Friday, May 06, 2011

That Other Gear

I mentioned in my last post that I ran my fastest 1000's ever on Tuesday. That in itself was an accomplishment, but what is even greater is that I think I'm figuring out the whole finding a new gear thing.

Before I started working with Coach G, I am not sure I ever really pushed myself in workouts. My old coach always had me do 10k paced reps, so of course those were relatively easy. Of course, in my drama-queen head they still felt hard!

Coach G has been having me do a lot more 5k paced reps. It was a little tough to get used to at first, but now I can do 5k pace on auto-pilot. I basically show up to the track and the workout runs itself with each rep getting slightly faster than the one before it as my legs warm-up.

This week I had something different. I had to start maybe a little slower than 5k and then work my way down to faster than 5k pace for 5 x 1000. Goals were: 3:47; 3:43; 3:43; 3:38; 3:38.

Per usual, the first one was my warm-up and although I just made it with a 3:46 the next two felt a little easier and they were 3:42 and 3:41. But, I had a hard to going faster. My body just gets in a speed groove and it's hard to break out of it. Despite feeling like I was hammering I only ran a 3:39 for the fourth one. Crud!

For the last one I was determined to do it. I toed the line and hit the watch. I came through 200 a little fast, 400 right-on, but @ the 600 I was slow. UGH! I picked it up, but I was still a slow at the 800. I knew I could run a 3:38. I was going to try. So I dug deep and even though my legs were lactic-acid filled logs I found that gear and cranked he last 200 to eek under with a 3:37.80. I have never ever felt like I felt on that last 200 of that last 1000. I have to say, I liked it!

Yesterday I had a tempo on tap. Goal was 6 @ 6:30. I took the first 2 out right on pace and then we went up a hill and into the city. I was having trouble either actually or just in garmin land (we were now surrounded by buildings and the pace was getting all wonky) hitting 6:30. It was hot and windy, but we were working. It was aggravating me to keep getting a 6:32 or 6:33 split. Finally for the last mile I decided I had had enough and I was going to get that 6:30 average! My buddy E-speed was ahead of me doing her own faster tempo and I used her to focus on. And again, I found another gear. I didn't go crazy, but I picked up the pace and felt great. Garmin says I ran 6:19 for the last mile and I just eeked under the 6:30 average I needed. Woo!

But, the moral of the story is that even when I think I've run as fast as I can there is another gear in there. I am so happy to have finally found it!

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