Wednesday night was track workout #2. Bex and I decided to go to a track about a mile from work. Naturally, she insisted on running there. (I don’t know where she gets her nutty ideas. Sigh.) So, off we went, around 6 p.m.
The workout was 800 meter repeats, with a 400 recovery (God, I love it when I talk like that). Mr. McMillan put my “cruising pace” for 800 meters (based on my 1:07 10k time) at 5:19 to 5:26, which I dutifully wrote on the back of my hand, so as not to forget it.
Marathon coach suggested I do 4-6 repeats. Assistant marathon coach suggested 5 repeats. You can guess what Bex suggested.
Some of you are saying, 4, 5, 6…what’s the diff? What exactly does 800 meter repeats mean? (I know you are asking these things, because until last week, I was asking them too.)
800 meters is twice around a track. 400 meters, curiously, is once around a track. So, one repeat means: run around the track twice, hitting your goal pace, and then jog slowly around once. Together, that equals one.
It sounds easy, huh?
The night was warm and humid, the sun still high and strong. We jogged slowly over to the local high school track, where neither of us had been before, but managed to find it. The track was ringed with lovely shade trees. We heard songbirds, and felt the hint of a breeze. The grass smelled newly cut, and sprinklers came on and off randomly, sometimes showering the track, sometimes the green. It was positively bucolic.
Two girls were practicing lacrosse at one end. There were about four other people on the track, but we were pretty much on our own.
I ran my first two laps, and I’m pretty sure, although I can’t swear to it, that Bex was done with her six by the time I did my first repeat.
As I passed the lacrosse girls, they had both stopped what they were doing and were watching, slack-jawed, as Bex tore by. One of them said “She is smokin.’’” Yeah.
I ran around twice, and jogged once, and yelled out “ONE”! to help myself remember how many repeats I’d done. By the time I got to three, that hitherto untapped part of my brain had kicked in:
Jeanne’s brain: You did three, just one more and then you can stop. I promise.
Jeanne: OK, four is done. I’m so done! Yay!
Jeanne’s brain: Come on, four is in the bag, five won’t kill you. Do five and then stop.
Jeanne: B..b..but you said four!! Lying $!!$@#!
Jeanne’s Brain: Ass. Marathon Coach did say five. One more equals five and then you can quit. For real this time.
Jeanne: OK, five and that’s it! This is killing me. Killing. Me. Do you hear me??
Jeanne’s Brain: Oh, come on, you just did five. You can surely do six.
Jeanne: F Bex!! And f you too!
So, I’m apparently developing new brain cells.
Results (keeping in mind my goal pace was 5:19 to 5:26):
1st 800: 4:53
2nd 800: 5:03
3rd 800: 5:10
4th 800: 5:09
6th 800: 5:13
rec: a long time, as we strolled back to the car.
(I’m not really sure what this means in terms of anything, but I do grasp that these workouts are supposed to make one faster.)
What I do know is how I felt afterwards. I felt like I’d run 10 miles fast. I felt like I had worked out. I felt good. I felt afterglow. I felt like I almost needed a cigarette!
Now onto the Bad:
Saw Dr. Running-Podiatrist-to-the-Washington-Wizards yesterday. I brought in two pairs of running shoes, assorted socks, and my feet, and laid them all out like a still life. And then I told him I was a woman on the Verge. Do. Not. Mess. With. Me. I had run three miles that morning, and I was hobbling. I reviewed all the things I had tried. And you know what the good doctor said? He said this:
“You need to take a week off running and let those things heal.”
(I’m pretty sure I’ve heard that same advice, um, somewhere before.)
He fiddled some more with the inserts. I told him I wanted my Nike Pegasuses back. He said one week off running, skip tomorrow’s 12-miler, and see him next Friday.
So, tomorrow I will be on the elliptical at 6:30 a.m. for two hours, despite Asst. Coach just this minute having written me a supportive e-mail in which she said:
...the elliptical just isn't the same... sorry...
I had asked—begged—for a schedule for next week. Asst. coach said “maybe run 4 miles next Thursday and then 10 on Saturday" (instead of the 14 on the schedule). Something tells me these m%$@!s will not be fully healed by then, especially since the foot guy wants to “clean ‘em up” next Friday.
Asst. Coach did ask if I swam: I do, but not hard enough to make it an aerobic workout.
Well, enough about me and blister-mania.
Here’s my ten top reasons why this is not the end of my running career:
10. This could be happening two weeks out from marathon day, instead of 18 weeks.
9. It could be a fracture I’m battling.
8. I could have pooped in my pants again during tomorrow’s run.
7. I get to try new, fun stuff next week!
6. Like two hours on the elliptical.
5. Which isn’t the same as running, just so you know.
4. But I am getting my butt on it early Saturday morning, just to prove I am HARDCORE.
3. There’s always spinning.
2. I’m young (????)
1. I hate this; I am now going to be hopelessly behind.