Running is one of those activities that you just cannot “wing” it (unlike my car license exam) One mile of training no matter how good, bad, sweet or ugly, IS one mile added. And the one mile that I do not put in is the one mile missing. It’s not like the Enron creative accounting where somehow the numbers can be made to “work”.
I missed my first long slow distance run over the weekend due to my menstrual cycle. I was just lacking any energy to do anything. I was not too concerned since it was supposed to be a 3-mile run. Mentally, 3 mile is a warm up distance at this point. I finally went to the track today and resumed the interval training. Boy, that one missed run felt every bit heavy on my calves towards the end.
When I did not reach the same ease about one-third of the run, I started practicing the “Y’chi” mentioned in Chi Marathon. The concept was to focus on an object in the distance with intent. The idea was to use the unwavering eye gazed to direct the chi (energy) to running. Today, I trained at the track so I followed from lamp posts to lamp posts. I fixed my gaze and focus ONLY on the lamp posts. Runners, walkers, children, and geese (yeah, they were around feeding on the grass) started to disappear into the background. All I saw was the lamp posts and all I felt was the steps beneath me.
It worked for majority of the run, except towards the last 5 intervals when my calves started to really bother me. Either my Y’chi practice was not perfect or the lack of sleep was catching up to me, I slowed to finish.
In any event, this was the first time where I intentionally use another Chi Running technique Y’Chi to train mentally. I could see the benefit of this – very valuable when fatigue set in during training/race.
Today, I also wore a heart rate monitor for the first time (yeah, that made me felt like a “fancy” runner!) I figured out the maximum heart rate for me was about 144. My average today was 138. What was interesting was that my heart rate was faster right out of the gate in the first mile, in the 150s, above my MHR, which supposedly, I needed to learn how to pace and manage my HR. It was interesting to see this playing out today.
All in all, I was glad to be moving. I know I will sleep like a baby tonight.