Being that I'm a hot shot runner, I always like to do better than I set out to do ahead of time. My goal was to run a mile at a 8:00 pace. I figured that I can beat that... I'm such an idiot.
Why can't I just do the 8:00 mile and be happy with it? Or at least plan to beat 8:00? I'll tell you why... because if I pass the expectations, I feel better about myself... like I'm the best shit ever. If I just meet my expectation, I feel civilized, accomplished but mediocre (weird but true). And if I do not meet my expectation, I'm a stupid idiot loser that should just quit whatever it is I failed at and move into a VAN, DOWN BY THE RIVER! That's a fack, Jack!
Well... I made it to the track last night. It was a really good time to run. I went to the high school track near my apartment because it feels better on my knees, which have been kind of messed up since I was a young lad. It was dark, cool, and quiet; and not a lot of people were around. Claire came with me, unwillingly... Apparently, I was HER reliable running partner this time. We walked around a bit, stretched, and then got our groove on (that means we started to run).
TANGENT! Isn't it great to have music playing while running? It's like my own personal soundtrack. I put together a playlist of songs with great rhythm or that just motivate me, like Eye of the Tiger or that song from the Karate Kid soundtrack. Well, my playlist yesterday was great... warmed up to "Ave Maria" (beautiful, soothing, relaxing... helps get my deep breathing on); then listened to "Fire Starter" by Prodigy (audio cocaine for me... probably why I started out so fast) when I started the mile; ended with "Dead Wrong" by Biggie feat. Eminem (gets my feet moving in sync with the rhythm... a good closer). Cooled down without music... chit-chatted with the woman.
Back to the actual run... I started off way too fast. My strides were short and quick. I looked like the child version of Forrest Gump (with the stiff leg braces) trying to run to the bathroom lickitty split because he was about to make poopies in his pants. Claire hung out with me for the first lap and then fell back because she didn't want to burn out. Smart choice on her part. I'm basically a machine... so, I kept the same pace. My stride was back to normal (slower but longer); and about half way through the second lap, I realized how out of breath I was getting. I slowed it down a bit for the rest of that lap. And then dropped back to a nice smooth steady stride for the rest of my mile (Thanks Biggie!)
My ipod touch has a stop watch on it. This is really convenient because I do not have a digital watch; and I want to track my progress. After each lap, I slap my arm and Boom - time recorded. Here are my results:
Lap 1 = 1:45.9
Lap 2 = 1:50.5
Lap 3 = 2:00.7
Lap 4 = 2:01.5
Total = 7:38.6 mile
While my times were very good and better than planned, I felt really sick during my cool down. I started coughing and was sure that I was going to throw up. I'm quite familiar with the feeling since I got sick after every race I had while running high school track. I wasn't much of a runner. I played soccer throughout high school, and did track just to stay in shape for that. Regardless, I always gave it my all (usually, leaving it all on the side of the track shortly after the race). This time, I refused to stop and gag. I kept deep breaths coming in and out while power walking like a mad man so my heart rate could balance out. The sick feeling dissipated, finally. I stretched, then headed home.
Moral of the story... There's no need to be a hero during a mile training session. Ego needs to calm down, or else Ed's going to destroy himself. Easy does it... As long as I stay on track (no pun intended), I will be able to naturally work my way up to a quicker pace. While this is a great lesson, I have what is called a "built-in forgetter". So, there is no doubt in my mind that I will overdo it again. However, maybe I can take it easy on my run tonight. We shall see.