Last Saturday, I ran longer than I have run since October’s marathon. Granted, it was only a mile and a half longer than what my non-plan called for. I did 9.5 miles instead of 8 miles. I didn’t think that it was a big deal. I felt fine afterwards, although I probably went to bed a bit more tired.
However, my body decided that it was going to punish me for that extra mile and a half by being super sluggish for the next three days. I cut Sunday’s run short by a mile. I nixed Monday’s planned intervals for an easy session. And instead of adding in some incline during yesterday’s 4 miler, I kept it flat and slow.
Today, I was determined to get those intervals done. I was hoping that after a few days of easy running, my legs would be ready to go again. I truly have a love/hate relationship with intervals. I LOVE that they make me feel fast…and with a PR in every distance in 2012, I am convinced of the benefits.
But I HATE actually running them. I have to really psych myself up. Usually, my brain will try to convince me during the warm up, that I should just stick with that pace and enjoy a leisurely run. When I push that thought out of my mind, I have to contend with the fact that I not going to enjoy much of the next 35-45 minutes.
Intervals are hard. (I know, I’m supposed to be pushing myself. Something about “if you want to run faster, you have to run faster.” Whatever.)
When I am struggling to keep up on my fastest intervals, my brain is telling me that I don’t have to do all four (or 6 or however many I’m supposed to do). I can just do a couple. It is so hard to NOT quit…and sometimes I do stop short. Sometimes my body just doesn’t want to keep going and my mind isn’t strong enough on that day to override it.
But, usually, I can tough it out. And when I’m done…then I LOVE intervals again. Because, as I mentioned, I feel fast. I feel strong. I feel like I accomplished something. And…it is usually time for lunch!
Today’s session was 6×800 meters. There were some tough moments, but I gutted it out and made it through. And I feel good. And I’m enjoying my lunch. And tomorrow is a rest day!
Do you run intervals? How do you keep from giving up when your mind tells you to stop?