Hey friends. I realize it's been quite a while since my last post but I wanted to wait until I raced again.. And then I just got really lazy for a couple days after my race. Since there's two weeks of training to talk about I won't get into too much talking about anything else.. Except for Evan Jager's nasty 3:32 in the 1500m on the weekend. I'm a huge Evan Jager fan and to myself and all other track athletes with long hair I think I can safely say that he is an inspiration to us all.
Alright so let's rewind way back to June 1. As you know if you've been reading my blog I had a pretty large chunk of time between races so that allowed some time to work on some things that may have been neglected in the previous few weeks, one of those things being pure strength. With no races coming up I left the spikes at home, dusted off the flats and got to work with a 200m-300m-400m-500m-400m-300m-200m. The rest was as follows: 1:45-2:00-2:30-2:30-2:00-1:45. The times weren't hugely important in this workout in the sense that if I was half a second off I wasn't going to be too worried about it. I just had to run hard enough to beat myself up a little bit. The times hit were 29, 44, 61, absolutely fell asleep and ran 1:18 for the 500m, then 60, 44, 28. I did this exact workout last year and my times this year were better aside from the 500m which was the same so I left the track feeling good about it.
A couple days later we were back on the track and the workout started with something that turns me into a big baby whenever I have to do it, that thing being a tempo run. It was only 4 minutes and I ran it at 3:19/km pace but I was still very grumpy about it before, during, and after. Following the tempo run I quickly put my spikes on for 2 sets of 500-300-200. The set rest was 3:00, I got 2:00 rest after the 500m and 1:30 rest after the 300m. The first set was 1:15-44-28, and the second set was 1:15-43-27. I was happy with these times so I forgave my coach for giving me a tempo run.
To close out the week we did a simple and controlled workout that I have done a couple times this year. It's a workout that will make you work hard but not hard enough that you're in any danger of missing the target times. It was simply 3x300 - 2x300- 1x300 starting at 44 seconds and working my way down to 41 seconds.
The next week my coach and I decided that we wanted to go into the race feeling fairly fresh so we only did 2 workouts on the track with not a lot of volume. The first one of the week was 350+200 - 300+200 - 250+200 - 200+200. I was getting 1:30 rest between reps and 2:30 rest between sets. The times hit were: 49+28 - 43+28 - 34+27 - 27+26. I exceeded my own expectations on this workout so I started to get pretty excited for my race on the weekend.
My final track session came on Thursday (race was on Sunday). On the agenda was 400+200 - 300+200 - 200+200 with 1:30 between reps and 2:30 between sets once again. The goal was to basically run what I would take an 800m out in for the first 2 sets then just blow the doors off it on the last set. The first 2 sets went smoothly hitting 56+28 and 42+27. On the last set all the little kids and elderly, gossiping ladies just decided that they wanted to get in my way and make my life difficult. On the first 200m I nearly ran over a little boy that was about as tall as my knee before his dad scooped him up out of lane 1 but I still managed to hit a 26. On the final rep there were 3 ladies in their mid to late century taking up 3 lanes so I was forced to swing out WIDE coming around the corner, giving them quite the scare in the process. I ended up coming through in a low 25, maybe even a high 24, and without running anyone over so it was a successful day.
Over those 2 weeks the workouts had gone very well by my standards so I went into the race with a "PB or bust" kind of attitude. It was a pretty hot day sitting around 27 degrees Celsius but I got through my warmup without feeling groggy or anything. The first 200m of the race was fine and I knew I was running against some pretty strong runners so I decided to tuck in and we came through in 27 seconds. Just as I made the decision to tuck in, the guys surrounding me decided to just throw out the anchor. For the second half of the first lap I was thinking "either I feel absolutely amazing today or we're going extremely slow". As we finished the first lap and I saw that we had just barely squeaked under 59 seconds I knew it was the latter of the 2 options. Now compared to most other 800m runners with PBs similar to mine, my speed is much better than my strength so I lack the ability to aggressively change gears no matter how slow the race starts, but I sure did try. I started really pushing with about 350m to go but it was just no use, I crossed the line third in a time of 1:58.37, my slowest time of the season. This is still faster than I ran all year last year, and last year I had to split a high 56 to get to 1:58 so it wasn't all bad I guess. After watching the NCAA meet for the last few days before the race and watching all the extremely "tactical" races I promised myself that I would never let myself get caught up in a slow race like that.. And then I promptly went ahead and let myself get caught up in a slow race and I finished with a bad time to show for it, so that was frustrating. I put "tactical" in quotation marks because I realize it was a championship meet and times don't really matter, but some of the paces that were set were just painful to watch and many of the distance races were essentially turned into a 200m race. Exciting for some, but not for me. Anyways, the lesson learned was set the tone for the race yourself if you have to.
My next race is this Friday and it is a race that I really have no business being in. The standard for the race is 1:55 and my PB is currently sitting at a humble 1:57.44 so I asked the meet director very nicely to let me into the race anyway and he said yes right away so I thank him for that and for putting up with my million emails asking about who will be in the race. There's a pretty good chance that I'll come last in this race, but at least it's also very reasonable to think that I'll be pulled through to a sizeable PB, fingers crossed.
That'll be all for now, everyone enjoy the rest of your week and pray for me this Friday.