Wednesday, December 2, 2009

10 Beads

I'm now convinced the human body is capable of a lot more work when you think you're tired and want to quit. The effort required to complete a tough interval session, or race, or anything that pushes you close to that edge becomes mental. Because when you are running at an uncomfortable pace or for an uncomfortable amount of time, you can always just stop. It's simple. (Now, I'm not talking about pressing through a workout that you should really modify because your body is feeling particularly flat on a day, or over trained.)

My lazy body urges me at the slightest pressing, "Hello? It's me again. Um, I think I'm kind of tired. *Yawn* See?" Or, say, "Could we just take a bit of a break? Maybe, rest our feet up on the couch and eat some bon-bons? That sounds like a lot more fun than this."

Yesterday marked my first day of a little speedwork / interval work since the end of 5K season in May 2009. While I feel I have lost little strength and endurance from Chicago (I am running very strong since about three weeks after the marathon), it is evident the 5K sharpness I used to recognize has waned. I'm hoping to acquire a new 5K PR (<22:00) at the end of January in my favorite Kansas City race (the Groundhog 5K / 10K). Thus.. I need to do a little work!

In preparation for that, Vince gave me 10 intervals at a decent pace (a nice little intro to get my feet moving again). Typically, my mind has trouble keeping count (yes, I'm blonde) after about the fourth interval. So, I had the clever idea of starting with 10 beads, and moving one from the right to the left for each interval. This actually ending up being a fabulous idea, as my mind was able to visualize an end to the work, measure progress, and know that with each interval, I had less and less to go each time. And I ended up feeling better and more focused as each hand carved bead moved, thrilled when I had only one bead to go. Sometimes, it's the little things...


  1. Great idea! Those little mental games really help me, too :)

  2. Sharon, Funny... I'm so susceptible to them too. Even when I know they are coming, they still work on me! --Alex

  3. Wonderful beads. Sounds like you're strong and growing! Love the blog!

  4. Lorraine, Great to hear from you! How are you doing? Thanks so much for your kind words :-) --Alex