Friday, October 25, 2013


I've been running and it's getting better. Over a month ago, I wrote about doing my first workout from Mark and it being a disaster. Things have progressed. With a newborn baby in the house and my own personal motivation problems, I have been very inconsistent. I haven't run 7 days in one week in two months. I often take one or two days off at a time for no reason, staying with the baby in the morning and saying I'll run in the afternoon, but then not doing that because I've never been good at doing that.

Three weeks ago I ran 6 days. I actually got in 8 days in a row, but in that week I got almost 60 miles with one day at 3 miles and one at 18 miles.That long run was great! I did the first 9 in 64 minutes and the second 9 in 60 minutes. I felt good and it was a great confidence builder.

Then last week, I got to do two workouts with the guys, or at least some of the guys. Tuesday Mark gave us a fartlek at Riverview. Dave and Sallie were the only really active racers there, and Thomas, Lee and I were planning on doing some part of the workout. Thomas and Lee stuck with Sallie, and I was hanging behind Dave for the first 30 seconds. Then I realized, why don't I just run with him? If I blow up at the end, at least I wasn't lonely the whole time! So I ran the workout with Dave. 4 x 3 minutes, 6 x 1 minute, 4 x 2 minutes. Somehow, both of my shoes came untied during the last 3 minute, which Dave thought was the first 1 minute, and I thought I'd ruined myself by not stopping to fix my shoe right away. Later, on one of the 1 minutes when Thomas and Lee joined us and left Sallie for dead, I thought to myself, "this is what I've been missing." Working out with people. I was so happy.

The happiness faded at the end when Dave dropped me like a bag of bricks on the last two minute segment. But he's in shape and I am not. Oh well! Here is a link to that workout.

I then took the next two days off to taper for my next workout on Friday.

By the way, I don't even look up these workouts anymore. I just show up and ask someone what we're doing and then try to do it or if I think it is too fast/short for my legs right now, I do something else.

So last Friday I was being a big wimp. I didn't feel good beforehand on the warm-up, and I couldn't focus on the task at hand. We were supposed to do two by two miles, which is something I've been doing a lot on my own, but with four 800s in between. I keep shying away from the short, faster things, because my hamstrings and IT bands have no interest in running fast right now. They're not strong enough to sustain it. Everyone else is near the end of their training cycle, so dropping down the pace is fine. It's just not for me right now.

I was thinking about wimping out of the workout before it even started and just running. But Charlie was only going to run 4 miles and I wanted to do more than that. So I lined up. Similarly to Tuesday, Thomas and Lee were going to run with Sallie for a while, and Dave and I were left to our own devices. It was cool and I decided that today was the day to try wearing some lighter shoes again.

I started out slow. I didn't know what I was doing, and I didn't really have any goals. I was just running. I felt like I should stop after two laps. I was very close to just walking off the track and going for a long cool down. Those first two laps were slow and awful. The next lap, I felt like I was sprinting. Looking at the clock, it was drastically faster. I made it through and got to the mile in 5:33 and thought that I was going to be in trouble. I didn't want to just step off the track in the first interval, so I sucked it up and tried to focus. I also just tried to get it over with. My two mile time was 11:02.

This was a little troublesome, as I'd been starting out at 11:15ish in previous weeks and then finishing closer to 11:00. But I'd made this bed so it was time to sleep in it. Thomas and Lee joined us for the 800s while Sallie only had to do two of them. I didn't know how fast these were supposed to be either, and figured I'd just try to run the same pace that I did for the two mile.

Thomas and Dave immediately gapped me. I felt like I was running so fast and they were so far ahead of me immediately. But I was satisfied to run a 2:31. On the next one, I was a lot closer to them on the first lap and thought that meant I was running too fast, but I did the same thing: 2:31. The next two were also very consistent, 2:30 and 2:29. Not that bad. But now I knew I was going to be in trouble.

As we started the final two mile (of two), I asked, "What pace is this supposed to be? 10k?" Dave and Thomas said yes, so my brain started thinking about 5:18-5:20 pace. I'm pretty sure my 10k PR is at 5:18 pace. So if I shoot for 5:20s, that would be a huge improvement from the first interval, and still really fast for me. Just run 80s the whole way, 80 flat. 200 meters in, I was 38/39 seconds. Too fast, too hot. Slow down. I was way too close to Dave and Thomas anyway. Back off. Over the next hundred meters, I relaxed and backed off the pace as they ran away from me. But then something happened when I hit the straightaway.

I decided not to be such a wimp. I was on the track, nothing was wrong with me, and I had company with me. So what is the point of me running so slowly? Get up there and suck it up. What is the worst thing that can happen? I have a bad two miles? So what? It is a workout, just get over it.

So I caught back up. The first lap was a 79, followed by two 78s and a 77. I was hanging out right behind Dave while Thomas led. So hitting that first mile in 5:13 was a little bit of a shock, but I was comfortable. I knew that I'd made it half way and that if I blew up now, I'd just have a mile to suffer, but I wasn't ready to suffer yet. I started thinking about running faster if I could, but there was no more speed in my legs. Dave started to try to surge ahead at the 300 but would quickly come back and tuck in behind me. We were still running quickly, and it felt good. Hard, but good. I went 78, 77, 76, and then relaxed my way down the homestretch to a 77, finishing the mile in 509 and the two mile in 10:23. Holy cow!

And I was immediately spent afterwards. I trotted around for the cool down and suffered a while, but it was exciting. I was happy. I had the opportunity to run with my teammates twice this week, to do legitimate workouts, and I took it. Great way to start the day. Here is a link to the workout, and my splits are below.

What I need to improve now is my consistency. This week I took another two days off (hopefully I'll be able to write about this week before too long) and that isn't going to make me stronger. I know that I'm only trying to run a 2:44:59 marathon in 6 weeks and that a 6:25 pace won't be challenging, but it won't be challenging if I am strong enough. These workouts are fine, they're a lot of fun and will probably help me when I try to run the Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving, but running a a 10:23 two mile isn't going to matter when I'm 150 minutes into a long run and I haven't spent that much time on my feet over the course of 3 consecutive days.

I'm working on the long runs. I've done 16, 18, and 18 the past three weeks. I'm going to do 20, 20, and 18 the next three weeks. Probably a 22 after that, and then back down to 18 and 16 before 3 Bridges. We'll see. It's going to be an adventure, seeing if I can put my money where my mouth is.

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