Thursday, August 2, 2012

MTXE -- mental toughness in running

WORKOUT: 1mile warmup, 50minute tempo, 1mile cooldown

In high school, my teammates and I went to running camps every summer.  One summer, my teammate (and eventually my sister's teammate) Shannon and I went to a camp together.  It was there that we discovered the phrase MTXE: Mental Toughness eXtra Effort.  We used this phrase throughout tough workouts, throughout meets, you get the idea.  

Shannon wrote an incredible essay during her senior year of high school about inspiration.  She wrote the essay and referenced me.  It brought me to tears when she sent it to me, and came at the perfect time as I was deciding to "retire" from collegiate running due to student teaching.  Shannon referenced our famous MTXE in her essay and that phrase somehow crept into my mind today.

I was a little nervous going into this workout.  It doesn't make sense considering I ran faster than tempo pace last Saturday and it felt easy.  I ran an average of 6:08s for the 6.2mile race (38min), so realistically another 12minutes shouldn't be too hard.  But for some reason I just kept thinking this would be really hard, probably since I haven't done a tempo since like March (sickness in April and knee injury in May ruined those opportunities for the tempos).  

I also had a hard bike on Tuesday, saw Dave Davis for a massage on Tuesday night, so I could still feel some soreness on Wednesday afternoon.  Dave usually leaves me sore (in a good way:)) for a day and a half, so this morning I was pretty nervous.

Coach Cari had told me to just stay around 6:30s since I haven't done a tempo in so long. I did it on a 3mile loop by Ryan's house where there is a .40 downhill section, flat mile and last .40 uphill section.

Mile was a little downhill so I figured it'd be faster.
Mile 2--6:18...still feeling good!
Mile 3--6:23..the uphill one, wasn't expecting it to be great, but still not bad
Mile 4--6:21..consistent
Mile 5--6:24...this is where I started feeling fatigue in my hamstring at the race, so YAY for feeling good!
Mile 6--6:23..still no fatigue, YES!
Mile 7--6:30...yeah, I started feeling tired at this point. Should have brought a drink.
0.83--5:20......just hung on, still under 6:30 pace so I'll take it.

After mile 3, I seriously considered switching this workout with next week's 2x20min tempo, but know that Cari schedules my training the way she does for a reason, but WOW did I want to do that instead!  So, I told myself to break it up into 10min segments.  Basically 5x10min at tempo with no rest between.  Sounds much more doable.  With about 16minutes to go, I REALLY started feeling fatigued and just wanted to stop.  I then remembered how COOL it was to break that finish line tape on Saturday and that I have two incredible sponsors whose slogans are meant to inspire athletes every day.


As cheesy as it sounds, reminding myself of those slogans got me through this workout.  It's truly just a "mind over matter" kind of thing, which is hard, but mental toughness is something that any athlete MUST have in order to be successful. Thanks, saucony and PowerBar for helping me out today:)

In wedding and house related news...
We just ordered our carpet from Luna so our basement will be pretty much done in two weeks! All we need now is to install our shower and toilet and we can move in!!!
Invitations arrived last week and the stamps arrive today, so invites should be out soon!!:)  

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