Friday, June 23, 2006

Sidetracked & Whacked

The Good News:
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
rec: 2:50
2nd 800: 5:03
rec: 3:14
3rd 800: 5:10
rec: 3:57
4th 800: 5:09
5th 800:5:17
rec: 4:28
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.


21st Century Mom said...

I am so relieved that you are going to give those poor feet of your a break. I can't imagine how those blisters will get better if you don't just let them be! In fact, when I was a teenager, wandering through Europe I got really bad blisters, kept on wandering and found myself with gaping ulcers in my feet. Now we don't want that, do we?

There is no problem with taking a week off. Many marathon programs are only 16 weeks long and you are way, way ahead of that curve.

As for the track times - SMOKIN'! According to Bart Yasso if you can do 10 of those repeats you are good for about a 5:10 marathon.

Now get your rest so you can get to 10!

Sherri said...

Jeanne, I have a question about your track workout....are the "rec:" between the 800s a single and full jog around the track? If so, immediately afterwards, you dive right back into sprinting the 800?

And thanks for the clarification...I NEVER knew that 400 meters is once around the track..thanks!

Finally, here is an addition to your list of reasons why this is not the end of your running career:

11) I have kick @%* character and attitude!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

poor jeanne!!!

but those split times seem pretty smokin to me.

hope those things heal up soon

Anonymous said...

You know, Jeanne, he is right...the eliptical isn't the same as running. But it is good for your blisters. In the long run, or ON the long run, you will be happier when the miles start really increasing. I hope there isn't anything for the doctor to "clean up" by next Friday

Bolder said...

first off, thank you for not posting any pictures of your 'we-all-told-you-to-take-a-week-off-from-running-feet-and-we-don't-even-know the-Washington-Wizards' feet.

next, thank you for substituting said pic with a highly visual description of a still life -- like i need that in my head for another week.


on to the good stuff... now that's a track workout! and you posted nums! something tells me after we've got your feet geared up (did you count your strides on one lap? -- kills time you know!) we can then work you to a chart! ha!!

you're getting speedier -- i can feel the vibe from the nation's capital -- where, they could always use a little more speedy...

Running by.... said...

Bet your "dogs" are gonna LOVE the break. They'll be as good as new in a week.

Your brain/Jeanne dialog cracked me up. I can't say I've been there...My brain usually gives up before my body ; )

David said...

Speed workouts are addicting. Did I mention that before? Yes, I think so.

I hope you have fast healing feet. Dr. Quack here would probably self diagnose and rub vitamin E on them. I do not know why. It works well on sunburn.

Bex said...

Thanks for being my track buddy! Definitely want to do it again.

Re elliptical: This machine can kick your ass. Don't let anyone tell you differently. Running on the elliptical can be akin to running on hills.

One thing you can do:

Rachet up the resistance to level 12 or 13. Keep the revolutions at 60 or above. Doing that for at least 45 minutes is a good workout. For a 2-hr workout, keep it to level 11 or 12 and keep the revolutions at 55 or above.

Here's another workout, an interval one: After warming up for 10 minutes at level 10 or so, raise the resistance level to 14 and keep the revolutions at 60 and run for 2 minutes. Recover another 2 minutes by lowering resistance level to 12 and revolutions at around 55. Continue with these reps until you've done at least 45 minutes. Cool-down 10 minutes.

Re lacross girls: They did NOT say that. Did they?

jeanne said...

Thanks Bex, coach extraordinaire. Now that's the kind of advice I need from a coach!

Re: Lacrosse girls. They DID indeed say that. It's not like I make up this stuff, ya know!

susie said...

Yeah, thanks for answering those questions. I HAVE been told before, but I usually need to hear it three times before it sinks in. And good for you on the track workouts. Whew!!
Do take the week off. It will be good for your feet AND your spirit. Then you can dive right back in.

Bex said...

One thing I forgot to add: If your blisters are really bad, try running the elliptical in socks. Since you'll be stationary, you won't hurt your feet.

a.maria said...

hmm. what sensationally fantastic runner girl seems to remember telling you to LET YOUR BLISTERS HEAL BEFORE YOU RUN ON THEM AGAIN?!?!??!

oooh, right.. right.



if you want #10 to stay a reason why this ISN'T the end of your running career..

let. the blisters. heal.

(i feel like i'm scolding my kid. and i don't even HAVE a kid. yeesh. )

however, that being said... AMAZING JOB ON THE TRACK WORK!! work it girl!! i have my first track workout this thursday.


Black Knight said...

A nice talk with your brain. The last time I did it....I got married. Be careful.

D said...

Thanks for the note. Nice job on the speed training - good job not quiting at 4!!

Dori said...

Jeanne's brain--and body--prove they have the toughness to finish the marathon. Good job on the track workout. And good luck with the blisters. I hope they heal quickly.

Dori said...

Jeanne's brain--and body--prove they have the toughness to finish the marathon. Good job on the track workout. And good luck with the blisters. I hope they heal quickly.

Marty said...

Damn girl, you are smoking!! Hot damn, I want to party/train with you girl! But come on, the fricking Elliptical? WTF! If you can't run, spin. Crank that sob up tight, and tighter, and start spinning. But seriously, I hope things work out for you:)

Liam said...

Jeanne, absolutely the right thing to do, let the blisters heal. I had the same problem earlier this year, used Caldesene powder on my feet to dry up the skin, and walked around the house barefoot to toughen them up. Then I went and had my running gait re-checked and changed my shoes - Since March - No Blisters :)

Your track work out was great, although you were smoking yourself on the first 800, try and keep thme more even next time, and blast the last one :)

Just12Finish said...

Congrats on your 800 repeats! I just ran my first ever repeats last weekend 8x400. It's harder than it sounds, eh?

Island Girl Runs said...

Hi to you. I don't know where you live, but based on the temperature here in Edmonton, Canada yesterday, (33 C) or about WTF Farenheit, I am so totally impressed. You are obviously much more dedicated that I am. No way would I be willing to go to the hottest, nastiest evil place (outside of the 7th circle of Hell) on a hot summer evening and run circles (fast) around a track. YOU GO GIRL - I totally relate to your list as well. I recently posted a list of reasons why I didn't feel like running. These definitely apply to anytime I have to do speed work. Speedwork should be done in relative comfort on a treadmill!!!

Rae said...

You are so funny! I literally laughed out loud when I read your top 10 list. I hope the feet are better soon, it's not the same without your running adventures!