Marathon Monday & a Training Update

Kris Lawrence up front with the lead women!!  I must admit, watching the Boston Marathon on TV yesterday made me very excited to return there one day.   Watching the elites race (and seeing Kris Lawrence up in the front with the leading women!) was so inspiring and I applaud all of them for running such a great race.   I was especially proud of Desi Linden – she’s one of my favorite elite runners. She just has a work ethic that just won’t quit – and (as you can tell from the tagline of this blog), that is something that really resonates with me. When others try flashy race tactics or complain about the lousy conditions, Desi just puts her head down and quietly gets to work. She ran a solid race yesterday and while I wish it had been enough to put her on the podium, it was still such a fantastic and well-executed effort.


Meeting Desi a few years ago in NY - such a sweet and friendly person!

The broadcast aired during my normal crazy preschool dropoff-grocery store-gym-shenanigans so I recorded the broadcast of the marathon so that I could watch it later. For the second year in a row, I’ve invited my parents over and we’ve had a Marathon Monday party!   We order pizza, watch the marathon broadcast, and even play marathon-themed bingo (complete with prizes!!).

Prizes and bingo cards for Marathon Bingo!

It was such a fun evening and the end of the race was quite exciting!   So exciting, apparently, that I had a hard time going to sleep and wound up awake until 11pm.  That made this morning’s 4:50am alarm seem very, very early.   And why was I getting up so early, you ask? Well…

It’s track time!   I’m into a block of work on my schedule that is focused on improving my VO2 Max. I’m notoriously bad at faster stuff. My 5K pace is embarrassingly close to my marathon race pace – not kidding. I have yet to break 20 minutes in a 5K.

In any case, it’s time to make some improvements on that. Which means that for the next few weeks, I’ll be doing more track/interval type workouts. They are my nemesis. I start to get nostalgic for my dreaded tempo runs after only a few repeats.   But I will do them because that’s how I’m going to get better.

Today’s workout: 5 x 1000m w/90% recovery (aiming for 1000m to be 3:40s)

I was lucky enough to have a neighborhood friend for some company to do my warmup, cooldown, and recovery piece of this with me this morning. I can’t say I was in the most positive of moods because here’s how this workout went:

Warm up – 1.5 miles, easy 8:45 min pace. Awesome!! Feeling good! Noticing that it’s a bit warm (63 degrees), very windy and the pollen is so thick that it looks like a mist of rain in my headlamp. (ewww)

First interval: 3:58 (6:18 pace per Garmin) - WHAT?? Are you kidding me? It was still dark and when my headlamp illuminated that split I thought I must have read it wrong. I was huffing and puffing for a time so far off my target? UGHH…This workout is about to get ugly.

Second interval: 3:44 (5:52 pace/Garmin) - Better. (Thank goodness!) Had to work much harder for this though and have no idea how I will run one more of these, much less three more.

Third interval: 3:47 (5:56 pace/Garmin) – Surely these aren’t supposed to be these hard?? I am almost doubled over after this one and cursing the person who designed the track and thought it would be fun to sprint around a 400m oval.   I’m exhausted – two more to do!?! ARGH.

Fourth interval: 3:51 (6:06 pace/Garmin) – BLEHHH. At least the sun is coming up and I can ditch my headlamp.   I just can’t seem to get my legs to turn over any faster! I’m breathing super hard and I’m fairly certain my heart rate is near max.   Try to stay positive – only one more and then I can run home!

Fifth interval: 3:49 (5:59 pace/Garmin) – SO GLAD TO BE DONE SO GLAD TO BE DONE.   Had the lovely “cotton balls stuffed in my ears” feeling after this one. Side note: Does anyone else get that?? Took a good three minutes to get my breathing back to normal.

Cooldown: 1.5 miles at turtle speed. Jogged back towards home with my friend and was very happy to be done.

While the track and I are still on speaking terms (barely) let’s hope that I grow to love the track a bit more over the next few weeks. I know it’s good for me to be challenged in new ways, but it was mighty uncomfortable this morning.   Working on embracing that discomfort.

Anyone out there share my hate/fear of track work? Any tips on how to make friends with the faster and shorter interval stuff?