We rode the bus to our track workout at Icahn Stadium. Our coach, Julia Lucas, was a professional runner who was once one of the fastest 5k runners in the US. She takes what she has gained over her years and trains us to be the most elite version of ourselves. On Tuesdays, she usually shares that workout beforehand but this time there was no workout. We all wondered what we were getting into. How many intervals? Would there be breaks? Did we eat the right lunch? Did we hydrate enough for this workout? These are usually the thoughts that go through my head before a workout but I usually know the workout and then I prepare by eating and hydrating based on the workout.
When we got to the track we did the usual 1-mile warm up run and then pre workout exercises and stretches. We then got in our pace groups.
Coach said that all we needed to do was get in our pace groups and run with our pacers. They would know how fast to lead us, how far to take us, and when we needed a break. As we set off for interval after interval of training in the unknown it was evident that this was one of the hardest workouts we would participate in. When you thought it was time to stop you just kept going. When you thought you figured it out and knew what was coming next, you were wrong. It was all in your mind.
The important lesson with this workout was that most of the time when we run and we want to quit, when we feel pain or tired it’s all in the mind. We were training to have stronger minds to overcome our greatest mental challenges when racing. With stronger minds we are stronger runners.