This is my life. Sometimes shown through the eye of my camera phone, and sometimes not. I'll talk running, gadgets, music, and whatever else I stumble on to

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Getting past the fear

One of the goals I set for myself this season, is to not be afraid to push my limits. My "limit" this time last year was a fairly easy running pace of about 9:30 minutes-per-mile, which is what I trained for all last year. That's about what I averaged during last year's Chicago marathon.

Coming out of a 25 year layoff from running last year, I really didn't know what to expect. I didn't know how fast I could go, or how good my endurance was going to be. As the year went on, I got a little better, but I was still afraid to push the envelope for fear of getting hurt, or worse. During the winter, I joined a running program at a local Chicago Fleet Feet to train for a February half-marathon. I credit this group for teaching me about pace. I had to keep up, or else I would lag behind- that's the bottom line.

So, when I set a goal to train for Chicago again, I told myself I would push myself a little more in 2009. I know I can go faster, and I really, really want to get revenge on my marathon finish time of 04:54. One way I'm doing this, is practicing negative-splits in most of my longer runs. To my surprise, I've gotten quite comfortable sustaining an 8:30 pace, and it's what I'm shooting for. This is nearly a full minute ahead of where I was last year.

A negative-split is when you run the 2nd half of the course faster than the first. It also helps to build up my strength, and confidence, knowing that I can hit these speeds during longer runs. The 7 mile run in the chart below is a good example. This would have to be one of my better runs to date- I felt strong, 100%, and felt that I could do more!

One of my bigger tests will be my longest run to date at 16 miles, which I'm doing on July 25. We'll see how it goes!


(Click to enlarge)

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