Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tough Day to Run

Yesterday's attempt to run my workout turned into a total fiasco.  For starters, the temps are up again, so that wasn't going to help.  Second, I tried to get to the track early to beat the heat, but that didn't work as #1 I wound up leaving the house about a half hour later than I wanted, and #2 this is a community college track and school just started this week. . . . so EVERY parking lot was full.  I literally drove around for 45 minutes going from lot to lot in order to find a spot.

So at this point, by the time I finish my warm up it's almost noon (as opposed to what I wanted to be a 10:30 start) - and it's hot as hell.  Making matters worse, there was some sort of Physical Education class at the track and their deal was to either walk or slow jog around the track - and there was about 100 of them!

They hadn't started their slog yet so I tried to get in some of the workout before the herd trampled the track.  I got in my first 2-miles @ 5:58 pace, took my break and then started the next run.  After another mile at the same pace the herd was starting and I was just in no mood to weave in and out of 100 walkers in that heat so I pulled the plug.

Needless to say I was pissed off - mostly at myself for not going ahead and at least finishing the 4th mile anyway.  A while later I came to realize that even though the workout didn't go as well as I'd have liked, the reality was I ran about the same workout as last week and the week before - w/ and extra 15-18 degrees of temperature.  

Looking at it that way, it wasn't a total failure - but still I felt like I hadn't done enough.  So later in the early evening I went back to the track to get in a few 800m reps.  However, when I got there the parking lot was STILL FULL - at 6:30pm!!  I only needed to drive around for 20-minutes this time, but I still wasn't happy.  Once I got to the track, things got worse yet again when there was some track club taking up all but the 3 inside lanes. . .  and then, get this - a ladies fitness club (about 50-60 of them) getting ready to walk laps around the only 3-lanes left - and they all had matching T-shirts and hats.  My first thought was - "these ladies probably paid a hefty sum to join this 'club' where they got shirts and hats ($15 value) and are essentially paying someone to watch them walk around a track".  Second thought was - "what the hell am I going to do now?"  

Well, if I didn't feel like weaving in between 100 college students who at the very least would attempt to get out of your way once in a while, I sure as hell wasn't going to spend my evening weaving in between a bunch of old ladies who I'm sure knew nothing of track etiquette and might not even be able to hear me!  

The gals were doing their stretching before the big walk-a-thon and looking at them try to stretch I figured they might be there for a while, so I said "let's get in a good 1200m run and go from there".  

First lap 1:11, right on pace - and then w/ the way my day was going was there ever any doubt. . . ladies decide to bag the stretching and start the walking.  Now I'm in my 2nd lap and I'm literally dodging left and right like a fighter pilot trying to stay out of the crosshairs of the plane behind me.  Totally broke any concentration I had, and at one point I actually stepped off the track entirely to avoid a 120 year old man who was not part of the group but I guess decided to join in on the fun and walk as slow as possible in lane-1.  No doubt he was deaf or very close to it.  Next thought that popped into my head "shit, I'm going to have to pass that guy again".  Then as I approached the end of the 2nd lap it suddenly occurred to me that "oh yeah, I'm trying to run a decent rep here!"  Second lap - 1:21, "dammit!"  I'd like to pick it up but there's just too many of them.  I managed to increase the pace a little, but now I'm zeroing in on the old man - I think he's aged 10 more years during the last lap, he looks to be at least 130 now.  Is he going to hear me coming, my guess is no so I plan to swing out to lane-2.  Just then the steps to his right and is now on the line separating the lanes and is essentially taking up two lanes - and then he stops completely and just stands there right as I'm coming up on him.  Great, swerve to the inside - off the track again.  Now I've got only about 150m to go and I pick the pace up as best I can .  Later a check of the Garmin showed the final 150m at a pace of about 4:15 - 4:20/mile, but the damage had long since been done.  Final lap - 1:14, Total time - 3:46.  Awful.  Just awful.

No way I'm doing that again - workout over.  Being that I probably shouldn't have been out there that evening anyway, leaving was not the worst thing in the world.  I was so irritated by the entire day - what a disaster.  I couldn't get one damn thing to go smoothly - and that's probably why I went back to the track - I just wanted to run w/ no interruptions and I figured it would be clear by 6:30 - 7:00 pm.  There's just something that I find very relaxing about running some reps in that 13-15 mph range - hoping it would take my mind off the previous session - but not even that worked out today.  


9/24:  5.5 miles including 3 miles @ 5:58 pace (2-min break between miles 2 and 3) and 1200m in 3:46


running faster with the ALIEN LIZARD said...

Sounds like a total nightmare, and i thought the track was for running fast on.
Why in the world would anyone want to walk round and round a track is beyond even me!

Mike said...

I don't get it either - and how do they not have the common sense to say to themselves "gee, it looks like some people are actually running, maybe I should walk in an outer lane" Never occurs to these people.

The real funny one though is the PE class - this is a college class?? walking on the track!?

Grellan said...

Mike, it just wasn't your day. You'll have to earn your bear badge another time. I was eager to see how you got on.

The track that I use appears to follow some sort of track etiquette - give way to faster runners. Although lanes 1 and 2 are coned off (some walker use them) but as long as I know what i'm dealing with (lane 3) it's easy to plan my workouts.

Mike said...

Thanks Grellan. BTW - any thoughts on what I was saying on the previous post about threshold pace?

Grellan said...

Mike, I get your point. I wasn't aware of Daniels different paces for 800m runners as I skipped that part of the book - the only training programme I have ever followed (to-date) is a marathon programme. Certainly the spread of paces between 400/800 and 800/1500 specialists appears large. I've also noticed when running with Brendan that his easy pace verges on the "not so easy" for me and his interval paces would be much faster than mine as he is coming from a background of track running (800m) and I am - well lets say my background since I started running is far more endurance based.

I suspect his tempo runs would be closer to his 5k pace and mine closer to HM pace and I'd say our racing abilities currently match somewhere between the 10k to 10 mile range - although his endurance is coming on this year as he is training for a HM.