When Thinking Negative Is Good

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. I have so many things for which to be thankful. Of course all the usual stuff, family, job, etc. All of which can be gone in the blink of an eye so I try to be thankful every day and not wait for one specific day to give thanks.

I slept in until 5:30 which is pretty darned late for me. My alarm was set for 5:55 so I wasn’t missing out on much sleep. I’m just happy Dino, Romo, and Kooper didn’t try to wake me up at 3 or 4am. Today I would be hitting the pavement early for a 4.5 mile run with my son, niece, and several thousand of my friends. The Drumstick Dash is a 4.5 mile race in Broad Ripple. This year there were over 8,000 signed up. I’ve always thought this would be a fun race, but every year I was either too busy cooking or out of town. Not this year. After feeding the dogs and cleaning muddy feet I sat down for breakfast. I opted for the usual old fashioned oatmeal with prunes and natural peanut butter. About half way through I started feeling nauseous. I stopped eating, drank some water. Thankfully the feeling passed and I finished eating.

The race wouldn’t start until 9, but I knew the parking would be a problem in Broad Ripple so I thought we should leave around 7am. It was actually 7:15 before the wheels were turning. Then the entrance ramp to 465 north from 10th street was closed so I quickly calculate a reroute in my head. No problem, traffic was light and we made it there in time to still find a spot in the Broad Ripple High School parking lot. Plenty of time to use the porta-potties and build a good case of nerves. Ever since returning to work in early October my training hasn’t been very focused so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was hoping to be able to average 7 minutes per mile. With this large a field, I knew the start would be pure chaos. The organizers were prepared though with large pace signs to help people self seed. I was standing right next to the 7:00/mile sign. Unfortunately there were a large number of people ahead of me who either can’t read, don’t know what pace they run, or just aren’t considerate of others. Oh well, I’m just out here to have fun right?

I zigzagged my way through the crowd to a first mile time of 6:54. Perhaps a little fast, and with the slow start I knew my actual pace at that moment was faster, but I felt good so I figured I would just try to maintain. At the 2-mile sign my watch said 6:45. Still feeling good, but I thought I better take it easy in mile three to save some gas for the last mile and a half. At the 3-mile sign my watch says 6:38. I guess I just don’t know how to take it easy. Now I’m starting to have negative thoughts, as in negative splits. Running negative splits just isn’t something I do. What I usually do is burn myself out early so that I can spend the latter part of the race trying to recover enough to be able to count the people passing me. I can see the 4-mile sign. The seconds are ticking away I’ll have to hurry to beat my last mile split. I just make it at 6:37. Now only a half mile to go. I’m focused, high cadence, short stride, slight forward lean, controlled breathing. I complete the last half mile in 3:03. I feel great! Earlier while eating breakfast I thought I might be spending the day getting up close and personal with a porcelain bowl. Now I’m on top of the world and for that I am indeed very thankful.

One response to “When Thinking Negative Is Good

  1. Great job with the negative splits. That can be so hard. Impressive finish time: 29:53. Next time, we find a smaller race, without all the congestion and see what we can really do!

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