This morning I went out for a 14K run. I enjoy the feeling that I'm clever, going out for a run early on a Sunday morning, but the runs are always a bit tough mentally and physically. I decided to try a new tack, and a couple of times last night repeated "I'm looking forward to my run tomorrow morning. It should be sunny and nice". I've never tried positive reinforcement this early before, but felt I needed it.
It was foggy when I got up - real pea soup. So I tried some more positive reinforcement, something about so what if I don't see the fjord and see if I get to town before the ferry? I like to race the ferry from Copenhagen, and try to make it past the harbour before it docks at 9:30 and all the people disembarking block my way. - I didn't make it today.
The first 6K were hard going as usual, so I kept saying things to myself like "How well I'm doing!" Half-heartedly, especially as I was surprised by the splits my app was reporting, which were not as good as usual at this stage. And I know myself, my splits only increase! I decided to try to do tackle the problem by doing some fartlek. My app was programmed to give regular feedback, so whenever it reported a split, I'd speed up the same number of steps as the seconds reported. At first I decided not to speed up too much, as my interval workouts this week have been really tough and I saw how too great speed drains me, but towards the end I decided to push myself.
And something strange happened. I felt really good when I reached my target distance. When I checked my app, I got a huge shock. For the first time ever during a long run, I had achieved a negative split, and even had the same pace I had back in my New York HM in October. Considering months of having to run slowly because of the treacherous snow and ice, this is real progress indeed.
The only thing I think I did differently was attempt to program myself last night, and keep up the reinforcement while running. And what a difference it made!