Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be."

Spartan Shape-Up, Day 146:

Well, BlogLand, I am happy to report that I am pretty sure my Mental Block (which was more like a fortress of some sort...) has been thoroughly decimated.
I think I needed Sunday's race - and all the personal victories associated with it - to prove some things to myself, that I wasn't able to do on my own. I hadn't really realized just HOW much I had needed that, until today's run.

Today, I went out for my 5K loop, as per usual. And I ran. And ran some more. And I did get a little tired at one point, but there was no more question mark in my head of whether I was capable of pushing through that - clearly, I was. I had. .... So I did. I just kept running. There were a couple of times that I did some slow, shorter strided recovery times, but still running. I didn't even really think about walking. I didn't need to.

What I likened this to was having a new car (akin to the new body I'm building). When you first get this new car, you have no idea how long it will go after the gas light goes on. So you are really cautious in the beginning - as soon as that gas light goes on (or you get a little tired, running), you stop the car (walk break.). You just have no idea how far it will go on E. Then that day happens that you're on the highway, far from a gas station, and you are on E. Oh crap. You have to keep driving. No other options (... or you have to keep running, because your GT won't let you stop, because he knows this is all  in your head)... and suddenly you realize... Wow. Apparently, my car does, in fact, go MUCH farther on "E" than I thought. Or, in my convoluted analogy, You find yourself at the end of a 5K race, with an excellent time, having taken no walk breaks.

I think today, while I was running, I knew that the tired waves would pass. I could keep running through them and come out the other side. Hell, I had demonstrated to myself that I could even throw some hills in there and keep running. Today's route was flat!!

I had no idea the amount that my own mental doubt and insecurity was affecting my running progress. I think, somewhere deep down, as much as I was giving myself these pep talks, and *wanted* to run the distance without breaks, etc.... there was a deep, quiet, doubting part of me that really wasn't sure I could. It was the same negative whisperings from Old Me that tell me that Fat Chicks can't do this stuff, that I must look ridiculous when I run, that why would I think I could run a Spartan Race, when see, I can't even manage 3 miles. You know that voice. We all have it. Mine is just getting really bitter that I keep squashing it and proving it wrong (WAHA!). However, I really didn't realize how much that part had decidedly convinced my subconscious of this. I only really realized today...

... after I'd run the entire 5K, with no walk breaks... and I totally could've kept going at the end. No problem at all. Not only that, I did it at an excellent pace (for me):

Time: 34:38 min
Distance: 3.14 mi
Average pace: 11:03 min/mi

I am a little confused at the accuracy here, as the splits that it shows say I did individual miles in much faster times... but. Hmm. Irregardless, I'm pretty darn happy with NO walks, at an 11 min/mi pace. Particularly considering it must've been actually faster than that as I did have to stop and wait at a cross walk. Sub-11 min/miles. Easily. And I could've (should've!) kept running.

No. Mental. Block. I needed the support to bust through that wall, more than I could know, I guess. Finding myself on the other side of it is really liberating... I CAN do these things. I have now done it on my own, with the concrete knowledge that I could.

Ah, and THEN, the GT and I began the What's Next conversation. Up to this point, this is what was next. I needed to be able to run the entire 5K. I've done that twice. With gas left in the tank. (How long have I been holding my training back, with this silliness, I wonder?) Should I learn to be faster? Concentrate on going longer? What's next?

The consensus seems to be that I'm going to work on mileage, as ultimately, I'd like to be able to handle the more-involved, longer, Spartan races. Speed is less of an issue, while being able to cover the distance (sometimes up to 12 miles) is a big concern. The GT assures me we can get there, if that is what I want. So, on we push, to the next step in my Spartan Shape-Up... he mentioned something about working toward a 10K (6.2 miles). But I'm not afraid. I'm EXCITED. YEAH I'm going to run a 10K, at some point. YES, I want to train, so I can run the Spartan Supers. Push me! I feel like I've really broke down a big insecurity barrier... let's take advantage of that and really see what this body can do! HA!

I don't have the specifics of the training plan just yet... but, stay tuned, BlogLand... the next few months are going to be a wild ride!

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