Strange thing happened on Tuesday - I cut my 5-miler short about 0.4-miles because it didn't feel as easy as it should have. I haven't done that in quite a while and I knew it wasn't a good omen for today's workout.
First sign of trouble today came when my first warm-up 200m came in at 29.3 I've been routinely hitting these in 28.4 - 28.7 w/o thinking about it and then having to purposely throttle back the second one (which usually ends up about 29.5) Today I concentrated a bit on #2 to log a 28.6 - of course I didn't need to run a 28.x, but I felt like I just wasn't right today and I was looking for something to keep my confidence up.
I felt tired, but more than that, simply drained. Last Wednesday I felt so strong right from the get go - both 200s came in under 29 and were very easy - and then I had to hold myself back on the first 400m just to keep it at 64 when I was trying to run a 67. I felt none of that strength today.
The workout was supposed to be as follows:
warm up + 2 x 200m
600m : (first quarter 62, try to hold that pace for the last 200m)
Making matters worse, the 400m which is supposed to be nothing more than a "fatigue generator" for the 600m came in way too fast - and I have no idea how it happened. I was running the first 200 w/ the wind and the 2nd 200 into the wind. The plan was to start out about 29-30 w/ the wind at my back figuring I'd finish up about 32 into the wind. Well, the first 200 came in at 29.x as planned, but somehow w/o me elevating the effort the second 200 came in around 30-flat giving me a 59.8 for the quarter. This was way too fast. I was fairly certain I had just blown the workout as I knew I wasn't feeling that great to begin with and the additional fatigue from the 59.8 would surely be another nail in the coffin.
As I stated yesterday - based on last week's session I was confident I could go 1:31.5 - 1:32 on this 600m, but that was definitely out the window now. Still, the fact that I somehow threw a sub-60 up there made me think I at least needed to put in a good effort.
I started out OK, but after just 350m an overall sense of fatigue started to creep in. As I came through the quarter I saw that my time was about 60.5, but I was fading pretty quickly at this point. A 16+ second 100m followed, putting me at 1:17 through 500m. It just got worse from there and I finished up in 1:34.2 - which I immediately classified as a total disaster. Being that the 600m was the focus of the entire workout, and the fact that I knew something was amiss at the start, I saw no point in running the last two 200s.
In hindsight, this performance wasn't as bad as I thought - my first solid 400s came only last week where I was going 63 - 66 up until the final one at 58. Today I hit 59.8 and came right back w/ a 60.5 to start the 600m. Clearly, coming in way too fast on the first 400 contributed mightily to the issues on the 6, and it's probably a bit unrealistic for me to expect that because I ran a 58 last week w/ heavy fatigue that now just a week later I can start throwing up multiple 59-60s like it's no big deal. That's a fast pace for me right now, and I'll consider this a bit of a wake-up call - "Mike, you need to respect that pace a little bit!"
However, there's no denying that I wasn't right today, and I only have to go back to pulling the plug on my 5-miler yesterday to see an issue. A quick check of the logbook clearly completes the picture - last Wednesday: balls to the wall rep session, Friday: 8-miler @ 6:39 pace, Sunday: long interval session (where I 'inexplicably' struggled on the last rep). Then throwing in today's session . . . . . that's a tall order in only 8-days.
Taking it a step further - over the past 30-days, the total number of runs averaging over 7-minute pace: TWO. One at 7:02, and one at 7:06. Now, I'm not complaining one bit - these 6:45-6:55 pace runs have felt pretty easy, and the combo of the short intervals, long intervals, and aggressive long runs has led to incredible gains over the past month and a half, and if I had lightened up on just one of those previous three runs I probably have no problems today, but as the saying goes, "you can't train hard and race hard at the same time". Today I was trying to throw a race pace 600m effort in the midst of a month and a half long "training boot camp".
So - it's time to take a step back. I've got 10-days before the first race. The hamstrings feel OK, no aches or pains - physically I'm fine. The next couple of days are going to be VERY easy, and on Saturday it's going to be a 3-5 x 1000m threshold effort followed by an EASY long run on Sunday. I've pushed a little too hard before, a good down week typically does me wonders - I'll expect that to be the case again.
The thing I can't do is get down on myself for having a bad day that really wasn't so bad. If I add two seconds to the 400m and take two seconds off the 600m, it's on target - and that's even w/ the difficult week preceding the workout. Of course this is much easier for me to say than it is for me to do. No matter how I rationalize it, I'm still pretty pissed off!
Tue, 1/13: 4.6 miles @ 6:50 pace (should have been 5-miles, wasn't as easy as it should have been)
Wed, 1/14: Reps: 2 x 200m (29.3, 28.6), 400m (59.8), 600m (1:34.2)