Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Reality Check on the Speed Loop

3.25 mile w/u
Target: 3x15 mins. @6:20, 6:10, 6:00 w/3 min. rest
Actual: 3x15 mins. @6:02 (3 min.), 6:00 (5 min.), 6:05
3.25 mile c/d
Total: 14 miles

When Jordan wrote out the proposed paces for this workout, I thought it looked way too easy. In fact, I was so confident (for some completely unfounded reason) that I estimated I should be able to coast through each interval at 6-minute pace or faster. Unfortunately there were several factors stacked against me, not the least of which being that this would make for my third hard run of the past four days. I also anticipated the weather finally breaking, a wish that never even came close to becoming a reality. It has literally rained and stormed at least once a day for the past week, which meant that my two preferred locations for this workout, McAlpine and McMullen, were a big fat mess. Yet another early morning thunderstorm meant that the air was thick and muggy for my 9am start time as well. I've learned both anecdotally and through research that a dew point over 70 unfailingly makes for a miserable workout or race experience, but with 13.1 Atlanta coming up on Sunday I really couldn't afford to push this back another day.

And yet, all the above taken into account, I stubbornly maintained my grossly overconfident attitude and refused to let Jordan set a relaxed pace. Each interval seemed to follow the same pattern: run too hard for the slightly uphill first k, rebound for a nice downhill second k, begin to overheat and struggle on the third k, then count down the seconds of a seemingly endless fourth k. To Jordan's credit, he refused to let me quit when I stated flat-out that there was no way I could do a third set. To my credit, I only cursed him internally and didn't make a scene in the middle of Dilworth Road East. Instead I drank a cup of water (courtesy, as always, of the Rebecca Thomason front porch refreshment center), tried to calm my breathing, actually listened to Jordan's advice to start the third set slower, and simply trusted him that I'd be able to hang on. Sure enough, I did, albeit at the slowest pace of the day.

This workout wasn't great. It definitely wasn't pretty, and I probably would have dropped out had Jordan not been there. If this is supposed to be my marathon pace, then I have a heck of a lot of work to do between now and January. Regardless, keeping a long-term approach in mind, I'll consider finishing this a success in itself. Here's to hoping my legs rebound and recover in time to run a similar pace for 13.1 on Sunday!


Anonymous said...

Saw you comment on Meggans Running Blog. Thought I'd check your page out since you're running times I want to get back to running :) Keep it up!