Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Katy Trail Mile Repeats, or "The Time I Beat Troy Aikman"

2+ mile w/u
Target: 5xmile @5:35-5:40 w/2-3 mins. jog
Actual: 5:41 (2), 5:34 (2), 5:38 (3), 5:34 (2), 5:36
2 mile c/d
Total: 10 miles

Ah, the best laid plans.

I woke up at 6am on Tuesday morning with every intention of completing this workout on the high school track in Marblehead. Only problem was, once I jogged over to the track I discovered it wasn't a track at all, just a football field with nothing around it. Awesome. By the time I realized where the actual track was I didn't have enough time to run over there and utilize it before work. Fail #1. My fallback was the Beverly High School track which is located a mere 400 meters from our office. However, they're currently redoing the infield so when I jogged past on my second run at lunch there were men in hard hats and bulldozers and the like making a mess of the place. Fail #2. This left me with only one option, and that was to attempt to squeeze this in mid-day Wednesday after waking at 5am and flying until noon and before working all afternoon at the 13.1 Dallas packet pickup at Luke's Locker. That the pieces all fell together in such a way that I was afforded a full 90 minutes to squeeze this in was a miracle in itself. So, while feeling as though I'd already lived through a full exhausting day prior to a solo hard effort might not be ideal pre-workout protocol, it was all I had.

Originally, when the workout plan was Tuesday, Jordan had prescribed six faster intervals with two minutes rest. Given the switch to Wednesday and my upcoming half-marathon on Saturday, the decision was made to decrease the volume and intensity slightly with the intention of preserving my legs. But if I'd thought that mid-5:30s would feel easy, I was wrong. The fact of the matter is I'm just a horrible solo pacer, particularly on a completely straight stretch of pavement such as that of the Katy Trail. At least it was marked every quarter mile, though I question how precise some of those measurements are. I'd like to blame my erratic splits on the potentially erratic markings, but the reality is just what I stated earlier. I'm a horrible solo pacer, and traveling for eight hours before working out sucks.

As alluded to in my blog title, the highlight of this working was beating Troy Aikman. (Just in case you, like Caitlin, are one of two people on earth who doesn't know who he is, see here.) To be precise, he had no idea we were racing. We just happened to be covering the same ground at the same time. Although--and I'm being completely honest here--it really wasn't a race because of how fast I blew past him. The first time I thought, "Hmm, that guy looks a lot like Troy Aikman." The secon
d time, when we made eye contact, I amended that to, "That guy is definitely Troy Aikman. And I'm definitely kicking his ass."

So no matter what happens at 13.1 on Saturday, at least I have that going for me. Which is nice.