Today my legs felt decent, so I did a 4 mile jog. I just took it slow and listened to a podcast. Nothing too exciting.
I forgot to mention yesterday that when I was getting ready for the race Saturday morning, I realized I didn’t pack my watch, or my headphones. I had never run a race without a watch on, and I’ve enjoyed listening to music during races for the past year or so. I was kind of curious how things would go without these 2 things, since they are a pretty consistent part of my daily runs.
It turns out not having a watch was basically a non-issue. There were clocks at every mile, and I found myself actively trying to avoid looking at the clocks because I wanted to focus on getting into a groove, as opposed to obsessing over mile splits. The only thing that was kind of a pain was that I had to do some subtracting from the “clock-time” to figure out “my time”, since I didn’t cross the starting line until the clock was at 4:17. I also ran nearly perfect splits without the watch, so I guess I didn’t really need it.
As far as not having music, there were some pros and cons. The pros were that having 2 free hands (I carry my iPod in my hand) made it a lot easier to grab water. I also think that having both of my hands free make it a little bit easier to shake out some tension, whenever I felt like that was necessary. There’s also the argument that you can “listen to your body” better without music. I don’t really know about that, but I did a pretty good job of monitoring what was happening without being distracted by a death metal song or something. The cons are that obviously music helps pass the time, and a good song can be motivating. I think overall listening to music might have made my day a little bit better, just because I was having a hard time finding another gear yesterday, and I do a good job of picking up the pace to certain songs.
So, overall it was interesting to experiment. Not sure how I’m going to use the information going forward, but it’s good to have it.
I also wanted to make note of the fact that I did a really good job yesterday of keeping my rough spots reasonable. I’ve had some rough spots in races, where I ended up walking for like 5 minutes. Yesterday I walked for probably 30 seconds both times I stopped, and that is literally 10 times better than walking for 5 minutes. It’s ok to have bad stretches in a race, but managing them is critical, and I did a pretty good job not letting the tough spots ruin the day. Alright, see ya tomorrow.