Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Tale of Two Workouts

Last night was beautiful at the track. It was 70 with just the slightest of breezes and the sky was full of those cool silvery fall clouds. On tap was an up and down 5k ladder. I like ladders. The plan was to do 400; 800; 1200; 1600; 1200; 800; 400 @ 5k pace with half-time rest in between each rep. Since NC is just off her break post-Philly half (1:16:3x!) she joined me. I haven't run a workout with her in forever, so it was nice!

My goal pace was 5:50 pace or 87-88 per 400. I do not look at my watch on the track any more unless I'm on my own and then I only look at the 400. Tonight I didn't look at all, just ran. NC called out the 200 splits and coach called out the 400 splits. I just felt the pace. The first rep felt kind of harder than I would have liked and I was a little nervous that the rest of the workout was going to suuuuck. Well, when we rolled through the 400 in 84 I felt better. Way too fast, especially for the first one which always feels the crustiest.

I practiced focusing and clearing my head: left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot. When a junky thoughts would enter my brain I pushed it out with left foot, right foot. When I was worried about the 1200's or the (eek) 1600, I just said left foot, right foot. One lap at a time, doll-face!

The first 800 felt much easier than the 400. We rolled through right on in 2:55. The best part was the 200's were in 43.5ish range so we were consistent the whole way. The first 1200 was 1 second slow in 4:23. But we were again even paced the whole way so I wasn't worried about it one bit. Even if I looked at my watch and realized we might be 1 second slow I don't like to push too much on the early reps. I like to just let it flow. I don't sweat 1 second and I don't think it's worth pushing crazy on the last 100 to get 1 second early in a workout. Just my thing, I guess.

Then the 1600. Gulp! I almost never hit 1600's in workouts. I was nervous, but pushed the nerves aside and went back to my commitment to take it one lap at a time. We were off. NC and I were joking about something on the first lap and we came through in 89. Oops! I didn't worry about it. We picked it up a little. 800 in 2:56. We stayed focused and ran right on with a 5:50 for the mile. Yee-haw!

And then, the best part of the ladder. It's all down hill from there. After nailing the 1600 I know I have the workout in the bag. 4:20; 2:49; 79! Take that track!

When I was entering this workout into my log I remembered doing it before. I checked it out and saw we did it in the beginning of July. Back then coach was having me run with E-speed. Our goal pace was 5:44 or 86 per lap! Eek. The funny thing is that I ran similar paces, just reverse: 83; 2:49; 4:16; 5:53; 4:21; 2:51; 79. I left the July workout feeling like I biffed it a little. I remember bending over after each rep feeling awful and watching everyone leave me in their dust after the first 1200.

Last night I felt comfortable on each and every rep (save for the first). I felt smooth and never had that I'm-going-to-die feeling. NC even commented that I ran that 5:50 so effortlessly that there's no way it's 5k pace (which would be nice, but I'm perfectly happy with 5:50 now too!) I felt like I nailed the workout and left happy and not in pain! Back in July when I ran the first workout I was struggling with my butt injury and blowing workouts left and right. I was running too fast on the track and I was overtraining. It's amazing what a mere 1.5 seconds per lap can do!


Janet Edwards said...

Way to BRING IT doll face :-)

allanjel said...

You are like this intense hippie now (I don't know what else to call it) rolling through the workouts so relaxed, yet right on point!!