This week was a mixed up training week. People running the Hartshorne Masters Mile on Saturday had a shorter, faster workout and people not participating had a longer, slower, and more challenging workout. Scott and I arrived on time this week – early even! We were awfully excited and relieved to be there on time. As we started the warm-ups on this very cold, snowy, January evening I looked around and realized it would be a little different than other weeks.
By splitting this group into two, we wouldn’t be running in our usual pack. I have gotten comfortable with my big crew of people and I felt a little sad. I couldn’t help but think of the irony – just a few weeks prior I had been afraid to run fast with other people.
I ran the warm-up with my usual crew and we chatted about passports, work, online courses, iPad classroom integration and more. I always love the warm-up. We have a little pattern now. Run almost our full ten minutes and then peel off for drinks and last minute bathroom trips before we all gather at the start line.
Our plan for this was to run eight 200s with 200 rest in-between starting at I pace (Interval) and dropping to R pace (Repeat) by the end. For Tonya and me that meant starting at a 55 and dropping to a 52 by the end. Our last 200 would be flat out fast or as like Adam said, “like you are being chased by a bear.” There was a large pack of us doing this workout but it was really 3 smaller groups with one person straddling groups. He chose to join Tonya and me for the cool down bits and run ahead of us for the workout part. It worked well.
Our First 200
Was too fast. I think we came in at 48 and change. I knew we were going too fast at the 100 mark but I didn’t do anything to adjust this pace. In my own head it didn’t much matter – we could adjust after the lap and I figured we might get tired and slow down naturally for the 2nd part of the lap. The other groups also went out too fast, needing to make similar adjustments for the other 200s.
The Middle Laps
These laps fell into place quickly. It felt easy compared to last week, and also strangely more challenging. One of the things about the 400s and 600s is that they give you equal rest time. That meant that by the time you started again you felt fully rested. I always felt a sense of fear as we started our next 200. I wasn’t quite ready and I wasn’t so sure I could stay with Tonya. However, we hit our paces well and generally enjoyed this.
The “I’m being chased by a bear” lap
It seems like it is enough to give this direction. Run like your life depends on it was the core message. I most definitely did NOT run like my life depended on it. I am almost certain that bear would have made a nice meal of me. I had flashbacks to the few times in high school track that my coach actually put me in a running event. I “ran” track but mostly I was there to hang out with all the friends I wouldn’t get to see if I didn’t do track. So track for me was social and I threw the discus. I wasn’t terribly awful at that, and sometimes even placed. In fact I have 3 memories of track – one was skipping practice with my friend and lying to our parents in grade 7 (3 days of being grounded when they caught us within a half hour), a second is literally grabbing onto a teammate’s shirt and begging her to wait for me while running, and the last is an amalgam of memories of laying in the sun on Invitational Days with Sun In in our hair hoping to turn blonde. I’m sure that laying in the heat did wonders for our running!
I think the coach felt she had to put me in for more than one thing, so sometimes the 200 was a place that sometimes the coach felt she could sneak a not so great runner in. We didn’t need the points there and it was a good challenge for me. The reason for this was that my friend Stephanie (a state level athlete) was always in this event and she won every time. As I ran this 200 I got that same feeling of fear as I looped around the track. I got to run the 200 relay a couple of times and let’s just say that was not a good choice on the coach’s part!
Anyway, back to the present. I got a 45 and change for this 200. I started with no goals other than, “run all out like you are being chased like a bear” and wasn’t able to do anything with that info. I was telling Scott that I really should have had a 100 meter split time I was seeking. I think if I had approached it more scientifically, with less fear I could have gone faster. Tonya was 3 seconds ahead of me. I think having a 100 meter split time would have helped me a lot!!