focus on turnover instead of pace." More evidence: A recorded negative split from mile 2 to mile 3,1. Boom.
After the race: "I may not ever break the 20 barrier again."/ "That's total crap. It's really hard to run solo on a rolling course when there really are no challengers to push. It's coming because you've got the toughness to make it happen and I'm fast enough."
.....Yeah, you know what postiive self: you're probably right. And that Adrienne can be a liar sometimes.
So I don't know if anyone else does this in training and racing, but I find it sure comes in handy to have logic and reason on your side when pushing yourself. I also find this method works very well for track workouts and tempo efforts.
Over the weekend it was reaffirmed to me that even though you train hard, recover harder, and do most of the right stuff, you have to be on your own side often and especially when race day comes. While it was far from the perfect 5k, each race can be a fun learning experience and you can apply things forward (such as the whole mile 2 thing!). All in all, I think I did a decent job and enjoyed myself out there. Compared to an outing earlier in the year where I ran an identical time, I felt MUCH stronger at the end and recovered nicely. Yup, things are coming together.
So believe in yourself. And pay attention to those lies ____________ (insert your name here) tells you! You just may gain some more confidence after you realize your mind can be a lying sack of, um....something.
Anyone else catch themselves lying lately?
Stay the (truthful) course.