This week saw me back in Spartanburg running over familiar roads. It was hot and humid and sweaty. Also, I started out *really* sore from last weekend’s trail racing extravaganza. My hips, my core, my shoulders, my ankles… pretty much everything hurt everywhere possible. But in a good way. The soreness that comes from hard work and accomplishment. I can deal with that kind.
This week, I listened to Matt Fitzgerald’s How Bad Do You Want It. I’m not usually one for non-fiction, and I’m especially not one for psychology or self-help, but I really liked this one. In fact, I liked it enough to listen to it twice. It talked a lot about mental toughness and the various different strategies an athlete might pursue to strengthen their mental fitness. It did this with anecdotes about various different endurance athletes, some of whom I knew about (Greg Le Monde and Steve Prefontaine) but most of whom I had never heard of. I learned several useful things and will take much away from the book, such as “The scientific term for choking, is “choking.” Kidding–I love that line, but more seriously, Fitzgerald uses the recurring metaphor of the fire walker to illustrate key ideas, and that’s something that resonates with me, not in the least because I’ve felt like I’m walking through fire all summer long. And then there’s that great song by the Doves.
Otherwise, this week was mostly a version of “chop wood; carry water.”
T: 8: First miles at MP, or I should say, first attempt at MP. My goal marathon pace is 8:23 per mile. I hit 8:18, 8:18, 8:06, 7:59. I don’t worry too much about the last one, but I need to get a better sense of where my happy pace is going to be. Even with my Garmin chirping at me, I struggled to find it, but I did succeed in pushing myself, but not too much.
Total miles (including decimals) 46.
The week to comes holds mile repeats and my first 15er of this segment. I’m a little apprehensive about this, but I have time to prepare myself mentally. Another nugget from HBDYWI: “If you know how long it’s going to hurt, you can ride it out.” Will bear that in mind.