Tuesday at the Track & It’s All Mental

I spent yesterday morning at my happy place – the track! My workout called for 5x 1 mile with a 400m jog in between each. Mile repeats have always been one of favorite workouts but man this workout was tough!! Luckily the local running club was out there doing a workout and having a bunch of other people around really helped push me through all 5 repeats. 5:41, 5:38, 5:39, 5:39, 5:34.
photo 3 (32)I got my warm-up and cool-down in on the trails right near the track at it was absolutely glorious. I love how shady the trails here are – so much different than in Cali!photo 1 (35)When I got home from my workout I made Amanda’s Eggy Banafied Oats for breakfast. I have been wanting to try this recipe forever and I’m kicking myself for not trying it sooner. It was easy to make, so so tasty, and kept me full and satisfied all morning! I topped mine with chocolate PB2, raspberries, banana, cinnamon and honey. This is for sure going to be a part of my regular breakfast rotation from now on! photo 3 (34)—————————————————————————–

It has been almost a month since I started working with my coach and in the past few weeks I have done some of the hardest workouts I have done since college. 400m repeats, 800m repeats, faster tempo runs than I’ve been doing, long runs with a pretty quick pace, and today’s mile repeats. Yes, they have been hard physically but I’ve been surprised with how well my body has handled them after two years off for that kind of work. What I have noticed is that while my muscles are strong and getting stronger – my mind during these hard efforts is still pretty weak.

I can’t tell you how many times yesterday I thought about stopping the workout early – these moments were usually during the second half of a mile repeat and I was hurting and tired. But I got myself through all 5 by telling myself to “just do one more”. When I finally crossed the finish line after mile #5 I laid down on the track to catch my breath for a second and while I was laying there I couldn’t help but wonder why I had wanted to stop early.

I ran every mile at (or under) the pace my coach wanted, and the jogging rest was just what I needed before starting the next interval – so why WHY did my brain think that I needed to stop?? Then it hit me – In college I had gotten to a place where I was comfortable being uncomfortable in my workouts and races. And after I graduated my training got significantly easier (even though I was running more miles a lot of these miles were much easier) and I settled into a place of comfort! This comfort/discomfort is all mental – my brain needs to relearn what it’s like to train and race in that place of discomfort. I am so excited to be working with a coach that is giving me these workouts that will make me really uncomfortable during training and will give me the opportunity to practice for what I’ll be feeling on race day. That is how I will get faster and I am so excited about it!

My coach and I were texting about my workout later in the day and I LOVED this one thing he said…

photoI am looking forward to working on my mental callousing this summer because if I’m going to run that sub-3 at Chicago my brain is going to have to be just as strong as my body!

Tell me about your run today! Was it on the road, trails or a track??

How do you get comfortable being uncomfortable?

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26 thoughts on “Tuesday at the Track & It’s All Mental

  1. I’m so glad you’re having such a great experience with your coach! I can’t wait to see what big things you pull out this fall 🙂 I have had a similar problem ever since starting back again after my injuries. Somehow, I used to be able to push so much harder and race at an all out effort but something about how I’m training now isn’t working and I’m stagnating and not able to push through. I really need to convince my mind that I’m allowed to feel extremely uncomfortable and that I just need to trust my fitness but I need a lot of work there, I think I distrust my ability to handle it after a few injuries kept me out for such a long time.

  2. Ohhh my gosh. You are seriously amazing. Look at those mile times!! I hate doing hard workouts.. I like running for pleasure, not really for speed! I don’t like being uncomfortable! But if I want to get faster I know I will have to do more speed!

  3. Sounds like a tough workout- great job pushing through! You are going to be even faster from all these tough workouts, and mentally stronger, too! Today was a cross-training day for me so no running. I wish I had some nearby trails, those views look so pretty!

  4. Mile repeats – whoa! Looks like an awesome workout! I have been hurting on my tempos lately…I’ve got one coming up in a moment via my run-commute home. My mantra has definitely been “get comfortable with being uncomfortable” (and also – “You probably won’t die”).

  5. I love this! It’s really inspiring and I am excited to get into training and into some speed work. I had a nice run on some trails in Italy today!

  6. Hi Laura, I’m one of the locals at the track on Tuesdays. Have to say it is so fun to watch you zip around the track! Very inspiring. Love your coach’s quote. Awesome workout and great job today at Timlin!

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