Ugh! Just Ugh! 77 degrees. 28% humidity. 10 mph winds. Track workout from heck!

Warm up: 1 mile: 12:42 (walked the first lap to gradually warm the legs up before speed trails.) Felt ok.

Goal: 100 m as fast as I can.

I’d printed out my McMillan Calculator prediction sheets from my last week’s half marathon PR and the one that showed what I’d need to be able to achieve in order to BQ in the fall (or anytime before I hit 40. I’m 37 1/2 now, so I have a bit of time – but not tons to get faster.)

I fiddled with my Garmin and set it to the metric system before attempting each segment of the workout so I could at least see that I’d gone 100m, 200m, etc. I’d hoped my Garmin had a feature that would let me set that distance so I wouldn’t have to hit “stop” right at the perfect moment while trying to sprint – but no dice. So, I ran as hard as I could in the conditions and stared at the Garmin at the end – and overshot my distance a bit.

This was 111 meters instead of 100 for instance. I did hit my target for this one, though since I needed to hit 19.7 in 100 for the Boston sheet and I’m pretty sure I did that since I did 111 in 20 seconds. 

How did I feel at the end? Overheated. A bit ill. Fatigued. Not like I’d given my “best” effort since the heat was worse than I run well in. (My body adores temps of 30 – 45 and I almost always run my best at those temps.)

Walked a lap to catch my breath, drank some water.

Second time trial goal: 200m (Boston time 39.4)

I was feeling ok after the first 100m and after walking a lap to catch my breath and attempted the 200m one. This didn’t go as well. It was getting hotter and I was feeling nausea from my breakfast being eaten too soon before this workout. I just wasn’t feeling it as much.

Again, it was annoying to have to focus on speed AND staring at the Garmin as I approached what I assumed would be close to 200 m (have I mentioned I did not run track in high school or college, so this whole track thing is pretty mysterious to me still.)

Again, I had the Garmin set to meters, so I could watch that part of the screen as I hit 200. Again, I overshot a bit. I went 214 before hitting “stop.” My time: 47 seconds. My goal was 200 in 39.4. Way off. According to my McMillan printout based on my recent PR half of 1:53:05, I should already be able to do this distance in 41.6. Not even sure I hit that one today, but was closer to that that Boston one. Fatigue was getting to me at this point and I realized that this was just not my day for the sprint trials. 

Finally, being the fool that I am – I decided to skip the remaining time trials I’d wanted to attempt (the 400, 800, 1500) and just go for the big enchilada for today – the mile. I felt like crap, but I figured “why not?”

Bad idea. I attempted the mile — and realized I was so far off on pace at the half point, I just ended it. I know better than to keep pushing when my body is saying, “Not today.”  So – nauseous, exhausted and feeling discouraged, I ended this workout.

.50 mile – ave pace 7:34 – terrible!!!! I KNOW when I’m feeling well and the temps are closer to 40 I’m able to break 7 min at the mile. Have I ever done it? Not yet, but I just can tell it’s possible. The McMillan calculator – should be 7:03 based on my recent performance in the half (a hot one.) The Boston dream one? 6:41. I really think I’m somewhere in the middle. That’s where the work will come over the next year or two. I’ll attempt to BQ in October (and that marathon was exactly 40 degrees the entire time last year so it’s great conditions.) Am I likely to hit it the first time? No. I know that. Very unlikely in fact. Am I likely to blow my last times out of the water? Yes. Definitely yes.  Bit by bit, mile by mile, I’ll keep getting stronger and I’m thinking I have a very good chance to BQ by the same marathon in 2011. If that doesn’t go my way, it just so happens by the fall marathon of 2012, I get 5 more minutes added to the time I’m allowed to qualify for since I’ll be 40 before the April race in 2013. So, instead of having to get a 3:45:59 or better (for ages 35 – 39), I’ll need 3:50:59. I’d still feel pretty good about myself since I’d have BQ’d before 40 (my birthday is in November and the race is October.)  I think I can do it! It just takes time and LOTS of good, focused training.

Cooldown and reflection: .25 sad miles of walking.

woke up this morning feeling peppy after a good 9 hours of rest. On a whim I threw on my running gear even though today was supposed to be a rest day. I’d been itching to drive to a school track a pal had bragged about and thought “Why not today?”

The track was further away from my home than I expected – about 7 miles, but once I got there, I knew I’d found my Nirvana of tracks. It’s behind this school in the country surrounded by fields and farm houses. The mountains make a nice backdrop in the distance. Ahhhhh.

I’d been told the track was “cushy” so at first I thought I’d found the wrong place. The track looked like any other track — like asphalt with white paint marking the lanes. Then I bent down and pushed at it with my fingertips — GIVE! It was made of some type of rubber! Sweet!!!

Another huge perk? A porta potty nearby! Yes! My track running heaven had all the accommodations a runner could hope for. The best part? I was the only one there! Yes! Yes! Yes!
Ok, this was the part where I, being a silly person, neglected to think about a few factors. The first: I’m still not recovered entirely from last week’s PR half marathon. I felt amazing that day, had very little soreness the following day — but my speed and my energy have been affected and I’ve noticed it on the last few runs, so I was aware that my body is still in recovery mode. Secondly, I just ran 13 miles yesterday. Not fast — but I wasn’t running on fresh legs. Third, my husband and two little girls have had the flu the past week. I am suspicious that I’m coming down with it. I’ve been sooo fatigued the past couple of days. Then again, taking care of them and the rest of my children could very well have been the cause and I may not be sick at all. Fourth – the heat. Oh, the heat. Mid 70’s when I arrived, almost 80 by the time I finished. UGH! Just UGH! The sun was bright and beating down on me and I felt a little nauseous even after my easy warm up. 😛

So, reflections now that it’s over. I think I need to be smart and take a couple days off to really rest and recover. I’ve made great progress with my running this year so far and I’d hate to throw it all away by pushing too hard when I should have been recovering and getting ready to start building up again for my bigger effort — my fall marathon – now 12 weeks away. This is a good time to rest a bit, then jump back on the horse when my body is ready.

I think I should hold off on any speed or long runs for the rest of the week. I bet that would be smart. I may disappoint some pals who were planning on having me along for a couple of workouts, but I hope they’ll understand.

Do I think I’ll make Boston at my fall marathon? Not likely. I know that. It’s a long-shot. Do I think I’ll be able to qualify by the time I’m 40 if I keep training well? Yes. I believe it to my core.  But, I’m going to make every effort to train well from now until my October marathon and give it everything I’ve got when I’ve got the chance. It never hurts to shoot for the moon, they say — you’ll still land among the stars. 

Today sucked. It’s ok. I shouldn’t have attempted it at all. It was a rest day. I was impulsive like a child and eager to run on this track. Oh well. Lesson learned. I’m taking a couple days off to rest and recover from my hard effort month. PR’s in the 10k, 2 mile and half is a great month of effort! Now I need rest so I can come back and keep doing what I love to do. 

Like a fool that meant, I decided to skip attempting the 400 and 800 and just leap up to the mile and see how I did. Yeah…. great idea, right? 😛

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