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Type B mindset pays off for a Type A

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff  April 2, 2012 03:27 PM

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100lindsay_kos.jpg Lindsay Kos is one of five Boston Marathon entrants testing the Polar RCX5 personal training computer and blogging about it for Boston.com.
I keep waiting for the moment to hit me. You know, that one where you finally realize ďThis is real. I actually have to race this beast.Ē

With exactly two weeks to go until we cross the starting line in Hopkinton, I thought itíd come sooner. Perhaps at a milestone, like finishing that last long run Ö or even more unexpectedly, like during another casual run looping around Central Park.

Typically, the excitement, jitters, and sheer terror are just about all-consuming for the weeks leading into race day. The marathon is usually all I can think of: I visualize my race, start to feel confident, examine the course, stress out about my strategy, and rest, rest, rest. Simply, I work to get my head in the game, because racing 26.2 miles under 6:52 pace is tough if your mind is elsewhere.

Though the moment probably wonít arrive until I get to Boston and surround myself with Marathon weekend buzz, I can already tell my excitement this time around is much more passive ó far different than my Ďtype Aí, planner personality typically functions. But Iím convinced itís for the best.

This whole training cycle has been a bit of a surprise. Without too much work, Iíve improved my paces workout after workout, always happily pleased and honestly a bit in awe. I imagine the reality of racing hasnít settled in quite yet, since part of me feels race day will go similarly to those workouts; Iíll just show up in Hopkinton, feel good and be pleasantly surprised to cross the finish line in under 3:00. ďCool, huh?Ē

While running has certainly been a priority these past four months, Iíve also maintained a far better life/running balance than I ever have while marathon training. Iíve kept everything light and fun. Adopting a more relaxed, Ďtype Bí mindset has paid off in workouts and on runs, so Iíll find out if the same holds true on race day. If anything, Iíve been much happier and relaxed this go around.

And so I embraced that mindset this past weekend. I traveled to Charleston, SC, because my company was a sponsor of the Cooper River Bridge Run, a major 10K with almost 37,000 finishers. With my Polar RCX5 in tow, I decided to hop in the race and use it as a fitness test. My pre-race prep was not ideal, between little sleep and two days of nonstop activity on my feet, but I did the best I could while working and kept it in perspective.

kos_chart.jpg

The gun went off an hour late due to issues clearing the bridge, so the temperatures had risen even further into the 70s/80s and it was h-o-t. But I simply stayed calm and while my body didnít feel great, my final time for the 10K was 40:38, only 2 seconds off my very, very weak 10K PR. Itís always a funny distance for me, as my half-marathon pace is equivalent to my 10K paceóconfirmation that Iím a much stronger long distance runner.

The bridge incline was about 1.25 miles at 4 percent grade, which felt never-ending as my pace dipped and my heart rate rose, especially given the whipping headwind on the way up. I maxed out at a HR of 190 BPM, averaging 181, which seems right for a race effort. With rested legs, proper fueling, more sleep, cooler temperatures and my game face on, Iím feeling good about Boston. Until then, Iíll be waiting for the moment of realization to hit. Any day now Ö

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Look for updates, news, analysis and commentary from the following.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
  • Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
  • Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes

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