Thursday, 19 February 2009

Prom Queen

Well not really but I was pleased with last night's session at club again. Went for the 10 min hard 5 min easy session with Bert's group. He told us to team up with someone similar in ability and I realised I hardly know anyone in his group and don't know their speed or my own. There are a lot of new people there - or maybe I'm new because I've been mixing up which group I run with on a Wednesday night. I set out with Kathleen and a man ( a nice man but I don't know his name!) but had to stop almost right away as my lacer came loose so I caught them up for the 5 minute easy and next 10 minute session. This one was really hard. Running a mile at pace is bad enough without having another 3 minutes to run. I had to use a lot of mental discipline not to heed the voice that was telling me "Oh my god you've got to keep this up for another 3 minutes there's no way you can do that, and what about the other 2 sessions after this one?" "STFU" I told myself back. "Be quiet and concentrate." There's an old chestnut at my work that you don't have to worry if you talk to yourself, you only have to worry if you answer back. This is of course totally untrue, to be ambivalent is human and we may as well learn to work with it. OOOh a sermon.
So anyway, I was feeling pretty sick after 10 min session #2. We were averaging just faster than 7 minute pace which Peter would gleefully disparage but I'm telling you for me its good. Also keeping up with Kathleen for me is good. Our man (nice man, no name) had asked me a couple of times on the last one if I was okay but other than rasping out "not really" I didn't know what he was looking for. Clearly I wasn't okay. My heart was beating nearly as fast as it can and I felt dreadful.
For the third one I realised if I stuck with Kathleen and the man something catastrophic was likely to happen so I eased back a bit (Bert was past by this time so he couldn't see me) and found that even a drop in pace of 10 seconds per mile can make all the difference. Suddenly the inner siren stopped screaming and I was uncomfortable but alright. I found that if I stayed like this for 8 mins I could slowly raise my game for the last 2 minutes and catch Kathleen, albeit making a WHOO WHOO noise which must have been quite distracting for K. She was encouraging though and welcomed me back as I barrelled up alongside, WHOOING as I went, just before my watch signalled the 5 minutes grace.
The last one was a repeat of this tactic, feeling like I was going to spit up pureed lung in the last 60 seconds as I caught up to Kathleen's shoulder and once again the 10 minute session was up. Hurray. So, counter intuitively I'm training hard the week running up to my 35 mile race. I've got a kind of rationale that I want the 35 miler to be a training run, not a race, as I don't have time to recover from a 35 mile race and then get my mileage back up for the Highland Fling at the end of April. Or maybe I do have time but I don't want to. So, if I go into it a wee bit tired I won't run too hard and then hopefully will recover quicker. Stupid? Too late, I'm already committed to this strategy. I'm going to run 7.5 miles tomorrow to take my weekly mileage up to 50 again.

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