Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

My Photo
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Zen and the Track

I feel very self-conscious today about writing up a track workout after my whiny blog yesterday.

Thanks to Tom for the stretches (and yes, Adrenaline 5k is on my calendar), I tried the stretches but they didn't hit the problem areas. I wore my NB 1223s (the ones I didn't wear on Tuesday) to work (thankfully I have a job where I can do that). And after I finished my blog I got the idea that, if I'm baffled by the symptoms, then I should talk with someone who would know, so I made an appointment with my physical therapist. It's called moral hazard, something that gets thrown around way too much in the health policy world, and which I am hereby exercising my right to invoke.

But then something funny happened on the way to the track. My legs felt fine on the jog over to Interboro track. Every runner's dream, the pain just wasn't there. Sun was up and it was cold. Cold and windy. When I do track workouts I bundle up (relatively speaking), knowing I can be comfortable and perhaps a bit overheated on my way to the track and then peel layers when I get there. As has been the case lately, the wind was blowing hard in my face up the backstretch.

Big sign at the entrance to the track saying that the area was under video surveillance. I wondered if anybody was watching me. Or if, should I set a land-speed record, I can use the videotape as evidence.

I wanted to hit these 800s (eight of them, with 400m recovery) in about 2:45. First one came around in a disappointing 2:52, and subsequent ones came in at 2:47; 2:46; 2:45; 2:42; 2:45; 2:45; 2:43. If you don't believe me, it should all be on videotape.

After the first rep I eased up a bit mentally in the sense that I stopped trying to bull through the wind and instead did my best to work with it. Recover and coast with the tailwind and maintain effort into the headwind. And visualize my legs gliding whenever I wanted to push. It feels more zen-like this way, as I don't really focus on going faster as much as running easier. This morning it worked. With the last six reps I didn't even look at my 400 split.

And I enjoyed myself more doing it. I've been reading track workouts on other people's blogs lately - Tom, John, Joseph - and there seemed to be a lightheartedness in their accounts that I wasn't feeling in mine. I felt jealous, like I wanted to do their workouts. Today was different. The reps weren't chores as much as opportunities to see what I could do. I felt more confident, like I was cruising around the track and could hit whatever time I wanted.

The temptation was there to try a ninth but I figured I shouldn't push it. After all, that was a pretty whiny post yesterday.

This is progress, as my average time for these dropped several seconds from when I ran this workout 3 weeks ago. I'm also approaching where I was at this point in 2006, which has become my gold standard. Besides being a little faster, I was in a remarkably similar mind frame as I was today. Felt really good and like I could only get better. Little did I know at this point in '06 that a few weeks later I'd be dealing with a salivary gland stone the size of a grape.

I broke 300 miles today for this month, my best ever mileage for February (with a leap day to spare). Only the second time ever that I have hit back-to-back 300 mile months.

11 miles in 88:17.


Blogger Kevin said...

But which is worse - moral hazard or adverse selection?

1:50 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home