dart challenge 5k. this race is always one of my favorites of the year. there is plenty of competition, as davis xc has an incredibly huge (and deep) team. it's a flat, accurate course and offers a good test of fitness. i have done this race four times, although this year the course was changed due to construction. it was still a flat, fast, loopish course (see here), and the course tool says the difference in estimated flat pace is 5:41 (old course) to 5:42 (new course). so as far as i can tell they are essentially the same.
splits: 5:40, 5:49, 5:53 (last year: 5:41, 5:47, 5:48)
i have been doing a lot of thinking since des news (i'm over it now, but it took a lot of time). i think one of my biggest problems with my racing this year is that i have been trying too hard to repeat or improve upon my 2013 race times and workouts. because of that, a lot of my training has been forced. last year was a lot different. i was coming off a mostly uneventful and somewhat disappointing year in 2012, and i didn't have any expectations for myself. i tried out some new things in my training, and my times naturally came down across the board. that was fun and exciting, but big improvements like that have to taper off at some point.
as i was lurking about on josh EEE's blog recently, he said that it's hard to make big leaps repeatedly. this is what i am learning this year. so many of my workouts have been forced and overly taxing because i was so insecure about seeing splits that were slower than 2013. my entire des news plan was based off of my TOU plan from last year, and i forced myself through a lot of that training. i was solely focused on how the numbers were comparing and i was completely neglecting how my body was feeling (most days, it was not feeling good). the fact that des news went so poorly is not surprising in hindsight. i gave everything i had in training, and i didn't leave anything left to race with (including the basic motivation to run without stopping for sitting/crying breaks). oh my. it's funny how after so many years of running, i'm still making these big mistakes.
i think i took plenty of time off after des news, and i am feeling much better than i have felt all spring/summer. today's result gives me a bit of my confidence back after it was completely destroyed three weeks ago.
my plan for TOU has been scaled back in intensity. i still have goals for that race, but i am not going to fret and fraz over every little thing as i make ridiculous attempts to compete with my 2013 self. i need to rid myself of that pressure, because clearly i do not do well when it's present. my plan for the next five weeks is to just run to how i feel and let the fitness come (or not). i will not be looking at numbers or even doing the same workouts. i have two more 5ks planned that should be good fitness indicators, and with that i will go race and enjoy my last TOU.
this post is long because james is 606.13 5ks away, so i don't have much else to do.