So for our group that means 56 seconds for each 200 and then a 400 that isn’t too slow! Scott and I talked about it on the way and we really should shoot for between 4-5 sets. Ideally 5 would be good, but realistically I knew we’d hit 4.
Nearing the end
It is March so the program is starting to dwindle a little As Adam noted last night, “it’s starting to lose people.” It makes complete sense. It is getting warmer, and next week we change time so it will still be light at 7 pm. I had listed this evening as a rest day in my plan and couldn’t remember why. When Scott mentioned that “this was supposed to be a rest day” we realized why. I had thought it wrapped up by now.
So, our group last week was small and it looked at first like this week would be smaller. It didn’t turn out to be that way though. Several people who were missing last week were back and our crew looked to be about 7 or 8 people. I say “looked to be” because we were not really together once we got going. Over the course of each 800 we spread out a fair amount, so literally we were on the start line together and then formed a long tail of runners.
One key person was missing this evening. Caroline has been our pacer for the last couple of weeks. Tonya has also had a proper watch and she’s been a secondary pacer. Tonight with Caroline gone I assumed Tonya would take the lead until Tonya said she left her watch home. Elizabeth doesn’t wear a watch and most others have either nothing or something like I do, an Apple watch or regular watch that doesn’t really do what we need it to do. John has a proper watch but he pointed out he was going to be toward the back so he couldn’t really pace the front.
Tonya and I talked about how to make the Apple watches work. She has the Strava app running in the background so she can have the timer running too. I have the native Apple app working and it cannot coexist with the timer. I killed my warm-up track and was going to start the timer, but ultimately we settled on Tonya timing because she’s more used to doing it with her regular watch anyway. I wasn’t too concerned since I pace is pretty zippy and if we can get even one good lap in we can typically feel the pace and hold it.
The sets themselves
Our first lap of the first set was too slow by about 4-5 seconds so we picked it up as we went along. It felt increasingly more challenging but it was good. We finished with a not too fast 400 and then started again.
It was a pretty uneventful workout in that we hit the paces, chatted a bit and generally enjoyed the evening. When we hit set 3 Tonya decided to drop to a 600 but said she’d time our last lap. I had been running just a step behind her so I was running solo for that last lap until Ken passed by me. I had a new rabbit in Ken and just worked to stay with him. I ended up being a couple of seconds fast for that lap which made the entire set come out to spot on.
On our last set Tonya dropped after 400 and it was Ken, Kim and me for the last two. Kim had been with a faster group but her form was failing so she dropped back just a bit to join us. It was nice to have her for our last couple of sets. I enjoyed this last set most of all only because I had to push myself a bit harder to finish. There’s something so comfortingly easy about running with Tonya. It is familiar and I know we can push each other to stay the course. I haven’t really run with Kim or Ken and as Ken passed by me again on lap 3, I realized that it is often our mindset that determines if we stay with someone or let them go. Without a proper watch I didn’t know what Ken’s pace was. I only knew that he was currently passing me and I haven’t really run with him before. I thought for a brief second, “oh he’s faster than you so you don’t have to stay with him.” I quickly replaced that thought with, “he is in your group so you should be running with him.” As soon as I made that mental switch it felt a little like running with Tonya. I would stay with him and Kim because they were in my group. Ultimately they did get a bit ahead of me, but I could tell I they were speeding up (it was the last lap and people often race it) and I was holding pace. This was confirmed when I finished and Tonya told them they were a bit ahead and I came in on pace. I like that I can feel the pace now and while a watch is nice, it is not a full disaster to not have one!
Until next week …. if it is still happening by then.