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I've been running competitively for a few years now and one of the things I've noticed and have given a lot of thought to is how my response to hitting the "wall" has changed over the years. In high school I was running 200m, 400m, and 800m races and in the case of the 400 and even more so in the 800 my response to hitting the wall was something like "OH, THE AGONY. I JUST NEED TO HOLD ON FOR THE FINAL 100M." It's like a controlled panic with the sudden realization of how much pain you've brought upon yourself.
The same applied to cross country, cycling, and all the other activities that have that wonderful wall at some point along the way.
This year that wall seems to have disappeared or at the very least become more of a knee-wall. That's not to say that I don't crash and burn occasionally but my mental response to coming against my own limits has seemingly taken my brain out of the scenario. Once I start to suffer my brain just shuts off and turns on autopilot. I throw on a blank stare and am essentially dead to the world (and quite deaf) until I finish. This change has resulted in an amazing improvement in my times and I'm wondering if there's a way to refine it. My split for the 2nd 1/2 of my 800 is actually faster than the 1st, with no deliberate pacing.
What I want to do is essentially turn off my awareness so that I can run full bore for at most 2 minutes without really letting myself know what I'm up to. Any suggestions?
-------------------- Live by the foma that make you brave, and kind, and healthy, and happy.