Friday, November 11, 2005

Back on the track

I haven't set foot on a track since late May, when I did my final 3x1600 workout ten days before my last ill-fated marathon attempt. So six months later I'm back again, doing 6x800 just before 6am, where I can just make out the lane lines in the pre-dawn light. My goal was to get up at 4:30, eat a bit and drive to the track for the workout, which would get me home in time to take the family out for breakfast. Things have been busy at work, and I already disappeared one night for the Hall & Oates show so I wanted to have some family time in the morning. Well, I got it, starting at 4am when Finn needed a feeding. He was a bit fussy so he didn't get back down until 4:45 so I had to rush to get out the door.

I've never really liked running on the track, but these kinds of workouts make it all but necessary. The night before I looked up my latest race time, the 10 miler a few weeks back I ran in 56:09, and used the calculator on the McMillan Running website to get an idea of what I should be running. According to their calculations, a "long distance runner" with that time for 10 miles should be running 2:28-2:34.9. I like this calculator, only partly because it says I should be able to run a marathon in 2:37:16 and a half-marathon in 1:14:34. I know I shouldn't take any of these numbers too seriously, but since it had been so long since I'd been on the track I at least wanted some idea as to how fast I "should" be running.

After a 3.5 mile warm-up on the roads around the Catalina Foothills high school I was off, clocking the first 800 in a slower-than-expected 2:36. For once I didn't go out too fast, which was good, but I could already feel the effort a bit in my legs. Since Lydiard doesn't give any rest intervals, I decided on an arbitrary 400 jog recovery. From what I've read, Arthur would probably say "Do another one when you're ready and not before!" or something like that, which really doesn't help a guy like me who is such a novice on the track. After the rest, the second 800 clocked 2:36...again. I just couldn't get my legs moving, it felt like my feet were just plain heavy today. I decided to walk the first 100 after the repeat and then jog the other 300, which gave me a little more time to recover (2:20 instead of 2:00 or so), and when I ran the third in 2:33 I started to feel better. Just like most races, I feel like grim death at first, then ease into it. Maybe a longer warm-up would help? Maybe some strides beforehand? No time to figure it out, because number 4 was coming up. 2:32, another good one, followed by another 2:33. The last one felt pretty much like the two before it, which was better than the first two, and I finished it in 2:33. A quick cool-down on the grass and a run back to the car gave me 10 miles for the day, all in all a good day's work.

With two out of three of my first week's speed training sessions done, I'm amazed to say the legs are feeling pretty good. The one small concern I've had is my right abductor, or right in the spot where my leg connects to my mid-section. I only seem to have trouble after I sleep on my side though, and lately I've been tired enough to not toss and turn so it's been fine. Sometimes I worry it's a stress reaction or a fracture, but it doesn't hurt when I jump up and down on that leg so I doubt it. Another thought is that it's an inguinal hernia or "sports hernia", but that's probably only because that was the "what hurts" topic in the latest Runner's World. It does hurt when I cough after a long run there, but not at other times, and I did have an inguinal hernia when I was three months old. I figure the abs, like everything else, get fatigued after running for 2.5 hours. I'm keeping an eye on it. I wish I had more time to do more of a strength/stretching routine, but unfortunately that seems to get left out when it's a choice between that or running.

We did end up getting out for breakfast at Beyond Bread, our daughter's favorite, and I managed to drink about 5 cups of coffee so work was...caffeinated, to put it mildly. 3-year-old Haiden can put away most of a small omelette, a potato pancake or two, and a fair amount of toast with jam in one sitting, so she's a chip off the old block for sure.

Training: 10 miles, 1:10:48, 7:06 pace

1 comment:

Zeke said...

Nice work. I don't know if you've gotten that far in Daws' book but he recommends warming up for your track workouts the same as you'd warm up for a race.