I was planning to wait to talk about workouts until the weekly recap, but I’ve got a few things to say about last night’s return to the track and I’m all wired on coffee with a few minutes of time to kill so here we go.
With only 10 weeks and big goals for the Ventura Marathon, I knew I was going to have to jump into training headfirst and hit the ground running. Hard. Doing that without getting injured and also without catapulting myself into the ocean because GOD GETTING BACK IN SHAPE HURTS? – bit of a challenge.
Two weeks ago I started transitioning into my speed shoes (Saucony Kinvara for track and Brooks Racer ST5 for tempo) to let my legs get used to the different heel offsets from my regular trainers (Brooks Launch). Last week I eased in with a 5k/MGP+ fartlek (meaning the “on” parts were at goal 5k pace, and the recovery a little slower than goal marathon pace), letting my legs remember what going fast-ish felt like. All that went well, so week two meant a reunion with the oval.
Due to some scheduling fiascos with Kristina and Margot, who unfortunately have jobs and things keeping them from my ever beckon call, I hit the track solo. For the first time ever. I get what y’all were saying now about friends making speedwork easier – never know how much you miss something till it’s gone, right??
sigh. missed y’all. totally throwing you under the bus here.
I plodded through my 2 mile warm up, telling myself how bad it was going to suck and hurt and gah it’s so humid! Maybe I should scrap it. My legs are pretty tight – what if I end up injured? [burp] Ugh dinner is not sitting well…
Eased in with a fartlek 800 – 200m on 200m off, twice – stripped down to tank top, swigged some lemon lime nuun, and took off for seven more.
#1 & 2 were hard. I felt awkward and stiff and had no sense at all of pace. I checked splits every 100m to try and stick in the 3:30 goal range. (track math is a great distractor, btw)
#3 was when I first seriously thought I wouldn’t finish, and wondered why the hell I used to love this workout so freaking hard. Convinced myself to do at least 5.
#4 the 2:00 rest started feeling like 1:00, despite not having anyone to chat/share misery with. I really wanted to throw in the towel. Midway through the curve of the second lap I realized I was more than halfway done and got a little boost.
#5, the one I said could be the last if I really wanted to give up. “You’ll have to tell everyone you bagged it, though…”
#6, the movement finally started feeling somewhat natural, just in time for my legs to start breaking down from the work. I was laboring earlier and earlier, breathing over the volume of my music by 300m in.
#7, I realized bailing on the workout would only cheat myself, and I’d be super pissed if I fought this long to dog the final set. (memory bank this for final 10k of marathon, please)
Dinner in my throat, completely drenched from combo out-of-shapeness and 78% humidity, and at least two farts I was a little too trusting with but turned out to be ok – I was done. First track workout in the books.
Speed work will always be hard – obviously, because the more fit you get the faster you have to go. But knowing I battled my mental demons and managed to get through last night’s workout on my own, with some damn good times, makes me excited for the challenge.
Margot, Kristina, you better be there next time.