Pushing mental barriers

Submitted by Rob Mandje on 25 March 2008 - 10:31pm

 So another week has come and gone. I'm eagerly awaiting my trip out to California next week (April 1st). I'll be staying with a good friend of mine: Steve "Mr. 3:56" Sherer out in Santa Cruz.
I'm excited for several reasons: 1) Good/warmer weather (2) Experience some sea-level running & (3) The beach! I'm a beach boy at heart, having been born in Barcelona, Spain. Although I love Boulder and the Rocky mountains, there's just something about the beach that really gets me.
    Anyways back to the business at hand. So April will surely see me accumulating some airline miles, as I fly to Santa Cruz, then Burbank, Boston and finally back here to Boulder (for maybe 10 days?). This past week was much better than the last. It was the 1st week of the new proposed lower mileage approach. I definitely felt a bit more energized during runs, but unfortunately wasn't 100% disciplined with my sleeping habits.
    This week a change of pace. I was very much used to seeing what workouts I was going to be doing many days (or weeks even) in advance. This week however, Lorraine gave me my workouts either the day of or the night before. On top of that we did 3 (although not all the same intensity: like Tues vs Wed, or Wed vs Sat.'s) workouts this week. I have so much faith/trust and respect in Lorraine, that I gladly leave it in her hands and just show up (always on time minus Saturday) ready to do whatever it's she's laid out.
    I learned more about the possibilities of the human body and even more so about the mind/body connection this week. I went into Tuesday's workout thinking, "Oh boy I'm pretty tired, I hope I can break 9:50 for 2 miles.", but with Lorraine around it's tough to ever stay too down or sluggish feeling. I quickly turned my mind towards the task at hand and just focused on how good I felt (even if it was a lie at first) and let my body get into that sort of groove. The workouts (both Tues & Saturday, when I felt particularly sluggish) demonstrated how big of a role the mind can play in our athletic performance.
    Had I not had Lorraine around on Saturday I either would've called it a day and just gone back to bed (yes folks I'm human), or slugged through back to back 2 mile efforts @ less than what I clearly showed I was capable of doing. The moral (if there's one) is to stay focused on the task at hand, and think positively. It doesn't do any good to think negatively or focus on things like, "I'm sluggish, I'm tired...I rather be sleeping or watching tv", when you've got a task to be completed. If that's the case then we might as well face it with enthusiasm and ready to give 100% effort. I hope that I can take these (somewhat new) lessons into the 1st few races with me.
As usual below is the past week's mileage/workout breakdown...

Week (#41) March 16th - 22nd

Sunday: Distance: 16.00 miles @ 12:30PM (42 degrees), Pace: 6:22 Run Duration: 1h42
Very hilly run of Poorman's Loop + Sunshine & Mt. Sanitas. Calves were definitely sore but not too bad.

Monday: Distance: 10.50 miles @ Rally Sports Gym. Calves weren't quite @ 100%.

Tuesday: PM: Workout @ North Boulder. 1 x 2 miles & on Road . With Lorraine. Started out like a cannon and was feeling good, but luckily Lorraine drove next to me around 1k or so and told me to slow down. I was just either in the ZONE (zoned out perhaps?) or out of control. Who knows? Lorraine had me do a pretty long (6 miles or so) warm up. 2 miles in: 9:16 (pretty even splits 4:37 & 4:39); Distance: 11.50 miles total for day.

Wednesday: Workout @ Fairview High School @ 6:45pM (47 degrees but chilly) . 4 x 800 meters (400m recovery jog). Lorraine had me run the first 600m (1.50 laps of the track) rather slow (72 or 73 sec for 400m pace) and then picking it up (not all out) the last 200m. I did this for the 1st 3, and then on the last one she had me just run the first 400m slow (71ish) and run the last 400m faster (63 ish). Overall it was a good effort. I didn't quite feel tired from the previous day's workout, but my calves did feel the effort a bit. I did the workout in my cross country spikes, which are a little more forgiving than my steeplechase spikes. Avg Pace: 2:19.75 (2:22,2:22,2:21 & 2:14) Distance: 10.00 miles

Thursday: Distance:
14.25 @ Rally Sports Gym + Core (I still hate treadmills) @ 6:30 P.M

(Harlan's Birthday) A.M 8:00 Distance: 5.50 miles out & back on Creek Path (38 degrees). P.M 4:30 Distance: 11.00 miles @ South Boulder Creek Trail (first time there in a loooong while) with good training mate: Austin Baille, who was moving to Flagstaff, AZ the following day. Ran 60 mins or so with him and added the rest solo on the C.U cross country course.


P.M: 4:30 (I overslept by 45 mins!) 42 degrees and a bit windy/cold! Workout @ North Boulder Park: 2 x 2 miles (5 mins-ish jog back to starting line on loop course) & 6 x 150 meters sprints (Full recovery). With Lorraine. Thank god she was there with me, as I felt truly sluggish when I woke from my nap, and even worst while warming up for the workout (I actually stopped to walk about 1 min into warm up). 1st 2 mile: 9:28 (4:48,4:40), 2nd 2 mile: 9:12 (4:40, 4:32). The 150m sprints have actually left me rather sore (I'm writing this two days later). The two milers were def an eye opener, as I didn't expect to run that fast. I closed especially well over the last 1/2 mile of the last one. Lorraine noted a good change of pace. Good for the confidence, but the RACES are what will matter most, not one or two workouts. Distance: 12.50 miles

Week's Total Mileage: 91.25 (avg: 13.04 miles per day)

Well thanks for stopping by again folks. I should be able to get one more entry in before I head out to California (unless I get busy with packing or lazy and slacking).