Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Competitive Instinct

I have dug into my training this past week and am already feeling stronger. So far I have committed to running 4 days a week, with no particular mileage goals - I figure that once I get back in a regular rhythm I can ramp up my distance and intensity.

Last night I went out on one of my favorite routes -- around Herr's Island, it was a pleasant enough evening if a little hot. I started out feeling great but faded quickly once I got to the trail and it turned into a benchmarking run. Half way through I was calculating how long it would take me to get back to relax and shower and get on with my even.

I much prefer runs where I can phase out, fade into my surrounds, and let my mind wander. Yet I do not always have control over how I'm feeling, as with everything in life sometimes you just have to hunker down and do what you have to do. Towards the end of the run, when the heat and effort had turned my face an interesting shade of purple and my energy was seriously flagging, I caught site of another runner, dressed in all in white. He was running at a faster pace, so I decided that I would 'chase' him and kept him in my sights. I never did catch up to him, but the thrill of the chase kept me engaged enough to complete my run. Reminding me that sometimes the competitive drive can help you win the mental war despite who is faster in the end.

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