Now that I fancy myself as some kind of runner, I’ve tried picturing myself running in the half marathon coming up next month (that should freak me out!). I’ve also tried to picture myself after the half, running a training run for my next race, whatever that might be. Unfortunately, I’ve had something of a mental buzz-kill lately. I’ve let things like minor injury, lack of enthusiasm, weather, and food stop me from running at my full potential.
The biggest killer of them all is my "accepted pace". I call it that because for as long as I remember, I’ve accepted it as my pace of choice, even though it’s pathetic. Long ago I started thinking that a ten minute mile pace was OK, and that everything else was the cherry on top. No small wonder why I think my first and last mile of the 10K were run too fast! That attitude, that the ten minute mile is OK, has damaged my running. I’m slowly getting to where ten minutes is slow, but I just slow myself down almost to meet that expectation I’ve set for myself.
Last night was a great example. Now, I’m nursing some sore chins and a sore foot, so that should be taken into consideration. However, I accepted tonight a 6.2 mile run at 1:01:08. Roughly, that’s barely faster than a ten minute split. Essentially, I shaved a mere 8.5 seconds off each minute. I’m never going to get faster if I think that this is acceptable. I am capable of more.
So I’m reducing my accepted split to 9:30. I’ll just keep training until that’s acceptable. That pace would give me roughly a 2:05 half marathon. Or, in other words, I would have run last night around 4 minutes faster. Still a tad slower than I want in the end, but a starting point. Now all I have to do is actually make it happen. We’ll see!