Stuck

Week in review:
79 miles
2 hard workouts: 200m track workout, 2×3 miles at tempo
One off day

Last week I had a little bit of a breakthrough (i.e. not being INCREDIBLY slow, just sort-of slow), and I was excited to continue with that progress this week. Except it didn’t happen. Both workouts I had I was pretty much exactly the same speed as last week. A little frustrating, especially since I really WANT to be faster!!

First workout: 8×200 faster, 200 fast. Faster is supposed to be 35, fast supposed to be 55. Every single time I came through the fast 200, I saw 38.x. Seriously? I’d reset my mind during the “recovery” 200, vowing to make the next 200m repeat faster. I thought about my form, arm swing, etc. I also visualized perfect, powerful form when running (in hopes that it might translate). But no matter what I did, I came through in 38’s.

Total time for the 2 miles was 12:36.

As I told Jerry, that seems so… pedestrian. I’ll be trying to race a 5k in 41s or so this spring. And I can only muster 38s? 41s don’t seem like they’d be possible…

But, I guess it doesn’t really matter – I ran as fast as my legs would carry me & truly tried to get every second out of them. Guess that’s all you can ask for. I just WISH I could be faster! It’s frustrating to realize that you have no ability to bring it down. I realize it’ll be a while until I can get that ability back (if I ever had such an ability), since I haven’t worked on it in over a year and a half…

On to workout #2: 2×3 miles at tempo (goal sub 6)
Result: 6:05 average, 6:08 average. The first repeat I let myself lose it the last mile. I allowed myself to hurt. Not acceptable. I reset myself for the second rep, reminding myself to embrace the pain, trying to endure as much “uncomfortableness” as possible. I only have two opportunities each week to really test myself (and considering the 200s aren’t really that taxing on the legs or lungs (because I can’t move myself fast enough to get there!), it’s really just this workout – so I have to make it count. I was mentally stronger on this one, but just couldn’t squeak out any additional seconds. At least the second tempo segment was 2 secs/mile faster than last week (but just 2 secs? really?)

So — a somewhat frustrating week in terms of progress, but I also understand that it’s a process and that improvements sometimes come slower than you’d like. I’m reminding myself to be patient, that I’ll get back up to speed soon enough — in the meantime, all I can ask is that I give my best in the workouts I’m given.

And smile, because I’m still having a lot of fun chasing dreams 🙂

PS – I’ve polled facebook, but I’ll try here as well. I cracked the glass on my garmin, so it’s only a matter of time before water sneaks into the display & it dies. Because I’ve become SO dependent on knowing distances/paces, I know I need to seek out a new one fairly soon. Any recommendations? I’m considering the 110 (garmin) – I just want something simple & small. I haven’t done much research on Nike’s option or the Soleus option. Any advice?

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5 Comments

  1. I have/love the 110, but I don't think it'd be right for a more serious runner.

    There's no "current pace" on it–just an average over an interval. For instance, if your interval is a mile, the pace displayed will be your average so far for that mile…so if you run the first .5 at 9 min miles and the next .5 at 6 min miles, your pace will never show 6 min miles–it will only decrease from 9 min miles to an average 7.5 min mile ending pace.

  2. Somewhere just before the Trials, I read some website/blog that recommended your blog. I have totally enjoyed following your marathon pursuits over the last few months, so I was blown away in this post that you talked about your key workouts this week being 200s and tempos. These are exactly the workouts my coaching 'adviser' has me doing – even though I am at a much more pedestrian level than you! 🙂

    I remember first starting with 12×200 and trying for 40/60 and how hard that was. My adviser suggested to first focus more on the speed and then second focus on the fast recovery. So now I am doing 16 200s under 40 with a couple dipping into 37 and 38. The jogging recoveries are closer to 68/70. I was advised to keep the recoveries a bit longer until I develop 36 second speed (since I am at a more pedestrian level:).

    I remember one of my observations I had: "making it through reps 9-16 is a b**** it feels like there is not enough oxygen in the world!! But once I make it through the workout and cool down I feel great again." It is a tough workout aerobically, but muscularly it leaves you ready for the next training run/workout.

    Some of the things I am told to remember is to "keep my knees up"; consciously thinking that as I go through each 200 helps, as well as thinking about the movements I do in some of the basic running drills.

    Anyway, take it all with a grain of salt, I just wanted to share what I have learned of that workout and to let you know to keep at it – you'll get that speed back before you know it!!

    PS sorry for the long comment and please just interpret this as the enthusiasm of another avid runner.

  3. I want to get to the point where I'm running 79/wk and consider myself "stuck." 😉 I have every bit of faith that one day (SOON) you'll wake up and have the fresh, fast feeling in your legs and those times will come easily.

  4. Hi Nichole – See, I told you I read your blog! 🙂

    Good job yesterday under tough conditions – I think your speed will come back, just have to keep plugging away. That's what I'm telling myself anyway…

    See you around-
    Amy

  5. Danny – THANK you for posting here – I thought about that the next time I did a speed workout and think it helped (and I was faster… so perhaps it did make a difference!!)

    Hailey – ha, you're funny. You'll soon be to the point where 80ish/week is pretty normal (scary as that is). But yes, can't wait until I start to feel "faster". Amazing how long the body takes to recover from a big race effort (take this in to consideration when coming back from your ultra!)

    And Amy — thanks for replying here! Love to hear from you here!! Congrats on a PHENOM Human Race result. What's next for you? Can't wait to see!

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