How Do You Know?

I’m still on the road to Chicago. I’ve got six weeks to get there and I’m feeling a little nervous.

Today was speed training day, which I really don’t enjoy but I realize it’s value.

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Here’s what I did today on the treadmill:
Warm up – 1.75 miles
Run 25 minutes at 1 min/mile faster than my marathon pace
Run 10 minutes at 2 minutes/mile faster than my marathon pace
Run 25 minutes at 1 minute/mile faster than my marathon pace
Run 10 minutes at 2 min/mile faster than my marathon pace
Cool down 1.5 miles (I only ran .80 miles of cool down. I was exhausted.)

Training runs are all pretty long at this point, so I’ve always got lots of time to think. I think about lots of things: my husband, my kids, my CASA kid, volunteer jobs, and many other random things that I encounter during my runs.

There is one other constant idea that occupies my thinking time: effort.

When I’m having a tough time, I think to myself “okay, just run to x miles and call it a day”. Then when I get to x miles, if I’m feeling good, I run to some other milestone and that gets me through some runs. On other runs, I have flat put given up, feeling like I just couldn’t go any further.

This situation is what makes me the most uneasy, uncertain, unsure. Did I give up because my head thought it was time or did I give up because I physically couldn’t do more? Sometimes, when I stop, I feel like I really could have gone a little further. Other times, it’s obvious I’d gotten to the end of my rope.

But, how do you know this BEFORE you quit? How do you balance gutting it out with overuse injury? Injury is real and terrible and a real danger.

How do you know when you’ve given it your all? How much is 100%? (Public service notice: you CANNOT give 110%. You don’t have it to give. Stop saying it.).

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Do you ‘get to the end’ no matter what? Do you have some kind of cue to listen to or feel?

I always want to feel I’ve left it all on the run or in the gym, but sometimes, I’m not sure what exactly that is.

How do YOU know when you’ve given it your all?

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