Saturday, January 8, 2011

Speedwork = Torture

I decided to try to get one session of speedwork in before my race this Saturday and opted for a tempo run. I don't have a path near me with mile markers, so I used to plot out a course at my local bike path. I was lucky enough to find a path with enough landmarks to do a 1.5 mile warmup, a 4 mile tempo run, and a 1 mile cooldown -- Perfect! I then checked Accuweather to see when it would be best to run. The forecast said it would be clear until noon which was perfect since I had a chiro appt at noon anyway. I set my alarm for 7 and set all of my clothes out.

I woke up the next morning to the howling of wind and patter of rain on the windows. WHAT?! Stupid forecasters! What do you they get paid for anyway?! So I got on INAccuweather to look at the radar. The whole map was nearly all green and yellow. Grrrrr. It looked like it might clear up in another hour though, so I decided to wait it out. After an hour or so it was still raining -- I decided to just go and brave the weather.

I went out to my car, already annoyed at my start to the day only to look over and see a near flat tire! GRRRRRR. I fiddle with the air compressor with no luck. I decided to just go to the stupid gas station down the street and fill it up there.

Finally, I fix my tire, go bankrupt filling my gas tank, and finally head over to the bike path. After all the time I wasted fiddling with the tire though, I had JUST enough time to get my run in. Luckily, the skies cleared up and the sun started shining. At first I thought, "YES, I did wait it out perfectly!" Then I noticed the steam coming off the path...the only thing the sun did at that point was evaporate all of the water right back into the air creating a soupy, humid mixture that hung all around me. Oh well!

I took it easy on my 1.5 mile warmup and then kicked it into gear for my 4 mile run. I am SO bad at gauging my pace, so I did the best I could to stick to a 9 minute mile. I couldn't really tell whether I was on pace or not since there were no mile markers until 1.5 miles into the tempo. I felt like I was going pretty fast though, although I wasn't feeling great at all. My legs felt tired and I felt like I was gasping to breath in that thick air! It took awhile for me to settle my breathing and ignore my legs which were whining at me to stop. I saw the 1.5 mile landmark ahead and was hoping to see a low time so that I could at least confirm that yes, my efforts creating kickin-butt pace. Yeah...that didn't happen. I hit the 1.5 mile mark with a time of around 14:30. Whoa, that's one minute off the time I should have hit at that point. UGH! I already felt like I was using every fiber of my being to run fast, and then I found out I was too slow! WAH! I told myself to suck it up and just move faster. I kicked it up a notch and told myself to just push on. Little negative thoughts kept creeping in my head though..."You don't need to do all 4 can just do 3.5...or maybe even just 3. That's still good!" I thought, "NO NO NO! I WILL do the 4!" Once I got to the 3.5 mark, I was tempted to stop, but luckily enough, I could see the mile 4 marker ahead. I just focused on that and completed my run. As soon as I hit that though, I was exhausted! I pushed so hard during those 4 miles, I immediately stopped to walk to catch my breath. I haven't walked during a run in months! The only consolation was that at least it was only during my cooldown. I walked for one minute and the jogged the rest of the cooldown.

I wasn't too disappointed about the walk during the cooldown, but I am bummed about how hard those 4 miles were. I ended up running them at an avg pace of 8:45 per mile, which according to my target times via the McMillan Calculator, is pretty good. (My tempo pace is supposed to be 8:47 to 9:10.) What concerns me though is that there is NO WAY I could have done another mile at that pace today. I could barely do the 4 miles! What really bums me out now though is seeing that my target pace for my 10K is supposed to be 8:40 per mile. I had a hard enough time today doing 4 miles at 8:45, and I'm supposed to 6.2 miles at 8:40? I don't know how I'm going to do that! I think I'm going to need a little race magic! Actually, the magic of the race atmosphere has helped me out in the past! In fact, during my 5.25 mile race a few weeks ago, I averaged an 8:36 pace for the 5 mile portion and that was with a crummy first mile! Maybe it was the weather today...maybe it was my harder than normal cross-training session yesterday... maybe it was just a bad run. I hate excuses. Oh well. I'll just have to except it for what it is and let the race atmosphere carry me as fast as I can go this Saturday! ***crossing fingers***

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