Monday, September 7, 2009


I had read that performance is often tied to attitude and I wondered if there was any correlation between my mental state and some disappointing runs I've had over the past three days. Friday was a tough run, mostly due to my physical state. I'm not sure what was affecting me but I was tired and I struggled to cover the 3.9 miles I did in Central Park. The Central Park run should have been a great experience with my side trip through the Rambles but I didn't really enjoy it and it felt a lot like work. Saturday's neighborhood run was really just maintenance and I clocked 5K with little in reserve by the time I got back home. I tried to break the streak yesterday with a run at Stillwell Woods. Trail running has become a passion and I anticipated the experience but I lacked strength and feared the hills instead of embracing them. I ended up covering 3 miles but it felt unsatisfying. Later that day my daughter and I ran 1.25 miles and that felt great and I realized that much of the reason was that she was by my side. My head was in the right place for running for the first time all weekend.

This morning I woke up feeling great. Perhaps it was a good night's sleep or the cool temperature and low humidity but I set out on my run this morning with the right attitude. I didn't plan my route except for the beginning section that I call neighborhood #4, a departure from my usual course that would provide a good distraction. I'm a bit fed up with the GPS apps on my iPhone so instead I relied solely on my Garmin to track distance and used Pandora on the iPhone for music.

At about the 20 minute mark I realized that I still felt very strong with more energy than I had at the beginning of my last three runs. After covering that initial neighborhood I did a loop around my own, covering the south, west and northern roads until I passed the five mile mark. It was at that point that I realized I could probably do 6 miles for the first time since the Dirty Sock 10K. Once I reached that point I decided to go for a personal distance record which, for me, was 6.62 miles. I re-routed my direction to get another mile between me and home and ended up covering 7.4 miles @ 9:31 (by Garmin) or 7.58 miles @ 9:18 (by Gmaps). Either way it was a personal distance record for the Emerging Runner. Better still, it was validation that my training was going in the right direction and that my conditioning was where I wanted it to be. I guess all it took was a good attitude.

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