“and then some…”

One of the coaches I follow is Todd Durkin. He coaches different Pro athletes and he is a strong believer in mental training as well. One of his key phrases is, “and then some”. He challenges people to do that little bit extra to get better.

Today was a perfect day for me to remember this. I had a tough 10 mile tempo run. I was ready for it and actually looking forward to a really strong run. I did exactly what I needed to do and it felt great. My legs were tired, but I was positive and felt great. Until mile 7…. all of a sudden I got terrible cramps in my left quadricep – specifically vastus medialis (don’t you just love Google?!).

With each step my leg started to buckle and it hurt. I shut my watch off (always a bad move) and tried to walk it off and stretch. I needed to finish this workout. Also, a big mistake on my part, was not properly hydrating and fueling during this run. Since I haven’t been doing a lot of long runs lately I forgot that my supply of gels had diminished. Luckily this week a lady at work gave me one Gu (a chocolate mint flavor) and I managed to dig out a bag of jelly beans and a bottle of Cytomax that I got at one of the races. Needless to say, not the best combination.

While stretching I chocked down the beans, took some swigs of the Cytomax and managed to start running again. And, as luck would have it, a half mile in I realized I had not turned my watch on. Immediately I felt discouraged. I hate it when that happens! I really wanted to upload my workout into Training Peaks for Katie to see with a solid ten miles. My initial thought was that I will run to 9.5 and call it good and explain it to her. I was ok with that for another mile.

At mile 8, when I was really starting to hurt, I said I have to do this workout “and then some”. Stopping my watch at 9.5 and “explaining” the missing half mile was silly. I have it in me to do just a little bit more. It is that little bit more than is going to make me better.

That little bit more wasn’t pretty at all… those last three miles really hurt my average pace, which was looking pretty good until then. It always comes back to the mental stuff. Getting to see 10 on my watch was more important today then the average pace.

Todd Durkin also asks, “What are you going to do today to get better?” I am going to FINISH my workouts!

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