I am a competitive person, very competitive. It doesn't matter whether I am running, cleaning, rock climbing, or playing monopoly--I want to WIN! Monopoly has actually been banned in my house because my husband and I both want to win so badly that the game gets a little too intense for a family game night! So, one of the things I really struggle with in training is not getting passed and/or passing people in front of me. If I am out for an easy run on a bike path and I see someone ahead of me, it is all I can do not to pick up the pace and pass them especially if I am running alone. This is something I have to work on because obviously that isn't all that good for recovery.
Today despite the fact that this was only my 2nd hill run in 5 months, I couldn't help myself... I had just run up the first two hills ( one ~1 mile long at 6.4% grade and the other a little over a half mile at 9.2% grade) when I started seeing some people in the distance running towards me. As we got closer to each other, I discovered it was one of the local high school boys distance runners and they appeared to be having a hard day on the hills as well. As soon as I saw them I started calculating in my head whether I would be able to catch them on my return trip. I decided that it wasn't a good idea for me to do that and I kept the same pace I was running out. As I was running up the last hill to my turn around point though I realized I was running right towards two high schoolers and I knew I was in for it. I turned around and started back towards my car and pushed it. I couldn't help myself, lucky for me today is considered a hard day but not the kind of hard that I did. I pushed it up every hill and on the downs as well and those boys, who never knew they were racing me, lost! I made it back to my car and they were nowhere to be seen. I also negative split 5 and a half minutes on the way back...probably my best negative split on the 8 mile out and back.
When I got done though, I knew that I shouldn't have run it in as hard as I had. My goal is to perform well in June not on on a January training run! I also knew that I was going to have to report my run to my coach and he was not going to be happy. I am 29 years old, have been running for at least 18 years and I know better. Although at the same time, I was really happy that I was able to work those hills on the way back to my car and hopefully that means that my body and mind are ready to put in the work over the next several months to get me ready for some good racing!