The following will not be impressive, or even relevant to the majority of the running universe, but whatever.
For the first time since the late 90's, I actually ran a 12-minute mile.
5.0 MPH on the treadmill, for exactly 12 minutes.
One mile, at 5.0 MPH.
It was an interesting study in motivation and just how capable I am of actually drawing a line in the sand and getting it done - because it really wasn't the physical part that was hard - it was that voice in my head that kept sniggering and whining and rationalizing - "You can't do this. You will need to slow down soon and walk for a bit. You can't do the entire 12 minutes at 5.0, you will hurt something. Or you'll puke. Or..or..or..or.."
The first four minutes just sort of went by, then began the raging battles in my head. It was about all I could do to force myself to stop looking at the timer - and for the most part, I totally lost that fight. Then there was the constant, nearly overpowering sense of boredom - I'd already been going for about 20 minutes; I didn't have my music with me and the dullness was so thick it was chewable. And of course, there was The Voice. That stupid &$%*@%! voice, it needs to take a very far leap off a very steep cliff onto razor-sharp boulders, preferably surrounded by boiling pools of lava. Maybe that's the sort of mental image I need to keep in my head when I've decided to challenge myself.
Getting to 6 minutes meant the halfway point, and looking forward to 7, then 8, and then 9. The entire time I literally had to keep telling myself, over and over, that this is what I had decided to do - a 12-minute mile - and come hell or high water, I was going to do a 12-minute mile. There wasn't going to be any backing off, or lowering the bar, or talking myself into something else, or walking or stopping. So many times during so many workouts in the past, I have set a speed or a distance goal, and then within minutes or even seconds changed the goal to something easier, because for whatever reason, that effing Voice convinced me that I either shouldn't or couldn't do it. But this time, I just flat-out refused to play the game.
At one minute left, I knew it was in the bag, and then - and only then - that stupid Voice finally shut the eff up.