Well it's been two weeks since my less than stellar 5k and what a difference 2 weeks can make! Last night headed out and got in a 5 mile tempo run at 6:23 pace, yep just 3 seconds slower per mile than the pace I averaged for the 5k. I think that is a pretty good testament to the fact that I just didn't race to my abilities, not a note on my current fitness.
So what's changed in the past two weeks? Actually a TON, and I think all for the better.
1) I got my head on straight with my attitude towards training. Working harder every day when it calls for it and sucking it up to get it done. Running with others when I can to help in this effort.
2) Weight loss. Only 2 lbs from my starting college weight and I definitely feel lighter, no doubt this is helping with the speed, despite not being a huge drop in weight. (And don't worry I am still in the healthy range for my weight! No crazy goals on that front, just finally got realistic about what is an ideal weight for a female runner of my height.)
3) Pushing the hills. Getting rid of the attitude that I can coast hills and hammer down. I am making a commitment to push the hills in training and will do the same racing this weekend.
4) Sunshine! The improved weather is definitely a mood lifter.
5) Focusing on relaxation and mental confidence. I am making more of an effort to take time and relax and go over my goals and what is realistic for me right now and I am feeling very confident about everything. This also includes making time to mentally go through my races beforehand. I've done this once for Youngstown and will do it once more tonight, then moving on and no worries until race day. If this works well I plan to start doing mental prep for Boston soon. Visualizing how I want the day to go, how I want to feel, and what I will do to ensure everything I can control goes my way. Given I have raced Boston and Youngstown several times this mental prep will be easier than it would be for say an indoor track meet where I feel out of my element.
6) Work stress is down with a new computer that actually works, I have no doubt this has been a big contributor to my better attitude.
7) An additional hour of sleep each night. I have always been an advocate of getting plenty of sleep and I am getting more than my fair share right now, and it feels so good!
Actually pretty glad I had that poor race and mental breakdown because it has made me tougher and has me focused even more on achieving this years goals and beyond.