Sunday, May 12, 2013

Time Trial and Back in Track Mode

After writing about the break from schedules, last week I got back into a running schedule. Once road racing ended, I am turning my focus to the track. I did this last year, and did one mile track race in June. This year, I've got 2 1 mile track races scheduled, 1 for May, 1 for June. My year-round focus is not the track - I just don't have that fast-twitch speed. I started training last week. And on Tuesday, I had my first time trial of the year.
It had been raining for a couple of days, and there was some wind, but we were going to do the workout anyways, which was going to include an 800m (2 lap) time trial. While I won't ever compete in an 800m race, the idea was that this would jump start my mile training. Last year, I did it in 2:46, and this year we were hoping for 2:40. Plus, it would in theory make the mile not seem as painful, at least not as fast. So we did our usual 2.5 mile warmup, and then threw in a few 200s, just to warm up the legs (both in 40 seconds) before rolling into the 800. I did have some nervousness about this, and I usually don't get nervous for track workouts. But this was going to be so hard and fast. Sarah told me to tuck in behind her, and we were off. Now, she is a 36 10k runner - this pace is not all out for her. Which is good, because she made it look effortless, and I could just hang on behind her. We went thought the first lap in 80 (1:20), right on pace, but I was doubting my ability to hang onto this. With 300m to go, it just felt so uncomfortable and hard. I ended up finishing in 2:44, all out of breath and that feeling of blood in my throat. You just don't get that feeling in the longer races, but this was a sprint. We took a few easy laps of VERY slow jogging, and then continued the workout with 3x400. These were descending: 88, 85, 84. The first one felt more like a trot after the 800, but by the second 2, I could feel the 800 from earlier. And it just kept raining. It felt as if it would let up every other interval, and then start raining again. A couple of easy laps, and then 4x200m. The first 3 were in 39, and then she said to go all out for the last one - 38! I had never run a 200 that fast. Last year, it took me a while to run 39, and this year, i was doing it consistently in week 2 of training. All promising. It poured during our 2.5 mile cooldown, and we were just soaked, muddy, drenched, you name it. But it was also exhilarating. I so rarely get to do the hard workouts with a partner, and this made it a lot of fun. During the easy parts, we chatted about grad school (we are in the same program - she just defended her dissertation), running, teaching, etc. The workout was a great confidence booster. Even though I didn't hit that 2:40, I'm still chipping away at it. These shorter distances require a different skill set, and I'm just in experienced there. But I am looking forward to getting in more practice at it!

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