"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

Saturday, February 13, 2010

2/13 Saturday 7-miler

I had three goals for my run today:

1. Start slower
2. Run a faster 2nd half
3. Finish without being tired

That may seem like a waste of a run, but it's something I needed to do today. I've been pushing myself pretty hard the last few weeks and have gotten away with it on my Saturday runs because the distances haven't been too intimidating (6 miles or less to this point). I have no intention or fantasy of being able to run at that pace for 26 miles (plus .2), so I made it my goal today to slow down, find a nice, relaxed rhythm and stay there.

I ran a new route from my house today. An out and back, but out away from town on a county highway. I didn't know what to expect elevation-wise, but it ended up being a really good run. A couple of small to moderate hills in both direction made for some good variety and acres and acres of fields and orchards made for good scenery (external disassociation making a comeback? Perhaps.)

I ran out about 3.6 miles at an 8:12 pace, about 22-30 seconds slower than where I've been, but it was comfortable. I ate half a banana as I turned around and came back in at a 7:54 pace.

I was most pleased at meeting the third goal. As I crossed my finish line I took a quick inventory: Knees felt good, legs felt loose, shoulders were relaxed and breathing was at a normal pace. That tells me I left some miles out there today. Which is fine, I'll get them in the weeks to come. At this point I'm more than content to add miles slowly rather than risk injury by trying to impress the passing cars, my family/friends or the two dogs down the street.

Back at it on Monday. Looking forward to some sunshine next week.

Happy running.

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