What an odd training week. Nothing could be categorized as “normal” or “standard.” From the get-go, my Monday workout was not the usual upper body/core day with Trainer. Not only was it track day, but it was also at a new location, Cal. State University Northridge. I survived, but I usually try to get some evening junk miles in during the early part of the week, and for the first time Trainer asked me not to run that night and just let the track workout sink in. Then, even stranger, for again the first time I got a text from him the next morning saying he thought we should take the day off. Odd. The track workout was difficult, but it’s always difficult. I couldn’t really tell that it was any harder than the others…but I found out later when I tried to run seven easy miles. Yikes. My legs – no, my entire body – were done. Even my sides hurt.
The rest of the week continued to proceed in abnormal fashion with an unexpected running rest day and running 7-milers instead of my usual shorter 3-5 filler base miles. And then of course Saturday arrived: The day of my first track meet in 40 – yes, 40 – years.
Every horrible thing that I imagined and wrote about in my last blog post happened…and I had a blast!
One thing this week did go as expected, and that was that I had no idea what was going on at a track meet. Turns out there are no bibs in these smaller events. Also, you have to listen carefully because it’s just someone with a megaphone announcing your event. Luckily, my friend showed up, and she was doing the same event I was, or I would have missed the whole thing. Can you imagine having stressed out for days, and then not even running the race?!
So I ended up being scheduled to do the 300m and 1500m. I had spent the night before Googling “How do you run a 300m [and 1500m]?” But that quickly went out the window when I got ready to line up and saw that I was going up against my friend, a world-class sprinter…and a group of 15-year old girls. I started laughing because this was just nuts. However, not gonna lie. I still wanted to do well and struck up a conversation with an awkward Asian girl, who did not want to be there and looked like she only took P.E. because it was a requirement but would much rather be in a science lab. My competitive streak kicked in, and I thought “I can take her.”
The gun went off, and it was then that I experienced the longest minute of my life. So many emotions happened in those 60 seconds. First that exhilarating “Wow, I’m going so fast. I’m flying!” Followed shortly, way too shortly, by “Uh-oh. I can’t hold this. I’m going to die.” And then the rest of the minute, just pumping my arms and trying to hold on. The awkward Asian girl caught me with about 50 meters to go (argh!) and with about 30 meters to go, I thought I was going to black out. Also, I could no longer feel my legs — it was like all the glycogen had escaped my body. And then it was over.
Wow. I have never experienced anything like that. It was great, then scary, then super scary, and then done. I felt awesome!
So getting beat by the adorable studious Asian was not the end of my ordeal. I still had the 1500m to run, and that was like in 15 min. Yeah, when I got to the start, I saw that I’d be running against a bunch of 16-year old boys. I did about 600m and my breathing and legs were not having it. I knew I had 13 miles to run the next day, so I just pulled over and called it a day. I’ve never DNF’d in a half marathon or marathon (or any race distance), but I somehow couldn’t manage a way to run less than a mile on Saturday. Ha! Luckily, Trainer was not around. Phew.
After that, I was free to relax and enjoy the track meet. It was fun to watch people compete, and I finally got to watch my trainer run. I’ve been working out with someone for four months, taking all this running advice from him, and I’ve only seen him jog 10 yards or so to lay down cones. Crazy, right? Turns out he’s fast. Really fast. Like freakishly fast. It was actually quite awesome to watch that kind of speed. So I guess I’ll keep listening to him.
I managed to get in a three-mile cooldown run after the meet, and 13 miles the next day. I was interested to see if my legs would bounce back from the craziness I put it through, and they did. It’s just two more weeks until the Surf City Half Marathon, and I’m starting to wind it down. What a fun and unexpected way to end my training. Actually, those words best describe this entire training cycle: Fun and unexpected.
Hope everyone has a great running week!
Total Miles: 30 plus track
Track: 3 x 200-150-100-50
Track Meet: 300m and then DNF. DNF!
Long Run: 13.1 miles – 2 miles at easy pace; 9 miles at MP pace; 2.1 miles at easy pace.
Other Runs: 7-7-3