Posts Tagged ‘confidence’


Posted: March 16, 2015 in Sub-17
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Had a lot of confidence going into Saturday morning, to be honest. Lately during runs, I have been telling myself to focus on any run (easy, long, speedwork) by thinking about it 200m at a time. So, on Friday night before the run, I went over my splits mentally. What would it take to run a 17:30? Every 200m…

42, 42, 42, 42, 42…

And what would that look like on the watch?

40+2 (42) + 40+2 (1:24) + 40+2 (2:06)….

I knew I had done some faster stuff in training, so 42 sec/200m wouldn’t be hard to achieve initially during the race. Plus, I’d have the advantage of wearing spikes on the track. I never train in anything other than regular…”trainers” (heavier shoes). Just get some rest Friday and be ready to go on Saturday morning at 8:30.

Drove to the track to register for the race about an hour early and snapped the photo above. Not a mystic but, some days just feel better than others. Registered and walked away from the track to get my gear together for the warmup and race. Confidence still high at this point.

See a young man (The KID) warming up for the race soon after. He had the build. Taller, skinner, effortless motion…even while warming up in pants. To top it off, kid’s got a shirt on that says, “—- — University” on it. OK… running for second place now. Back in high school, during the time where my PR was set, such a specter was cause for alarm. Seeing a kid like that meant I wasn’t going to win the race. But I’m a little older now. Hair’s falling out in the front. About 5 pounds heavier. Not all of it muscle. My race is to beat the younger man in me. And this kid is going to help.

Skip forward. Step up to the starting line, but the starter gives us a lesson on running before it begins. Something to the effect of “the best runners always know where they are at all times.” Another shot of confidence. I had the track and the watch and my splits in my head. Ready for this.

Gun goes off. It feels as easy as I had hoped through the first 20 steps or so. Kid and I bolt to the front. Through 200m in 35 and 37, respectively. “Hey, Rich. Maybe we can take this kid?” Nope. 42. Do what we planned to do. Quick, decisive answer within. Grown (read, boring) man’s talking now. Backed down the intensity the entire first mile to get back on my splits. Kid (not me) takes off. He’s a quarter lap ahead in no time. Meanwhile, I cruise through the first mile in 5:36. Right on time. Race is going to be a breeze. Of course, it couldn’t be that easy. Sure enough, somewhere around lap 7 or 8, it begins to feel different. Just pushing off the calves isn’t taking me as far as before. I gotta put in work. Striding a little more and the cadence is falling. Hips and arms are called into action. Taking deep breaths now. Thanks team. 42. 42. 42. 42. Through 2 miles in 11:12. Good. Last mile is going to be tough though.

Going into the 3rd mile, and I’m starting to do too much math in my head. As if I could PR through visualization and arithmetic at this point.

43. 44.

There’s your math, son. You have 4 laps to go and you’re 3 seconds behind. Good luck.

42. 42.

Striding out and breathing hard at this point. Man, I’m not gonna make it. Breathing. Breathing. “I sure am loud…That’s not me….The KID!” He’s lapped me. And looking good doing it. Here’s my chance. Stay with him. I stride out. Backkick is on full. With him for 4 steps. And he’s gone again.

Bell rings. He’s on his last lap. It’s a Saturday jog for him. Not a sign of panic. Man, I wanna be like him. Take a peak at my watch and lookie here…back on pace now. Kid must have pulled me through a 41 and 40. Go, KID! 800m away from a PR. Now this is something I have felt in practice. During repeat 1600m workouts. During repeat 800m workouts. Training specificity is so important. I’m not losing a PR in the final 800m of a race. I don’t close on the kid at this point, but he doesn’t pull away either. He’s still 100m ahead as he finishes. He’s done, but I have a lap to go. Let’s do it! I give it all I have. Remembered that 16:48 at the 3-mile (4800m) mark means 17:30 (5000m). I’m there in 16:44. 200m to go, and I’ve got this. But by how much….




5K Personal Best (17:34)

October 28, 2000 – March 14, 2015







Quick one, this time.

A little late on last week’s post…my fault.

Little early with this week’s post … not necessarily my fault.

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Apparently, it’s about to go down.


Good news first

Having a blast running. I mean, not just getting fitter and stronger, but really enjoying it. To the point where I can’t get wait to get outside everyday. Two-a-days no problem. I say this to say, when you find something you like, you gotta stick with it. Because passion’s hard to come across. At least for me. Not gonna preach more than that.


Waiting game

Two hurricanes (Iselle and Julio) are moving west towards the islands. Hoping that nothing comes of it. No one needs that kind of drama. At minimum we should get a lot of wind and rain. That said, best to prepare, right? Flashlights. Water. Food. First Aid. Check….No running. Check-minus. I see a lot of fitness memes out there lately about squats (“He squats”, “She squats”). About to become my go-to exercise.


Still Positive

Tough to plan the rest of the summer going forward, but I feel confident that I’m in sub-20 5K shape. Confidence and speed comes with the speedwork sessions during the week. Going to get inside today and wait these out.


Tracking Goals:

I’d be happy in August if the following occurred:

  1. Hit 48 miles in a week in late July-August. [This would have been the 48-mile week. Not going to happen. Oh well.].
  2. Avoid injury, particularly of the foot and knee variety. [Biggest success of the season, so far. Lots of runs, little pain.]
  3. Drop weight. [Down a couple pounds from the beginning of the season. Not bad. Will probably be down a bit over the weekend.]
  4. Increase pace on easy runs, gradually. [Good success here as well. Put in 3 miles at about 6:30 pace on Wednesday afternoon ]
  5. Run increasingly faster in three 5K races. [One race. Next Saturday. Maybe.]


Workout: Warm [1.25 mi.], 6×800 @ 2:41 w/ 400 jog, Cool [1.25 mi.], Drills  Weather: 52 degrees, sunny.

Recap: Hoorah.

No drama necessary. I asked for better weather, and I got it. 50 degrees. Sunshine. Showtime.

After Tuesday’s successful tempo run, I decided to try running the speedwork in the regular training shoes as well. I haven’t completed a full speedwork session in three weeks (Sept. 24), but I wanted to have some success today. Made sure to get the 16 oz. of water in before heading out the door.

Started right into the first 800m repetition after the 1.25-mile warmup. No drinks. No waiting around. The benefits of running tall this week were apparent immediately. My posture was better, calves were engaged, and stride turnover had improved. Didn’t have to stride out (long) like I’d be doing in the past. Didn’t even focus on the usual back swing. For the first time in this training schedule, I felt like maybe this pace is something I could eventually hold onto for a full 5K. The first three 800m repetitions were medium-hard, about a 6.5 out of 10 on the pain scale. Figured that I was a couple seconds behind pace and needed to pick it up to average the planned 2:41 for the workout.

Knew after the fourth repetition that I’d be able to finish. The only question was how tough was it going to be. For the fifth 800m,  held form and kept the posture upright – hoping to preserve my legs for the last rep. Finally, abandoned all form and just used my stride on the 6th rep – never really checking the watch for pace.

Rep 1:  2:42

Rep 2:  2:42

Rep 3:  2:41

Rep 4:  2:39

Rep 5:  2:38

Rep 6:  2:36

Averaged 2:40 for the entire workout, which is a personal best for 6x800m! In the heavy training shoes at that! Huge confidence builder. Should be on schedule towards running that 17:24 5K in December. My previous best workout was over two years ago, completing a 5x800m averaging 2:41 with racing flats on. Three weeks later, I finished a 5K in 17:44.

Speaking of personal bests there’s still that weekly mileage thing going. With the 9-miler yesterday and the today’s run that brings me to 32 on the week. Looks like the weather will cooperate.

22 to go.

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Workout: Warm [1.5 miles], 4×800 @ 2:47 w/ 400 jog, Cool [0.25 miles], Drills  Weather: 91 degrees, dark.

Recap: Yeah!

Good stuff out there. Mom came to the track with me again and walked. Also saw some sprinters on the track last night. They were faster, but I ran longer. Mutual respect there. It’s a little easier to try harder with people watching. Like a showcase or something.

Aimed for 4×800 @ 2:44 per 800 instead of the planned 2:47. Forgot to check my workout. Blasted through the first 800 in 2:41, and then settled down to 2:46 on the second one. Coming down the stretch of that rep, I wanted to quit. I was tired. It was hot. Mom made chili at home, and I wanted to get to it. After walking for a couple of seconds, I felt like I could get 1 more rep in. My motivator was (1) not failing again at a workout and (2) being willing to treat workouts like a race. In the past, I think I’ve held a little back (at least recently) because I felt that workouts weren’t supposed to be too hard – or too much like a race. Now, since I have days that are designed to be easy recovery days, I felt like I could go ahead and blast away. No reason that should make sense.

So…starting the third rep, I focused on staying on pace for the first 200 meters (40-42 seconds) and then hopefully maintaining form. I got out to the right start in 40 seconds, but I was too afraid to check the clock afterwards. I just didn’t want to see myself falling behind. I was very disappointed to finish in 2:51 – well behind the 2:44 I was shooting for. After walking for about 50 meters, once again, I felt like I could continue on. This time I was a little bit mad (at myself). For the fourth and final rep, I wanted to make sure that I averaged 2:44 for the entire workout. Some quick mental math revealed that I needed a 2:37 for the last 800. To make the math simple, that meant 39 seconds per 200. This time…look at the watch every 200 meters. No chickening out. One last 800…broken down in 4 segments. “Big Legs”… big strong swings of the legs…don’t tighten up…get a good back-kick going.

The start was perfect, big legs (I could see my shadow under the stadium lights) and crossed the first 200 in 39 seconds. To start another 200, it was important to start over again…mentally. Re-establish the intensity. Just like at the beginning. Pushing hard, I came across at 400 meters in 1:19 – one second behind pace. OK. Change in plans. Keep up the big legs here for 100 meters, and then run for your life with 300 meters to go. This is a race now. Don’t lose. It wasn’t pretty. Form breaks down. Passed Mom at 300 meters to go. Don’t want her to freak out seeing me struggle like this…but hell, I want to have a good workout this time. Head’s bobbing from side to side and the torso is turning. I remember making fun of kids in high school who ran like this. But the stride is still on. Turn and head for home.


Not bad buddy. Should be able to round that down to 2:44 average overall! Hell of an effort, Rich.

(And then I came home and realized that I only needed at 2:47 for the whole workout. 2:44 is for next week! And 2:39 is what I want to average for this workout in December).

Heck of a confidence booster. The speed is there for this plan. Now to build the endurance base. My goal is to be able to run a 5K in December at the 2:47 per 800 meter pace (roughly 5:34 mile pace). To do so, I need to be able to complete 6×800 @ 2:39 in late November. Off to a good start!


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Workout: 3×800 @ 2:50 pace w/ 400 jog. Weather: 77 degrees, sunny.

Recap: Texas! Moved back home yesterday. I miss it. Here’s a shot of the track where I do my speedwork. It’s changed a bit since I was last here. Used to have black surfacing and was poorly kept. They’ve re-done it. And it’s very nice.


I don’t miss the heat and humidity though. Sheesh. Broke out the track spikes for the first time in forever, and it turned out to be a great workout. Averaged 2:46 for the workout. Felt great. Left foot is still sore a little bit, but I’m going to try the time trial again on Saturday anyhow. I’ll just do it on the track…in spikes…early in the morning. Really excited about the progress from running every other day instead of every day. I’ll open up the Fall doing this as well.

Have a great day and thanks for reading!

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Workout: 2.02 miles @ 5:50 pace. Weather: 64 degrees, fog.

Recap: Confidence builder. Slowly coming back. This morning didn’t feel all that bad. Probably could have pushed it to 2.5 miles, but it’s not a race. At least not yet. Took some protein before bed last night and again after the workout today. Using the stick-roller on my quad and working the sore sports. Happy with today’s run, but I thought it was fool’s gold for a second. Only 64 degrees outside. Of course, I would run better when it got cooler. But it was also 94% humidity. Had to work pretty hard out there…to breath. Expecting good things tomorrow.

Have a great day and thanks for reading!

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Workout: 3 miles @ 6:10 pace; core work. Weather: 59 degrees, sunny.

Recap: I felt a lot better about that run before I saw that it was 59 degrees outside. I could have sworn that it was warmer. Maybe I thought it was warm because the sun was out for once. In any case, I felt like I had a lot left in the tank at the end of that one. The first 1/2 mile wasn’t so fast, but it was on from then. Really got good support from my upper body today. Nice arm swings. A full five pounds heavier today than two days ago. What a difference. Morning HR is up. Not sure what to make of that at this point. Workout HR is up as well.

When I run now, I picture having a power meter (like in the fighting video games) above my head. And I visualize that power meter (bar) declining over the course of the run. Today it didn’t run out. I’d like to have that success on a 70-degree day though. Great core work session as well. Got through it in record time. Next week’s time trial is starting to look possible.

The theme for me today is to stay in the moment. Last night, I made a list of all the things I wanted to accomplish in well…life. And it was a little depressing. Because I simply don’t have time or energy or the competence for list I made. “It’s too much” was the first thought that came to mind. I’m going to stay in the immediate today. Looking no more than 10 minutes ahead at a time. I would like to think that I could be happier and at the end of the day get more done.

Have a great day and thanks for reading!

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