Maybe it is just the running community I am used to, but I think most runners designate Tuesdays as speed workout days. I looked it up online and found over 6,500 results for all three words “Tuesday speed workouts”. It has been ingrained in me for thirteen years now, so this morning I ran my speed workout on the treadmill at my gym. I am really enjoying working with my trainer. She sets up the workouts and I run them, one less thing I have to think about. She also really knows her stuff and I am seeing an improvement in my pace. This morning a did declining intervals from a mile down to 200 meters. The mile and 1,200 meters were just once then two sets of 800, 600, 400, and 200. I looked up my time compared to previous workouts and I am going a bit faster and if the same pace, my heart rate is lower. Which tells me I could run faster. Again, time to dig down and believe I am able to go up a notch. All it takes is to push the speed arrow on the machine up a notch. A notch is much bigger in my mind than on a treadmill.
The rest of the day was uneventful – a welcomed break. My legs felt the speed workout this morning and I was walking at times as if I just stepped off of a horse. To my legs’ pleasant surprise, the gym was closed this afternoon due to a power outage (again…) so I had to skip my weight workout. As I told my training partner, “we won’t get fat from missing one weight workout… it’s not like it is an aerobic workout.” Ah, the typical thoughts of women.
This morning was an encouraging workout for me. Like in my swimming, I am seeing an improvement in my pace. What really boosted my confidence was the email I got from my trainer after I sent her my results. The first two sentences read: “Excellent! Your numbers look good!” It is somewhat difficult to put into words how motivating it is to have someone recognize and cheer me on with what are small improvements, but improvements none the less. The time it took me to run my 1,200 meters was about 50 seconds slower than what she is able to run a mile in – at the end of a 10 mile race. Her sincere reaction is incredibly meaningful to me knowing we run such different paces. A reminder that my biggest competition is myself. Someone will always be faster and even slower. They are running their own race too. Yes, it is great to be first to cross the finish line. But that does not define a person’s greatness. Overcoming our own hurdles, barriers, walls – what ever holds us back in life and in athletics – is the root of greatness. And that starts with the seed in the mind.