I’ve been wondering when this day would come, and today it happened. John broke me!
In all seriousness, I’ve been feeling great throughout this summer, and all-the-while John has slowly been increasing the intensity of the workouts. It seemed inevitable that at some point things would hit a bit of a wall. Well, last night he sent me the following workout for today:
- 30-minutes easy warmup
- 4 x 6-minutes at 6:20 to 6:30 pace with 1-minute active recoveries in-between
- 5-minutes easy recovery
- 3 x 6-minutes at 6:20 to 6:30 pace with 1-minute active recoveries in-between
- 30-minutes easy cool down
I happened to be sitting next to Nathan when this came in, and he looked at me like I had to be joking when I read it off to him. I knew this workout would be pushing the limits of my capabilities, but kept telling myself “You’ve Got This!”
Nathan and I met at the Edwin Warner Park Nature Center around 5:30am this morning, and ran our 30-minute warmup in the park and on the Harpeth River Greenway. The humidity was still very high like it was on Saturday, but this morning there were no clouds to provide any relief from the sun. During the warmup I felt pretty good, and had no indication that anything was different than previous weeks.
For the intervals we ran out-and-back on the Harpeth River Greenway, and there was good news and bad news. The good news is that I successfully hit the target range during the first 6-minute repeat, with a 6:29 average pace. The bad news is that I had a really hard time running that fast during the first repeat, and it was the last time I would finish an interval in the target range (by a wide margin).
Pretty early on during the second repeat the wheels completely fell off the bus, and I had a really hard time keeping up with Nathan (who looked very strong). I finished the second repeat with a 6:46 average pace, and it just kept going downhill from there. By number three I couldn’t keep the pace below 7min pace and finished with a 7:11 average. For number four it dropped even further to a 7:27 average.
It felt like an out-of-body experience compared to the way things have been going lately. I had absolutely nothing in the tank, and it was demoralizing to know that I still had so much left to go. I wanted to run fast, but just couldn’t get my body to go. I resigned myself to the fact that my “tempo” intervals were not going to be very tempo today, and ran the rest by feel.
Nathan and I met back up for the 5-minute recovery, and then kept trudging on for the second set of intervals. For number five my pace dropped to an 8:02 average pace. For number six it dropped to 8:37. For the last one it actually improved a bit to 8:15. I don’t think he hit the target on all of them, but overall Nathan fared much better than I did throughout. I told him later that I thought he was running as strong as I’ve ever seen him run.
During the 30-minute cool down, I slowly started feeling better, but still desperately wanted the run to be over. Nathan jokingly said that I would now have to admit that I’m at least partly human and not all machine. I definitely felt all human today, and every bit of my almost 38-years. I’m trying not to be discouraged, but today was humbling after feeling so good this summer.
However, if I look at it practically, my good days have FAR outweighed my bad days this summer, which is a big change from last year. Also, I just ran 16-miles on Saturday in nasty humidity, and then turned around today and tried to run again in nasty humidity for almost 2-hours with 40+ minutes of tempo intervals. It doesn’t take a genius to know why I didn’t have much gas in the tank.
In total I finished just over 13.5-miles with an average pace of 8:41 per mile. This was almost a mile less than what Nathan got, because of his much faster pace on the repeats. On a brighter note, one cool thing about this morning’s run was seeing at least eight deer running around in the field behind Ensworth High School while doing the intervals.
Well…tomorrow is a new day, and I’m intent on putting this run behind me and continuing to move forward!