Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Do you 'Push The Limit'?

I want to ask a question...

Do you "push the limit?"

How many times have you recognized a pace 
(in running, cycling, swimming, lifting, or anything athletic
that you honestly believe you can hold over the distance you're planning on going 
and consciously pushed beyond it? 

With my taper in full swing (yay!!), my training is now a bit more dictated by what I feel like doing.  By doing so, I'm hoping that I'll be even MORE mentally ready to let excitement play a part on race day.  Today, while I had planned on an OWS, it was raining and I opted for a brick.  I did an easier 14 miles on the trainer and then headed out for a run.

As I walked out the door, I had no plan for how far I wanted to go (going completely on the fly).  I jogged to the end of the driveway and thought I'd go the 5 mile route at race pace (7:30s).  As I stepped up to the road, I decided that I'd prefer to do three miles, but if I did I had to push the limit.  And by "push the limit," I meant that I wanted to be tired by the turn around and absolutely gassed by the finish. 

I agreed and set off on my 2.94 mile out and back route.  Thankfully the trainer ride had me loose and I set off on what felt like a well pushed initial pace.  About half a mile in, I started feeling the damage setting in.  A couple times before the turn around I had a feeling of "I think I could hold this pace" and I immediately sped up.  On race day, I'm going to feel much more fatigue and the desire to stop and rest is going to be incredibly tempting.  With luck, the pace I need to hold will feel holdable on that day, but towards the end it very well may not.  So today, I pushed it.

My best short distance pace is my 5-Miler at 6:06/mile.  I hit today's around at 6:02 pace.  Normally I average a 10-30 second drop on the return trip because it's net downhill, but even pushing myself with every last ounce of will I had, I was only able to match it; a perfect 8:52 out and 8:52 back. 

I won't lie - it hurt.  It was only 2.94 miles and my body wanted to stop multiple times.  But it feels AMAZING to have completed it.  Now if only I can hold onto that mentality and pull out a sub-5 Rev Half in two weeks.


1.  Do you push the pace or distance past the 'limit'?
What makes you do so?, or why do you hold back?

2. How did your early week training kick off?
Slow going, out-of-nowhere awesome, or "eh, it's ok"?

Swim fast.  Bike smart.  Run hard. 


Sarah said...

I wanted to push myself on my tempo this morning, but I just fizzed out and struggled the whole run. By the time I finished I was just happy I got 6 miles in and didn't walk.

Suz and Allan said...

I probably don't push the pace nearly as much as I should but I have lots of speed work planned for this summer.