Brain Power

Just completed my first road run in a while. Used my foot pod/sensor instead of the GPS, just to see how accurate it was. I clocked up 8.2km, which seemed about right.

Back home afterwards, I was seriously dripping in sweat. I don’t really remember sweating so hard before, but maybe I have rose-tinted glasses in hindsight.

The best thing about the foot sensor compared to the GPS is that the sportsband can give you a “live” pace readout, whereas the GPS app can only tell you your average pace over the last km run. So tonight, working through Week 6 Day 3 with Woman, whenever I was running I was doing roughly a 5min/km, which is obviously 12kph. That’s a little bit faster than I was pushing myself in the gym, and probably why a) I was travelling further in less time, and b) why I was completely shattered after less than 30 minutes, and really struggled to get through the last half an hour.

The point of tonight’s post wasn’t about boring stats, but it was about the classic saga of “mind over matter”. The simple fact is that, when not on a treadmill which propels you ever forwards (unless you chicken out and hit the speed buttons of course), but on the road, when Woman tells you to “Run Now!” you have to regulate yourself to run until you hear from her again. And right now, those three minutes – running at what is probably a pace too fast for my stamina* – is a nightmare.

However, the nightmare is completely physical. Yes, my heart and lungs are moaning, and yes my legs feel tired, but what actually happens is my brain just tells me “You know, you can stop? This isn’t a race?” And, more often than not, the brain wins.

And so I slow to a walk, and immediately kick myself for stopping. Yes, I’m panting and catching my breath and gratefully lowering my pulse, but I really wasn’t dying a moment earlier. It’s very annoying.

Damn you, brain!

*Another weird thing is, although I looked down at my sportsband and saw that I was running a bit too fast (ideally I want to run at about 10kph at the moment, and not 12kph) for the life of me, I can’t slow down. I only have one running speed, and right now that speed seems to be getting faster and faster. And that really isn’t a good thing until my stamina catches up.


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