Posted by: Joe English | August 26, 2009

Commentary — Lessons from the Hula Dance

Coach Joe English

Coach Joe English

I’m so glad to be back to racing again, because as I run races I’m reminded of lessons that I can share with you readers. Today I want to tell you a story from a race two weekends ago and present a few lessons that may be helpful to you in one of your upcoming races. Never give up.

The setting
Four weeks out from my major fall marathon, so I’m at the point where I’ve been doing lots of heavy training at marathon pace. This weekend was an in-between weekend — sandwiched between my two longest pace runs of the season. Since my mileage was supposed to be low, I thought I would go out to run in a local half-marathon, called the HulaMan Half-Marathon, and run the race at my marathon goal pace.

I wasn’t going to try to run this race for a fast time — I was just hoping to run my marathon goal pace, and I felt it was OK to avoid getting sucked in to a duel with someone to run my planned pace. I’ve been running this goal pace over and over again for months, so I’d hoped that this would be a confidence builder — an easy cruise, so to speak, since it was only 13.1 miles.

I should also mention that I had the flu earlier in the week and was still not quite myself. I think I was well enough to run, but not feeling great; not sharp and focused like I normally would be going into a race. In fact, the thought of running longer than 13 really sounded unappealing on Sunday morning when I got up.

Lesson 1: give it a shot. Even if you feel bad, you won’t know until you try.

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