Getting Faster On My Short Sessions Whilst Finally Breaking The Mental Barrier Of The Sub 9 Minute Mile.
I didn’t mention this on the Brighton Half report, but I was disappointed with the time. Yes, I got a PB and yes, I was happy with it at the time, but still I felt as if I let myself down a little.
But I had a point to prove on my run today.
Today’s run started ordinarily at 5:30am. The cat next door was out to great me as usual and I had no reason to expect the run would be any different than usual.
I ran the first 5 miles at roughly 9:55 min/mile pace and then thought forward to Liverpool next month.
I felt scared that I’d run out of steam in Liverpool like I did in Brighton.
Whatever happens, the last thing I want is the last 3 miles to hurt like Brighton or Liverpool last year.
I want to easily beat my best time and the only way to do that is to increase my pace.
Next time in Liverpool I don’t want to look like this at the end.
At mile 6 I decided to up my speed and use the fartlek approach of running in bursts between street light to combat the foreboding I was feeling about the future.
Towards the end of the split I was running a 9:10 min/mile and with just under 100 metres of the mile left I decided to go all out for a sub 9 minute mile for only the 2nd time this year.
I ran a 8:49.
My usual mental reflex on running a fast lap (by my standards) is to say ‘Man you’re going too fast, you’re not gonna have enough to get home! Slow down!’
Then I thought ‘fuck that sunshine!’.
I got home with nothing left in the tank after Brighton. I didn’t die then. It hurt, but I got through it.
Besides I didn’t hurt after the 8:49 mile. I felt great.
So I stopped over thinking everything. I stopped checking my watch and focused on running for the sake of it.
For once I felt as if my own future was in my hands.
On the next mile I ran an 8:08.
I’ve never ran 2 sub 9 minutes in a row as a runner. I thought that I’d have to stop after the 8:08 mile.
Then I went on and recorded a 8:32 in the next mile.
A mere half an hour ago I just didn’t believe that I could run sub 9s without experiencing pain.
Now I’d ran 3 of them in consecutive miles and I didn’t feel that bad.
The only thought in my mind was “Why the fuck didn’t I try to run like this before?”
The answer to that is that I’ve stayed in my comfort zone too long to try to avoid the pain. I don’t want running to be painful. I don’t want to give running up. Part of me still thinks that I’m just one bad run away from packing the sport in and returning to the 280lb days of having piss that stinks of Sugar Puffs.
It doesn’t have to be that way though.
Today proved that I’ve no reason to fear running sub 9 minute miles. My body is capable of it, it’s just my mindset that’s holding me back.
Limited by my mind and not my body.
It just goes to show you that we’re not limited by our bodies as much as we our by our minds. If we believe we’re terrible at running then the likelihood is that we’ll create a self fulfilling prophecy for ourselves and never get better.
I might never be a good runner in my life, but today at least proved that I can go faster.
I’ve finally broken down the feared 9 minute mile and I know that I can run a mile in that area in my next run and not suffer fatigue problems at the end of the race.
It feels like a real breakthrough. I’m glad I didn’t give up.
If you’re currently having trouble breaking a 6, 8, 10, 12 or 15 minute mile with your running, never understimate what one run could do for your confidence.