"And you can never break my stride / You'll never slow the momentum / at any moment I'm about to blow / You'll never take my pride"
Speed work in the heat today. 1 mile warmup and cooldown and 4 reps of three-quarter miles. My Garmin has a feature that allows you to set up a workout for yourself, so I had set up the four reps along with a minute rest in between. What I found out, though, was that there was no way to see what I was splitting for each one. (I think, in the future, I'll have to use the "advanced workout" feature.) The first and second three-quarters felt ok, but the third and fourth were just exhausting. I was hot and running the same stretch of trail over and over again, passing walkers that were mostly bemused at the sweaty running huffing and puffing continuously by. When I got home, however, I found that I had actually split negative for each one.
That made me feel good, especially since my strategy for each rep was to stay loose and relaxed. My coach has always told me that the more relaxed I am during a sprint - the more I let my legs do the work - the faster I can actually go. This time was no different. I was hot and uncomfortable and tired from work. But the last two reps I just let myself go, got out of the analysis aspect of running, and just focused on getting it done. The last part of a race - the part where you're dying and hate everything around you - is actually the part where you need to be the most mentally tough. If you think it's going to hurt, it will. If you think you can't run faster, you won't. Let the pain come and let the legs go.
The quote at the top is from "No Love," one of the tracks off of Eminem's new album, "Recovery." If this album doesn't win a Grammy or, better yet, several, my faith will be completely lost. It is amazing. I first started listening to Em when I was in middle school and have followed him ever since, so this is a really personal and raw account of an artist that I feel I've "known" pretty well (as well as a listener can ever really "know" an artist). Even for those who aren't fans or aren't familiar with Eminem, you will still get into it - I hope.