Oh yeah, baby. I am feeling the confidence boost of not giving in to the fear of running "fast (for me, relatively speaking)."
Last night was my first Pfitz lactate threshold run of this training cycle. I'd nonchalantly visited the McMillan training calculator page earlier in the day to figure my training pace based on most recent results, and reality knocked me upside the head when I discovered the pace range I should be hitting now. Couple the more brisk pace with the fact that I had to do it in the evening, on the treadmill, and I was a little scared.
I ran the first few miles on a relatively brisk clip, and then started the first of four miles at the prescribed 15K to half marathon race pace. The instinct to reach up and power down the treadmill speed was strong at first. I fought the urge to do the easiest thing and power down a bit, telling myself to just relax and see how long I could hold that pace. Then, if absolutely necessary, power down-but keep repeating that "faster you run, faster you're done" mantra. The truth of the matter is also that if I want the best odds for a BQ in April, I've really GOT to push myself and do things that are uncomfortable during training.
The first two miles went decently, but then I started to doubt myself. I opted for a quick attitude adjustment at this point, choosing to begin counting off laps for certain people. Four laps were for various individuals with serious health issues who either cannot run now, or couldn't run in the past due to those issues. The final four were for each of my four kids. I couldn't believe it when the last mile was completed....these tempo runs were a bit of a struggle last summer and fall. They feel better now, relatively speaking.
After my run, I had a nice bowl of the Tired Daddy's crock pot chili and a True Blonde pale ale (whoops.....so much for that "no beer during the week" thing), and slept like a log overnight. Pfitz calls for a four mile recovery run today, but I am planning to gently boost my mileage this time around, and will do five or six instead. The other tweak here is that I'll take those easy miles VERY easy so that the medium long run that follows isn't an exercise in futility.
I'm coming back to edit this post, because I can't believe I forgot to include my big news for the day. I officially ponied up my money and registered for the Eisenhower Marathon in Abilene, Kansas on April 11th! We already had lodging arrangements, and my Dad's made his plane reservations to come hang out with the little monkeys while Frank and I make the trip, but I'd really been itching to make it official. I feel rededicated to training as it is, but parting with hard-earned money really helps add to that focus.