When doing track is so unappealing

Warm and sticky. Tonight was one of the those nights where you don’t really feel like putting in max effort just because you know how much of it will not be any where near comfortable. Since the workout tonight was more geared for those participating in the 5th Avenue Mile coming up next week, a few of us decided to go with the 800 meter repeats. This time we left it out there as to how many we would try to do since none of us felt that we would make it ten due to the conditions.

As with the prior weeks, I really felt like shit for the first 800. I kept thinking as I ran around the track was I am not going to be able to do 10. “No way, no how. 7 is a good number. I’ll do seven and quietly bail,” was the thought that began to harden inside my mind. Earlier in the day I had done an hour of pilates. This was a perfectly valid reason for me not to go out for 10. Thoughts like these danced around in my head until we finished our first lap. Then I heard the times being called out. Amazingly I covered it in about 3 minutes and 3 seconds. What just happened? I thought we gone much slower than that but no, Mark’s Garmin does not lie.

To make sure it all wasn’t in my head, the second time around I went around I made an effort to not think about the sweat pouring down from my face and just concentrated on the meter markers. When I passed the 400 meter mark, I knew I was going a teensy bit faster but much more smoothly. Things didn’t bother me as much. We always search for quality runs and this one felt like a quality run. I came in at the 3 minute mark.

For the next 4 repeats, I kept coming in at 3 minutes. In spite of the conditions, my consistency was holding up. This made me very happy. For one thing, this validated all the effort I had put in to make myself get stronger in order to endure the difficult workouts. Hours of pilates, the boot camps, had finally paid off with a stronger core and base. The other thing was knowing that I felt good enough to go for at least 8-9 repeats, thereby acquitting myself respectably in case others went 10.

An amazing thing happen with the last 4, I actually managed to go faster. Without having the intent of going negative, each one of us went negative on the last four 800’s. Each one of the repeats went under 3 minutes averaging right around 2:55- 2:57. By the end of the 10th, I had one of those, “Did we just do that?” moments. Yes, this was a hard workout, but I wasn’t dying at the end which is the feeling I had when we did 800’s a couple of weeks back. With regard to speed, I think I am more than prepared. Truly remarkable how doing a track workout for a month can put you in a place of conditioning you never thought possible. Now it is about the mileage and getting those 20 milers in. Once that gets done, time for the marathon.