This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Burn

While reading Born to Run, I related to the part where one of the ultra runners mentioned that "burn" feeling he received, in the pit of his he loved that feeling.

I understood 100% what he meant.

But not when I run.

I get this when I play wallyball.  Once I get it, I welcome it and feel that I'm in my game.  I love this feeling.  I live off this.

So, I wondered while reading this, why don't I feel the same "wonderment" when i get this feeling while running?

I ran track this past Thursday.  I haven't done any speed since I stopped running last December.  I typically like track: it's challenging and different.  However, my track workouts for the past year have been *extremely* hard.  And while I don't dislike them, I found them more and more intimidating.

I have outlined a program, based on my past plan, to ready myself for my first race of the year (a 5K).  So Thursday, I decided to do a few 400s, continuous, at alternating pace (fast, slow, fast, slow, etc.).

I had low expectations.  I figured I wouldn't make the 2:00 mn 400s, after being out of practice for so long. 

But once I started, that burn came into play.  It's a little different than the burn from wallyball, but not much. 

I decided not to shun this burn and welcome it like I do in wallyball.

I didn't feel like I did anything much different in my stride...I just didn't push the pain away. 

First lap: 1:58.

Really?  It didn't feel that bad!  Sure, I was breathing heavy at the end but I didn't pay much attention while I embraced the burn.

Second fast lap?  1:57.


Wow.  This was a pretty great track workout.  My slow 400s were slower than the goal pace but the key, for me, was just making the 'pain' comparable to the pain I gain in wallyball.

I love wallyball.  And while I play, I don't feel anything.  My attention is solely on that ball and winning that point.  When I am done, I then have the awareness about what I just did: panting, chest burn, maybe a pain or two somewhere else.  And then once the ball is in play, all is forgotten until the next break.

Why couldn't I do the same for my running?

We'll see.  It seemed to work for me on Thursday.  But that may be just a fluke.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, you can do it! Do you remember when I told you that I really started making progress on the track when I embraced the pain? When you start looking forward to the Chase Run, then you'll know you are on your way.