"During the 18th Century, a warning shot (in nautical terms, often called a shot across the bow) could be fired towards any ship whose "colours" (nationality) had to be ascertained. According to the law of the sea, a ship thus hailed had to fly her flag and confirm it with a gunshot. Warning shots may still be used in modern times to signal a vessel to stop or keep off and may be fired from other ships, boats, or aircraft." Wikipedia
All this drama for 3/4 mile...
I remembered my strategy from last year...easy to the 1/4 mile tree at the trail fork...no more than 160 HR to there. Let the HR go up to 165 through the mid-point easier grades, then all out to the grave...a la muerte. I began what felt like a really slow cadence up the opening steeps toward the fork- 15-20% grade for a short pitch. HR rose to 155 and energy already was tanking. Low HR and high perceived exertion (PE) is a definite sign of exhaustion, so things were not looking good- the ego was making concessions with each step. The HR stuck there as I worked harder and sweat streaked my face, so maybe I could break 8 minutes today. That would be a victory- right? The ego and its 100 heads are so sneaky in the way they convince you that GOOD is good enough. But GOOD is the arch enemy of GREAT. It is settling for GOOD that makes GREAT unreachable for us. I fought this battle 3 times already in the first 1/4 mile. This is why I love running so much. Nowhere to hide. You either do it or you don't.
You either talk about it, or you BE ABOUT IT.
Suddenly, I realized during all this thinking that the next 1/4 mile had slipped past and my stride was really long. It still felt slow, but the knees were coming up, the hip extension was solid and I was making 5-6 foot strides. Maybe 7:40 was possible? That would set me up to PR within the next month!
Then, I tasted it. Acrid bile and copper coin flavor. The ammonia smell in my nostrils of Anaerobia...the state of cardiovascular pain that I haven't enjoyed since last autumn. Careful Jerful. A quick check of the vitals...shins are cool, calves are good. The T2K's are flying. That last Vi gel I took seems to be burning hot. 100 yards and this thing is toast. A marker in the sand to build on. 7:30 will be mine.
I pushed and swung my arms. All that pool running I've been doing had a noticeable effect on the velocity of my arm swings- they felt like pistons. HR up to 170. Pretty high for me. I panted and hacked as the breaths became less and less useful. I rounded the crest of the hill and loped towards the grave for the final 30 yards and stabbed at the lap button...7:05. A proper warning shot. 21 seconds shaved off the PR...a 5% improvement. Now the task of convincing the ego that it can go 6:30 by June.
Lots happening this week, but my camera is really crapping out so the pics don't do it justice. I'm sending it to Panasonic for some warranty service- so no pics for a while. Getting really hungry to go fast. I'm probably racing later this month- low-key. More on that soon.