Thursday, August 25, 2011

A very tough track workout - undeterred

As usual, the prospect of a track workout was thrilling.  Mile repeats – 5 of them, starting at 6:55 pace and knocking 5-7 seconds off with each repeat.  I had done a modified version of this a few weeks ago in Santa Cruz: 4 repeats starting at 6:55, then 2 x 800 to account for the last mile.  I wasn’t sure what to expect this time around.  The last time I had this many mile repeats, I think the pace started at 7:20 or so and finished around 6:49.  Not this time!

I should also add that I moved back to DC on Monday.  And I know I was spoiled by California weather for months, and while I know it wasn’t as hot as it was earlier in the summer in DC (it got into the 100s, apparently), it was still hot for me as I just had returned to the heat.  And by the time 2.5 mile warm-up was done, and the 6 x 150 meter strides were done, I was dripping.  Holy moly, how was I going to pull this off?

Clicked through the first repeat at 6:56 and I told myself to just do my best for this workout.  Normally, I am either right on par with the expected times, or even a second or two faster.  I got through the second at 6:51, which meant that I was still able to knock off the expected 5 seconds.  6:46 for the 3rd, and I already felt beat.  And it is so hard once words like “tired” “how many left” “too hot” start to enter the mind to push them out.  6:42 for the 4th, and I was giving it my all to get to that point.  As I was standing at the white line to start the final one, there was a tiny sense of relief that this was the last one, but dread of how I was going to get through it.  Well, not my finest moment: 6:46 – I had slowed down – it has probably been a year since I’ve done that during a track workout.  Still, I was so relieved that I had done all 5 repeats that I couldn’t be too upset.  I did my 2.5 mile cool down (the whole thing was a 12 mile workout), and was completely spent at that point.

Normally, there is a greater sense of victory after the track workout – it is my favorite run of the week.  And I wasn’t grumpy or crabby – don’t think that.  But it wasn’t quite what I expected.  So, as usual, I wrote to my trainer to let her know how the workout, and this was her response.
Nice effort.  Some days are just not meant to be workout days despite what the training schedule says.  It looks like you didn't have a complete meltdown, so that is good (trust me, some of my racing team training partners have had that workout really be a bomb--me included!).  And, honestly, you managed to average in the 6:40s, so that is awesome for not feeling too great.  Don't ever feel like you have to make it through a workout on days when your body isn't cooperating. You know yourself, and if you ever feel like you just need to stop--even mid-interval--shut it down! Plus, you just did a lot of traveling and moving, and, that really does take a toll on you--sometimes more than you think.  Just remember how many great workouts you have been having, so don't focus on one day or even one week. 

Obviously, that made me feel a lot better.  I knew it wasn’t a failed workout, I never thought that. I am hoping that I will get this workout again in a month or so, once the weather cools down a bit and I continue to adjust to these faster paces.  I am excited about the prospect of rewriting how this workout goes and getting a second chance for success!

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