Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mental Toughness

Today was an interesting workout.  There were six people I knew who showed up at Dunbar at some point in time this morning.  I mostly ran with one person, but we had at least one other join us on multiple intervals.

The workout was 400M, 800M, 1200M, 1600M, 1200M, 800M, and 400M.  This is a very familiar ladder.  I have done it a bunch of times.  And if I had a bit more leeway, I would have loved to run a second 1600M at the top, although perhaps not on a morning as sticky (with humidity) as today was.

What is interesting is that the goal pace was 6:05.  First quarter we did in 91 seconds.  Right on.  The 800 we did in about 3:02.  Right on.  The 1200 on the way up we did in 4:27.  Getting a bit fast.  The 1600 we did in about 6:03.  Could not ask for much better than that.  And that was with a fast quarter followed by a slower quarter followed by two at just about 90 seconds each.  Nothing better.

Then I forgot to reset my watch.  So, when I looked at my next split I lost my concentration.  And my legs (still a tiny bit tight from Sunday's 18 miles) didn't feel like they had much left to give.  So I ran a 4:56.  Horrid compared wo goal time!

However, as my friend pointed out neither one of us did that 1200M on the way down the ladder well and we came back to run 2:57 and 83 seconds--both faster than on the way up.  So, we obviously had some reserve to give.  My high school outdoor track and cross country coach would undoubtedly have told me I had something left to give or that I left something on the track for the 1200 on the way down.

What was interesting was that we traded leads throughout the other intervals.  But on that 1200, my friend pulled ahead, opened up a lead, and, as he put it, probably served neither of us well.

But this is a common thing for me.  Somewhere a little over half-way through but before I can see the "finish line" (although some might not consider 3/4 mile to go anywhere near the finish line), I just have a mental break.

What life lessons does this give?  I have been trying to think of whether there are other things that I let lag once I get nearly done but then put in a lot of effort to complete at the end.  It actually sounds like a lot of life projects.  Problem with life projects when you do that is that the quality can suffer too.  

Certainly something to think about as I move forward in my management career.  I don't want any projects I manage to end up like this.

Perhaps if I can find a way to get past this in my running, I will figure out how to avoid it in management.  Or perhaps even vice versa.

I love how management and running match up. 

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