"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”

- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lesson Learned Part 2

A great run this morning. The same 5 mile course as the one I struggled through Monday (run in reverse today), but a world of difference in how I felt and the pace I was able to maintain. I clocked in today at 40:28 (8:06/mile), nearly 4 full minutes faster than Monday, when I struggled just to finish. It was evident within the first half-mile that something was different today. There was no fatigue or soreness, and I could tell my pace in was much quicker. Even at the top of the extremely steep and somewhat long hill in the first mile I felt fine. I was in rhythm, my breathing was calm and my legs were already in their numb state. I wish I could find a better way to describe it than that, as numb isn't the word I'm looking for. Basically when I get into this type of rhythm I no longer feel anything, I just sort of go. So what changed from Monday to Wednesday?

1. Rest. I played basketball for an hour on Tuesday morning, but didn't do much of anything strenuous since Monday morning. I touched on this in my last post so I won't belabor the point, but a second day of rest after my long Saturday runs will be important, no matter how much I may be itching to test myself on a Monday.

2. Diet. Reflecting on my diet over the weekend, I realized I hadn't eaten any fresh fruit, hadn't been drinking as much water, ate no pasta either day and had my share of cupcakes and frosting leftover from a birthday party. Not a good combo obviously. Not the worst thing in the world to have a few sweets here and there, but in the absence of fruit, carbs and water, it probably just made things worse. On Monday afternoon my wife (bless her heart for putting up with all of this) brought me a pound of fresh strawberries. I cut them up, along with 6 bananas, and had lunch. It was awesome. I instantly felt better. I had the same thing for breakfast/lunch yesterday and then had a big plate of pasta and some homemade veggie soup for dinner. Another banana or two last night before bed an another this morning before running and I was ready to go.

3. New music. I'm not a huge music buff, so my library of songs is quite small and some wouldn't be very helpful to run to. As a result, my playlists on my Ipod Shuffle have become stale and old. While I am searching for some new tunes to run to, I went back to an old favorite this morning and loaded in the Rocky IV soundtrack. There was no snow, no shouting "Drago!" at the top of the hill and no Cold War being waged, but it seemed to do the trick. More than anything I think, it was just different. I'm thinking I'll hold Rocky in reserve for when I really need it, so it doesn't become stale also. I've started exploring something on the Itunes store called Podrunner, a free download of upbeat music that's based on how many steps you take per minute. I'd have to figure out what this number is for me before I download anything, but I'm willing to try it one of these days.

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