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November 10, 2005

The Voice of Reason

Knowing that it will be a long process to develop my "speed legs" again, I figured I might as well get started at the track today to see how I felt, and establish a point of comparison for the future.

I decided on my marathon-training staple, 1600m repeats.

When I'm in fighting shape, I can click off six or seven of these in the 5:50s or better. For today's workout, I gave myself a guideline that whenever I topped 6 minutes for a repeat, that would be the end of the workout.

1st 1600m: 5:56, at approximately 85% of max effort. So far, so good, although I have a feeling the other shoe is about to drop, so to speak.

2nd 1600M: 5:58, at 90-95% effort. A very quick transition from "comfortable fast pace" to "My gosh, this is harder than I remember" by the final lap.

3rd 1600m: 5:59, but only after an all-out race effort during the last lap to make up for drifting gradually off the pace during the first three laps.

A very old woman is bundled up in a jacket and hood, walking laps very slowly in the outside lane. Our paths merge as I'm walking to recover from my 3rd repeat. I'm panting, moaning, gasping for breath, and weaving across the lanes. Which leads to the following exchange:

Old lady: "It looks like you've done enough already."

Me: "Um...yeah, probably."

But as I slowly jog into the recovery lap, I think maybe I have a bit left in me. So I try another 1600, which becomes...

800m: 3:05. There was no way I was going to break 6 minutes, and I was completely out of gas. Workout over.

2 very humble cool down laps later, I give a wave of acknowledgement to the old woman, and head for my car.

She was right. I should have stopped sooner.


Downhillnut 11/11/05, 7:26 AM  

One of my running buds tells me to always leave when I feel like I can eke out maybe just one more. Funny about what an old lady knows sometimes...

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