Monday, September 9, 2013


September is upon us and I've done my first workout. Spoiler alert: it was a disaster!

Instructions were simple.
1600m on the track @ 10k-half marathon pace.
Recovery jog to a hill nearby.
4 sets up a hill.
Back to the track for 2 x 800m @ 5k pace
One lap recovery
Recovery jog to another hill nearby.
3 sets up that hill, which is steeper.
Back to the track for a 3200m @ 10k-half marathon pace, preferably faster than the mile.

My 10k-half marathon pace would be 5:18-5:25 pace, and 5k pace would be 5:02 pace, just for a reference. I planned to run considerably slower than those targets, as it would be my first workout in months. As we started, the women's XC team and the entire varsity swimming program arrived at the track to do their own workouts at the same time. The swim coach asked if we minded (we didn't) so we got on our merry way!

Things started out fine. I ran somewhere in the 82-84 range for the first two laps. I was satisfied. Right at 5:30 pace. My next lap got a little faster, closer to 80. The last lap, we were running through what was essentially a tunnel of swimmers occupying lanes 2-7 for over 150 meters. That's when things got out of hand. I finished with a 75 last lap for 5:15. Running in front of an audience gets the legs moving.

Off to the hills. They were hard. I suffered through them, trying to maintain contact with Dave and Thomas ahead of me. Then back to the track. I thought to myself, "try to run the same pace you did for that mile." Nope. 71 seconds, followed by a 75. Granted, I slowed down deliberately in the last hundred because the swim team was standing there waiting to start their interval and I wanted to look good. So a 2:26 is NOT 5:15 pace, nor is it even 5:02 pace. Too fast, too furious. Will I be smarter for the next 800? Of course not. 71, 74 for a 2:25. Apparently the fastest of the swimmers ran a 2:26 for their last of four 800s that morning too. They looked a lot better running than I look swimming, that's for sure.

Back to more hills, same thing as before. Only steeper and fewer. Then back to the track. But no, the audience is leaving! Now I have to suffer through these two miles without anyone there getting me excited and making me run faster! I started 10 seconds back of Thomas and Dave, so that I wouldn't get sucked in. My plan was to run a 5:30 for the first mile, then maybe negative split if possible. Again, if possible.

So what did I go out in to run this 5:30? Did I run an 82? No. 77. Idiot. I settled down and got back under control and found myself at an 80. Continued to get back where I needed to be, went through the mile in 5:18. So too fast. Settle down. My next 400 was an 83. Not bad, keep it up. My next 200 was a 46. Uh oh. Wheels are falling off.

I just called it then. I knew I wasn't going to get anything out of walking two more laps in over 90 seconds each, so I just stopped at 2400 meters in 8:08. From there I proceeded to die a slow, painful death trying to catch my breath in the low-60 degree air that was gracing me with its presence. It was a perfect day to do my first workout and I just tanked it because I made rookie mistakes.

On the cool down, Thomas and I got dropped by Rachel.

The next morning, I did a 16 mile long run in 2 hours. Thomas joined me for miles 11 through 16. I was sore and tired. It was very cool outside. Pretty great.

Moving on to the next week.

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