Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Inner dialogue

Went for a run yesterday and felt great. Ran 15 miles at 6-7 minute pace. Did some intervals on my typical loop at the end and ran those faster than I have ever.

This morning, I weighed in at 64.7, which is the lowest in many years, except right after I got braces and couldn't chew.

I don't know why I am in this kind of shape but I'm not complaining. Problem is, I have no real goal race or even a goal distance. While running, or while not running, I often go through an inner dialogue much like this:

"Wow, I am so fast. I could PR at anything longer than 5 miles right now. I feel great, I am light. I am so ready to bust one out".

"Hold up now, bust one out where? You got two 5Ks lined up where you will definitely be running by yourself. Are you going to run 15:50 all by yourself? I don't think so."

"Okay, but I could probably PR in the 5 miles or 10K"

"Sure, but you don't have any of those coming up, now do you? In fact, your next big races are a triathlon and a 50 miler. You can't swim, except for the dead-man's float, and you have never run 50 miles."

"True about the 50 miles but I think I'm gonna go hard in that one. I ran 25 miles and still felt good. I'm going to try to win it."

"Just shut up. If you go out hard with the leaders, you are going to crash and burn so bad you might not even finish. Do you remember Chippewa? That was 50K and you still sucked at it. No one cares about speed in those races."

"I don't know. If I tell myself to walk all the hills but cruise the flat sections at 6:30 or 7 minute miles, I should still be in contention. I will eat a ton at the aif stations. I'll be the fastest guy there, for sure, and that has to count for something. And Chippewa was different because of the snow"

"You'd better start out easy or you are going to blow up. You don't even know what an "S-Cap" looks like. You're a rube, man. Don't warm up, start out slow. Just get through it."

"I think I'm going to go hard. It's more honest that way."

"You're gonna die."

Bascially, I keep lamenting the fact that I don't have a big, competitive race coming up. Add to that my uncertainty about the 50-miler. I just don't know what to do with these wheels.


SteveQ said...

Anybody can race hard for 3 1/2 hours, but getting from 5 to 6 hours is different; your body has used all its stored carbohydrate and you can't replace muscle glycogen during the run. If you go out just a little too fast, you crash and burn. I learned the hard way and I expect you'll have to, too.

Runningdoctor said...

Steve, I know what you're saying is true. But I suspect I will have to find out the hard way.

Of course I did crash and burn at Chippewa. Had you actually raced (not jogged) that one, you would have been one of the many runners to ask if I was ok while passing me. I went from thinking I was going to win to cramping, throwing up and worrying about finishing, all in a span of maybe 10 minutes.

So one would think I had learned my lesson. But... that was in the snow and I didn't eat or drink enough and blah blah.

We'll see how it goes. I promise a blow-by-blow race report, even if it's another complete humiliation.

Runningdoctor said...

ALthough, come to think of it, had you raced, you probably would have gone out crazy hard. I remember the angry rant you posted right before Chippewa.

You probably would have run even more stupid than me that day!

Danni said...

You only live once and you live and learn -- go out in front and try to win the 50 miler! At least see what happens. If your goal is to win not to finish, go for it. If you crash and burn you will dial in your strategy for next time, know what works and what doesn't, and improve. Just be prepared for a death march or DNF. If you can handle that possibility, give it go!

Which 50 are you running? I'm excited for you!

Runningdoctor said...

Danni! You just want a dramatic race report, don't you?

We are running the North Country Trail 50 (or something like that) in Michigan.

The thing is this. I don't think I will fare much differently whether I run my normal cruising speed or run slower. As long as I eat, drink and walk the hills, I don't think it'll make much difference what pace I run, as long as it's comfortable.

We'll see, right?

Oh, and I don't think I will DNF (barring injury). If nothing else, I would wait for the Girl and pace her.