What you CAN’T do without a car!
Having to cycle to EVERYWHERE means everything takes miles longer, which means not as much gets done. Here lies the problem. With no car, morning gym and swim sessions become almost impossible. There just is not enough time to cycle to the sports centre, do my stuff, cycle back, get breakfast, cycle to work, and start work on time. PLUS – I am not sure I have the energy for all that before 9am every day either! So, 3-2-1 has not been going to plan, as I often can’t do the early morning session, unless it’s a run session. I also can’t get to the track to meet my coach – because it’s about 12 miles away and the appointment time just doesn’t allow me time to get there on my bike from work (if I even had the energy for that!) So, this week, it was moved to Saturday morning, so I could go by train. Appointment time – 7.15am! AAAArgh! I used to be used to that, but with the temporary loss of early morning sessions this was not going to be easy!
The track session of death!
I was told the plan was 4 timed mile reps. It was November since I last did this with my coach. I hate them! It’s so monotonous; I just can’t get my head around it. I was dreading it. PLUS – it was trenching it down too, so I just didn’t have my head screwed on at all! I went armed with my orbana, because I knew I would need it, and the asthma inhaler – I knew I would need that too! When I got there Coach was already drenched, wrapped up in full head to toe waterproofs. I had better make this worth his while I thought, poor chap. After a warm up, it was down to business. It had been ages since I did these, I wasn’t sure I would be too good at pacing, so I put pace on the garmin screen – something I am usually forbidden from looking at! It was raining hard, and there was a driving wind on the back straight too, not nice.
I heard shouts as I set off, and worked out by the curve of the first bend what it was – I had set off far too fast. At the end of lap 1 I was 30 seconds ahead of my target time – that has only got to spell trouble! Lap 2, I slowed down a bit – on purpose, and by the end of that lap was feeling much better, lap 3 was o.k. and by lap 4 it was getting tough. Time – a new mile PB and 25 seconds under the target time. I was pretty damn stoked actually.
I was dreading this – there was no way I could do that again. Still, focus on the ACTUAL target I had been given. I was ordered to go slower. So I did, it seemed odd. Same drill, first lap, WAAAAY too fast, but I rectified it much more quickly, laps 2 and 3 alright, lap 4 tough. Time? Still 11 seconds inside the target time. But jeez I was feeling it now, and I needed that inhaler.
I just knew from the start this was going to be ugly. I set off under a much more controlled pace, but by the end of the 2nd lap I felt like collapsing and stopping right there, it felt like I should feel on lap 4! At the end of lap 3 I was told that I had slowed quite a bit. I looked at the pace. It had dropped way back beyond the target time. So I had some serious work to do. I had to make 15 seconds of pace up on this last lap. I gave it everything I had. I just focussed on me, my legs, my form, and that number on the watch. I glanced at it as I turned for the last 100m and it was back under the target – by only 1 second but still, it was under. As I crossed the line, I knew I had JUST managed to get it back again, but I collapsed onto my hands and knees in exhaustion, and it took quite some time before I could stand up again. The last mile rep was cancelled, despite the fact that I vowed to do it and give it my all.
At first: wow – I was rather impressed with my new mile PB – and so was coach – he hadn’t thought it possible at this stage in the season, and in this weather.
Later: hmmph, I did the session in November and managed all 4 reps, the last being only 1 second different in time to my 3rd on this occasion, and much more consistent. So, I began to think that maybe it wasn’t so good after all.
And in reality: I was told off for being too pessimistic – as usual! My first mile was waaaaay faster than I ever thought I would be able to run, ever. It was well inside the target time my coach set me when we first met. He even doubted that I would manage it, more recently. My second wasn’t far behind. I must get a grip and recognise the positives when they come. I AM running much better than I thought I could, and in the latter stages of mile 3 I proved to myself that I could push myself to the absolute limits and still drag my legs round a decent lick of speed. I pushed myself further and faster than I ever thought I could. My heart rate far exceeded the previous max heart rate a run test had produced.
I CAN DO THIS!!
Let’s see what triathlon season brings. J