When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.
The heart of the difference is not ability or even talent, but desire
The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Facing the fear
I had promised myself to check out and join Red Lizards's workouts, a local running club, a month ago. I heard they allow for people to jump into their runs without registering officially (how many clubs I can be a member of?). But, as I mentioned before, I was scared. I haven't done speed workouts for a good half a year, with with a club - for almost 3 years, ever since I left NYC and my beloved VCTC. I was even thankful last week for the snow blizard that allowed me to postpone this a bit longer. Eventually, there was no hiding anymore. If anything could help me to get back into any kind of form - it was a club workout with a coach, a timer and runners that could push my limits. Yesterday was the day.
I drove over to local YMCA track 15 min before 6 pm. Shaking a bit, I asked who the coach is and if I could join in. He looked at me and through a smile asked: why do you want to do it? The girl next to him responded: because she wants to suffer. And suffer I did...
We started with 2.5M warm up around the track, and the coach - Rick Lovett - jogged with me for a couple of laps, touching base of where I come from, what I run and what my expectations are. I read the proposed workout on their message board and honestly told him I am looking at 8 min/mile pace, so he could point to with whom I could pair up.
The first 2 laps we did strides. Something in respect of accelerating the curves and jogging the straights, what I, when I did do it, did backwards. The workout itself was like that: 3x800m with 400m jog in-between, 3 sets of 3x300m with 100m "float" (no jogging or walking allowed) and 500m jog between sets. Hmm, this one is new.
I went for the first 800m. There was another club on the track, an all women, doing their speedwork, but the track etiquet was followed great. When I looked at the watch, I made it in 3:34. What the heck?! Isn't it the time from my last year? Rick walked over and aksed if he could drag behind for the 400m and next repeat. Oh, my! OK, I knew I blew the workout, I knew I went out too fast like a newbie in school, that the rest of it will be a sufferfest, but I was happy. I can still run same time! I mean, I can't hold it for the whole thing, but I do have same leg turnover somewhere deep inside! As he followed me for the first lap of second 800m, he yelled - your pace is Liz's pace, but she is not here today and it definitely faster than 8 min/mile - as I left him behind. I was running alone the rest of the night. 3:42 and 3:49 were my next intervals, and as I expected, the average if I were smart should have been 3:45. I couldn't wish for a better night.
300m were supposed to be run at the same pace with only marginal slowdown on the recovery 100m. First set went in 1:25 (and I still can't figure out if it's the same speed or not), but the following 2 sets I didn't time myself. I was seriously pooped. I contemplated bagging it after the first set, then after the second...there were only a few people left, either the rest of them was that much fatster or they went home. But before I knew it, I sucked it up and went for the last set. I don't know how fast I was going, my ears ringing, the back of my head and temples heavy and pulsating, all I knew I accelerated every time I saw a cone and made it 3/4 of the track. I only gave out on the last interval, finishing with about 5m before, like it matters:) Last recovery lap and I am done with a total of 8M speedwork for the night...
What a night! I hobbled over to Rick and thanked him. He killed me. He is fun and reminds me of Ken Rolston in looks and personality (may be all coaches made of same dove?). And he is what I need. I was even invited to a dinner! What I couldn't go to:)
There. I'll be back. And, oh, yes, I finished last week with 55 miles total (8M on Sunday), ran 7 on Monday and 4 on Tuesday morning. I am off today to recover and do some yoga and will see if I can manage a tempo run tomorrow. But I am hopeful with the help of others I can get where I wouldn't by myself.
On a separate note, I am working on sponsors, shirts and awards for my PCT race. I got my darling Dirty Girl Xy Weiss to donate a few pairs of gaiters. Tony, dear, is helping tremendously on getting the shirts we need and with design printing. I have all the info to find something (can't spill it yet, surprise) the race didn't give out before. Nuun and Nathan are in a process of seeing how they can participate in sponsorship. We are 1/3 full as of yesterday with a mere 3 weeks open registration, so if you want to run a beautiful trail in majestic place - it's time to click that button! Any ideas of what you would like to see at the race, goody bag, aid stations and post-festivities, are greatly appreciated! I just want to add, we have a saying back in Russia (here I go again with horrible translation): "Don't have a 100 bucks, have a 100 friends". I am one of the luckiest people on Earth in this respect:)