Winning is for Losers

Challenges, Running 3 Comments »

Although I’ve been running regularly for the best part of 16 months now, I hit a point this month where it was really hard to get motivated and go running. A couple of factors influenced this state of mind, including a lack of sleep that consequently left me feeling too tired to run first thing in the morning (my preferred time to run), but also perhaps because I increased my mileage by 36% between December 2007 (69.69 miles) and January 2008 (95.47 miles) in an attempt to win a Nike+ challenge. As experts will attest to, the 36% increase in miles is too much of an increase within one month. The strange thing however, is that it wasn’t physical fatigue I felt this month, but more psychological fatigue. Why do I suddenly not want to go running? Why does the mere thought of running not interest me at the moment? Questions such as these have been running through my head and keeping me lying in bed first thing in the morning instead of embracing the dawn sunrise and getting out there to run.

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The Whole is Greater than the Sum of the Parts

Nike+, Running Add a Comment »

I ran with Jeremy in the Bartlett Valentine 5k race yesterday and it was a great day for many reasons. In contrast to the deadly tornadoes we experienced earlier this week in Memphis, the weather was perfect - sunny and approximately 50˚F, very warm by Memphis’ standards for February. It was the first time I stood on the start line with a friend. Typically, I’ve always run by myself in the handful of 5k races I’ve previously participated in, but spending the morning with Jeremy prior to the race really helped settle nerves and put me in a positive frame of mind.

I won this race in my age category (Male 30-34) this time last year with a time of 23′30″, so I felt a little pressure to match my performance this year. I felt prepared, endurance-wise, because I had been concentrating almost exclusively on long distance running recently, but, that extra, slower mileage was at the sacrifice of my speed work. So if I had any negative thoughts or doubts in my mind going into this race, it was in relation to how well I could incorporate sprinting into my race tactics despite not training for it.

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