In the last three days, there’s been basically two thoughts conflicting my already-usually-cloudy brain.
I haven’t yet gotten over how magical that mile was.
In case you didn’t see my post (with all the celeb runners!), here’s a bit I wrote:
This was of the oddest of all races I ever run, mostly because it was this particular race…
Every time I run this race, or do any kind of mile repeats for that matter, I am going all out, struggling, breathing heavily, and scared for my life; soon I start fading, I gulp for air and desperation sinks in throwing my form, my lungs and my legs into a fit. Really, mayhem.
This one was NOTHING like it.
I was moving in such a controlled way that I had no idea what was happening. It was fluid, relaxed, low to the ground, no stress, breathing was completely subdued, no big movements, all was superefficient and working like a perfectly oiled machine. All I thought was Great, I am doing an 8 minute mile. My average pace last week at the 4 miler is gonna be faster than this one mile. I was a bit upset, but I checked and there was nothing else to activate, no extra gear to pull on. Nothing. Frustrating!
With a quarter mile to go, I get upset at myself and will myself to look for a sprint deep down somewhere, there was nothing extra. Nothing. But my pace didn’t seem affected, or my breathing. SO strange.
Then, with two blocks to go, I see the clock at the finish: 5:52, 5:53, 5:54 clicking up. And I get it, I was running way too well, probably for the first time ever, so I didn’t know how to handle it. I then understand why it felt good, why there was nothing extra, why it felt so comfortable… I just had no idea I could do it.
I crossed the line in 6:05. There was no puking, no coughing, nothing dramatic for once. It was beautiful. Unexpected on all fronts. The time was surprising too, I would have laughed if someone said I could be close to sub5, but the way my body took over the race was the win. There was no tension, like running a mile all out was normal now. This was my second PR of the year (out of 12 races), and there was no tears, no crazy nothings, we just do this.
Who is this person!??!?!
One of the most experienced runners I know, and who I trust a lot said yesterday:
I’m really happy for you. I know that feeling—and it’s just about the rarest one that you can have as a runner. You could probably get faster with mile-specific speedwork, but you might never feel quite like that again. I can remember the very few occasions on which it happened to me like they were yesterday.
… I might never feel like that again…. And then he suggested I can run a sub 3:30 (he said 3:26, but that is just crazy), which is crazy, and I decided he’s now mental.
Still, I can’t espace the feeling. Just like when you have the runner’s high for the first time. You know how it is, you just want to feel that again. And it’s all you can think about. But it only happens when you’re not looking for it. I might never have another race like that again, as he said, but I never thought that was even possible. Or possible for me.
On the other hand, I had been so non-commital to Berlin, I booked a hotel and flights just 3 weeks ago and it was a Sure, I’ll do Berlin. And didn’t stress. And now it’s here. And I was fine last week. But now I am… antsy… I am not nervous as I used to get before my first marathons, but it’s palpable. The fact that it is in another country adds a level of stress I had never had to deal with before (luckily, my training partner who got there yesterday has already triple-confirmed there’s Nutella everywhere). My issue is I am an underpacker but I want to bring everything, and it’s in German and I’ve learned not more than 3 words and it’s kilometers… all of it is just adding to the fact that I want to see everything, go everywhere and also stay put, rest, sleep and do a H-E-L-L of a marathon. Conflicting indeed. Yes, the taper is catching up with me.