I've discovered that I have 3 different running styles. Which one I use can either depend on the day in general or on the way I'm feeling at any given point during a run. I'm going to call these "Walker's Three T's."
T1- Torpedo Mode: It's rare that I'm in full torpedo mode, but when I am I feel like there's no stopping me. There have only been a handful of runs, including the one last Monday, during which I felt I was in full torpedo mode. Usually, I go into a short stretch during any given run where I feel like I've gone into torpedo mode. Feeling like I'm in this mode is pretty much the reason I've come to love running. Torpedo mode means "full steam ahead" and it feels great. If I can have a few good stretches of torpedo mode during Hood to Coast, I will be a happy panda.
T2- Tank Mode: This mode is what probably 80% of my running falls into. When I go into tank mode, I try to find a pace that's not too fast and not too slow. For the most part, this is about a 7:30 mile pace, but I'm trying to knock that down a bit. Tank mode isn't quite as exciting as torpedo mode, but I still feel like it's going to take a lot to bring me off my steady pace. Nothing wrong with tank mode. But there is something wrong with our last "T."
T3- T-Rex Mode: Bad news. When I'm running in T-Rex mode, I feel like my arms are way too short for my body. For whatever reason, when I'm struggling, my arms pull up close to my chest and swing diagonally rather than moving backwards and forwards along my sides. I don't know exactly what a T-Rex would look like running down my street for exercise, but I can imagine it would look a little something like me when I'm in trouble.
Usually when I go running, it takes me a minute or two to warm my muscles up and get into tank tode. But once I'm there, I usually feel pretty solid throughout the run barring a few dips into T-Rex mode or highs that reach into torpedo mode. Sadly, Run 19 began in T-Rex territory and never really made in out.
I could feel something was wrong pretty much right off the bat. It wasn't that any part of my body really hurt, it was just that I felt really sluggish. Maybe it was because I had already worked a full shift at work. Maybe it was because I worked really early the day before and had ingested enough caffeine in the past 24 hours to put down a small animal. Whatever the reason, my body just couldn't get in the groove and soon enough, I felt my arms shrinking up against my chest. T-Rex mode was in full effect.
Despite struggling for the majority of the run, I was able to finish less than 2 minutes slower than my fastest time. So now, I feel like I have my range established. The pace I should be running is somewhere right between as fast as I ran last Monday and as badly as I did this Monday. Even though this run was brutal, I feel like I'm still making progress. I'm just hoping that T-Rex mode decides to stay in California when we go up for Hood to Coast.