Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Kenyan Way Speed #7 -- What Goes Up Must Go Down

1600, 1MR, 1600, 5MR, 800, 1MR, 800, 1MR, 800, 1MR, 800
(or 2x1600 w/1MR, 5MR, 4x800 w/1MR)

It is easy to get spoiled with increasing success at the early stage of any activity when improvement can be seen each time. Start-up companies that see 100% growth year-over-year are impressive, but are they still growing (or turning a profit) at year 3,5,10? Excitement surrounds the latest, greatest pharmaceutical drug as it flies through subsequent rounds of early clinical trials, but will it ever be medically or commercially viable? And more to the point, setting new PRs (personal records) and hitting faster training splits each time out is encouraging, but does the exponential improvement continue forever? The answer is, of course, "no".

Today was one of those down days for me, after several weeks of continuous improvement. I'm trying to take this setback in stride and use it as motivation in my training, but I really failed today in my speed workout.

Goal for miles = 6:30, 1 minute rest, 6:30, 5 minutes rest
Actual = 6:23, 1:02 rest, 6:49 (already starting to fade), 5:01 rest

Goal for 800s = 3:00, 1 minute rest between
Actual = 3:34, 1:06 rest, 3:56, 1:00 rest, 4:09, 0:58 rest, 3:56

So I only hit my desired pace in one out of six segments. But the bigger story is that I felt absolutely drained for each of the 800s. My legs were tired, my heart rate was high, and my shirt was completely soaked with perspiration. In a word, I felt defeated.

I'm not sure why today was such a bad day. It could be due to the heavy workout on Saturday and Sunday (but it's not uncommon for me to do that). It could be the lack of sleep (although I'm used to that lately). It could be my diet (I've been slipping a tad in my endeavor to eat fresh, healthy foods, but I tend to slip about every third week so this isn't exactly new either).

Whatever the cause, I'm going to take tomorrow off to recouperate, refocus my efforts and make October a strong training month. I'm going to do my core exercises at least three times each week, and I'm going to make a point of getting enough rest and not missing the Kenyan Way hill and speed sessions. The marathon is right around the corner!

On an altogether different note, I am a great fan of public transportation. I walk to the train station and take the light rail to and from work every day. And today I took the bus to and from Memorial Park for Kenyan Way. It's a nice change of pace to take the bus to my destination, even if it's not always fast or practical.

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