Tuesday, January 29

Blowing goats

Before I even began running, I knew it was going to be one of those nights. Those nights I imagine my grandfather would tell me about, where the wind howled and the rain spat in your face. He would tell me that back in his day they made the track an extra 10 meters longer to keep you honest and that there were slight hills on both straights to, well keep you honest.

And so it was tonight, after stepping out of the car and locking the door, that before I even took my first step I knew I was in for a character building session. The workout called for 3xmile at 5k pace; with my recent 8k race as a guide, predicting a 5k equivalent of 16:37, I decided to run 5:21/miles.

So after a few last minute heel kicks, some high knees and a half-hearted stride or two, I eased into the first interval with the controlled enthusiasm. The first 200 was fine, the wind at my back, but as I came around the last corner I collided with a bitter and unrelenting southwest wind that stood me up like schoolboy caught with his hand in the teachers desk drawer. There was no light at the start/finish and so I continued to run be feel, keeping relaxed and feeling light and was pleasantly surprised to finish stop the clock at 5:18.

I’m not really sure what happened next.

I decided to start at the opposite corner (it’s lit) and perhaps because I could see my splits, focusing too much on time rather than remaining relaxed, I could hardly believe it when I finished with a whooping 5:27. I’m not sure if my focus had completely disengaged but I considered throwing in the towel right there and calling it a night.

I’m uncertain what made me continue, I think I wanted to prove to myself that I hadn’t blown and my previous interval was due to even more intense winds, regardless I split the 1200 of my last mile at 4:00 but struggled during the remaining 400 finishing in 5:24.

Lessons learned then from tonights w/o: 1) focus, in a 5k race a mental lapse can cost you the everything, 2) forget the time and concentrate on running relaxed, controlled and with a light step and lastly 3) I need to work on my strength, dropping 4” on the last lap was despicable.

Training: 1:10:32 with 3xmile at 5k pace (2’) [5:18, 5:27, 5:24]


Brad Cunningham said...

Bah. What is one workout after a stressful weekend and a crappy night?

Nothing. But you have more character now than you did before the run. Don't read too much into it. Run the same workout in better conditions next week and you will be fine.

Grellan said...

Don't be too hard on yourself. A few seconds out over a mile is hardly "despicable". Sounds like a well executed workout to me especially given the conditions.

Michael said...

Thanks for the comments and I agree with both of you. I realize “despicable” might come across as harsh, but I was surprised to drop 4” in one lap, I remember thinking I would’ve dropped another 4” had I continued. I’ve managed take away the positive experience (finishing) and strangely don’t remember the negative.

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