Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pushing Through

Yesterday, I did not feel well.  I took the day off from running.

This morning, I got out of bed, spent a lot of time making sure my stomach was empty before joining friends at the Dunbar track, and did a workout that included 1/4 mile warm up, 6x400 at 85-90 pace with a 400 between each, and 2 miles cool down.  I was surprised that the cramps were still there after my drive down town.  I told my friends, "Someone else line up in front."  One commented, "That is so counter intuitive."  Maybe.  But I was not the fastest on any of the six 400's.  In part that was because I was not 100%.  In part it is to help me reach my long term goal of running another marathon this year--Philadelphia in November.  I want to shoot for sub-3:15 and maybe even closer to 3:10 six months from now.  What I need to do now is just keep the legs moving with workouts that don't stress my body too much and that are enjoyable.  

The workout was enjoyable as on each 400, I remained under control.  On one, I hit 85 and realized that was faster than I would have liked.  I would have preferred variation only from 86-90, but such is life.  That is a pretty high level of precision to maintain.  Also, while I did not actually record splits after the first 200 each time, I did look and for at least the last 3, I ran negative 200 splits for the 400.  I let my friend Melissa go out and lead the way (between us--there were others faster than both of us) and then I held steady or sped up a little in the second 200 and tried to encourage her to do everything she could to keep pace.  Different styles.  Different intensities.  Different needs.  My friend Lauren took an even more conservative approach and worked her way down from 97 to 87 over the course of six 400's.  

A good workout for everyone.  With 5 miles recorded, it puts me at a total of 927.1.  Still on Missouri Route 28 headed west.  Pretty much nothing major around.  Next town is Bland.  

How fitting that I am approaching a town called Bland on a day when I still felt that Bland food would probably be best for me.  My run felt "bland".  Yes it was solid.  But it was not a great workout.  And it was not a poor workout.  It was just a workout for which I hit targets I had set with a high level of precision.  Nothing wrong with that.  Just nothing out of the ordinary.

Sometimes, nothing out of the ordinary is exactly what a person wants from a workout.  Simple.  Easy.  No risk.  Just movement.

It was not bland that I got to encourage other runners.  That made my "just on course" workout exciting.

And I did have a chance to chat with Cory afterwards about his fall marathon aspirations.  His are sooner than mine and he hopes to BQ again.  Even if I did quality for Boston again, it is not at all clear that I would go back.

Bland is also the way my cool down felt.  I pushed through the stomach cramps at the beginning.  I felt better.  My friend Lauren even shared with me how exercise is recommended for women who are cramping and how it seems to help.  (Runners sometimes discuss the most personal health issues without hesitation...)  But as I rounded the 4th lap of cool down and prepared to head into the second half, my legs felt heavy.  As I went on to complete the five miles they felt heavier and heavier.  Was I ever going all that slowly?  No.  In fact, when Cory joined me we picked up the pace.  But it is the most effort I have had to make for a 2 mile cool down after a 3 mile workout in a long time.  

The lack of hydration over the weekend.

The excess sun over the weekend.

The "Imodium moment" (if you can accept the euphemism) on Monday.  

So many things that made me feel "bland" rather than "having a great morning.  But picked up by my fellow runners.  

And I had a pretty good rest of the day with the boys doing at least some of the assigned chores.  We have to work on them getting as much discipline about chores as I have about running.  Maybe someday.  It would make both me and my wife happier.  

After wandering a bit--most important lesson--push on.  It is always worth it in the end. 

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