The Run That Hurt

The Run That Hurt

Sweat From the Heart: Coach Bree’s Blog on training, racing and life.


You know those days where you just can’t seem to find the inspiration to get out and train? The day where you wish you could trade places with your pet? I wanted to trade with my cat.

The life

The life

But sleeping in the sun by the window doesn’t prepare you for race day. Training does.

So out of excuses, I laced up my shoes and headed out the door.

Knowing that I had a bad run yesterday (just felt sluggish and overwhelmed with life’s responsibilities) I was ready to have a good run to make up for it. My warm up felt pretty good. After a few accelerations to warm up the legs for speed, I was ready to start.

My workout was a 35 minute all out, as hard as I could go, assessment run. I love and hate assessments. I love seeing the improvement, no matter how small, and I hate how much they hurt. They hurt a lot.

Assessment run begins. After about 4 minutes, I looked down and saw my pace was 45 seconds faster per mile than two weeks ago on my tempo run! After about 10 minutes, my pace drops about 15 seconds per mile, but I was still moving along strong. Then at 15 minutes, my body was hurting. I realized I went out too fast (I actually realized this much sooner, but didn’t want to think or say it into existence). Then, everything began to bother me: my visor was “too tight”; my run skirt was “squishing my waist”; my SPI belt holding my phone was “too tight and heavy”. I began to mentally lose it. I couldn’t hold it together anymore, so I stopped. My intent was to give up and run home.


As I stood there, I began to talk some sense into myself. I did the athlete/coach (similar to the angel/devil) talk to myself:

Coach Bree: “Really Bree?! You’re just going to quit!? Aren’t you stronger than this?

Athlete Bree: But I stopped, this assessment no longer counts. It’s wasted.

Coach Bree: “No it’s not. Finish what you started. Get it together. Finish this workout!!!”

So I did. After 2 minutes of playing the athlete/coach role with myself, I started my watch over and and did the best I could do. I ran as fast as I could and to my surprise, was just 15 seconds per mile slower than my first half. Not bad! And to think I almost didn’t do it.


And despite it all, I was still faster than my last assessment! While I wouldn’t call this a true assessment, because I did stop, I am proud of myself for not completely giving up. I learned a lot about myself today.

If I want to get stronger, I have to work for it. I could have been like my cat and slept in the sun by the window, but I would have missed out on an amazing learning experience. I love these kinds of lessons.

So the next time you feel like throwing in the towel, I urge you to keep at it. There’s a lesson to be learned somewhere in the experience. And all these lessons make us stronger and faster athletes.

And isn’t this post just awesome? I found it on my newsfeed while I was stretching and FBing. It was the cherry on top of my “two layer” assessment cake! 😉


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