You ran a half mary in challenging conditions. You can feel gunk in your joints and muscles. For that next run, you think you'll take it a little easy. Break back in slowly. Avoid injury. Recover.
It's the first day of your next 15 week marathon training and the schedule calls for a speed work out of eight 400m repeats. Not a lot of distance but it is eight repeats.
Do you start slowly and work to improve? Do you expect to get top performance through every rep or might you think you'll fade as you tire slightly?
It is 50F and windy. You think you maybe should have worn gloves. That wind is wet and cold. It's 6 a.m., two weeks away from the darkest day of the year. The tail wind is nice but the head wind on the track is like 200 meters of prickly cobwebs.
I took off on the first 400 meters and noted the time to be respectable. I expected my times would get better for another 3-4 reps and then float back up to or over the first rep.
As predicted, the next three laps were slightly better. The next two were as good as the second. I found I was channelling my two secret running heroes, Dianna and jeff, on my seventh lap. I was telling myself to keep pushing. I though to go seven laps fast was a good thing. Surprisingly the 7th was faster than the previous six.
That left me with just 400 meters to go. Could I make it count? Could I do even better? I resolved that nothing ventured results in nothing gained; and speed is what I want to gain. I had no more laps to run after number 8. What reason could there be to leave anything on the track?
Lap 8 was the fastest of them all. It was an all-time PR for me. 1:39.99. In fact all eight of them beat my previous top three 400 meter times.
1.39.99 I have been soaring all day. How sweet it is.