With the 5k coming up tomorrow, I've been comparing my training now to the training back when I set my PR of 17:25. I was expecting to see major differences. I was expecting to see a lot of training under 6 minute miles. I was expecting to think "Damn, I was in a ton better shape then!"
Not the case.
I had some quick runs back in June, no doubt, but my tempo pace was still hanging around 6:20 to 6:30/mile. I didn't have one mile under 6 minutes in training. Not one. Not even when doing intervals.
There's one big difference. Racing experience. Back in July, that had been one of many 5k's in the past several months. I had more of a racing mindset back then. I knew from experience how I responded to breaking my body down to nothing just to get across that finish line as soon as possible.
The result? I have no idea what to expect tomorrow.
I can tell you I'm going to push like hell from the start. I'm going to risk it all from the time the gun goes off. The numbers tell me I might even have a PR in me, even after taking several months off. I lost relatively little speed over my break, everything I lost was from the endurance end of things.
Maybe all I need to do is trust my body. Trust that it can handle the speed, the lactic acid storm, the oxygen deprived muscles, the screaming lungs. Maybe, just maybe, I can PR tomorrow.
But it's gonna hurt. Hurt so good.