Thursday, February 01, 2007


I think I have to stop watching the weather reports. The local weather people keep freaking me out with their “Operation: Winter” graphics and talk of a cold snap. To listen to them you’d think zero degrees was the coming of the next ice age. I nearly talked myself out of running this morning because of it. Luckily I was wide awake at 4:45, so I got up and went for a 10-mile run – despite the weather.

I was going to post this yesterday, but I thought answering Mike’s question was a little more exciting. About once a year I get a wild hair…and focus on the mental aspect of the sport. I usually grab a book on the topic off the shelf and dust it off. One of the books has an exercise where you answer a list of questions after each race. I’ve done it in the past and find it beneficial, especially the parts on what did you do well/poorly. So, since I raced last weekend, I thought I’d answer the questions here.

Name of race: Winter Carnival

Date and Time: 1/27/07, 9 AM

Location: St. Paul, Sheppard Road out-and-back

Distance: Half marathon

Competition: Road Race

Weeks (months) since last race: 3+ months

Weather and course conditions: 15 degrees, Mod NW wind, toughest from 5.5 - 6.5

Goals: Time - 1:24 + or - 1 minute. Non-time - Run smart. Don't give up at the end of the race.

Race strategy and possible mishaps and contingencies: Run smart/controlled first half, then pick it up.

Mental preparation strategy: Relaxation, visualized race.

Duration of warm-up and cool-down: 2M w/up and 0M c/d.

Arousal level (1 low, 10 high) on the starting line: 4

Finish time: 1:24:06. Overall pace: 6:25.

Place: 19th out of 1311 overall (1.4%), 19th out of 788 men (2.4%), and 9th out of 233 in 30-39 age group (3.9%).

Splits: 42:25/41:41. 6:20 first mile and 1:04:00 thru 10M.

Things I did well in the race:
Didn't let the weather or the "false start" psych me out.
Great pacing early on (6:20 at the mile). Felt controlled.
Didn't worry about splits, just ran.
Hooked up with Melissa and another guy by mile 2 or 3 and worked together until mile 10.
Ran my own pace up the hills at miles 5 and 10. Didn't worry about the gap that formed – just regrouped on downhill.
Didn't let the first half split of 42:25 bother me. I was confident I could run negative splits.
Passed 8-10 runners during the 2nd half, including 4 in the last mile or so. No one passed me.
"Normally" I'd have been content to finish where I was at, but I kept pushing and passed 4 people at the end.

Things I need to work on:
Found it hard to get a good draft when heading into the wind.
A few negatives thoughts creep in towards the end.
Need to add some affirmations.

Performance rating (1-10). How close did I come to what I was capable of running that day? 8-9
Mentally playback the best parts of the race. Check here___X___

Other comments about the race: 39 seconds faster than last year on less mileage, but more tempos. Dressed just right; long sleeve shirt, arm warmers, fleece vest, thin pants, hat, gloves and mitts. I also usually list times of key competitors and people I know in this space.

Quote of the day;

“Goal setting is not a mind game. It is a process of developing the internal willpower to accomplish what you have set out to do.” – Joan Benoit Samuelson

1 comment:

Bart said...

You were "39 seconds faster than last year on less mileage, but more tempos." How do you interpret this? Do you feel you're in better shape this year and ready for a great racing season, or do you feel the tempo runs have you closer to your peak earlier in the season?