This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Hole In My Sock

Not really. But that's what I thought when I got done with my kick-my-ass track workout.

The workout today was a two mile warm-up with *three* miles of in-and-out 200s. For me, that was at a :55/1:05 pace throughout. I tried not to think too much about it. But when I met Frank to head on over to the gym, he said to me "Are you really going to do that workout?! It sounds hard! I can't believe she has you doing that! Do you realize that it's an 8 mn mile for three miles?!"

No, Frank, I didn't. I said in my head. Now, I'm getting a little frightened.

My hubby Tim met us at the gym and we did the killer run that goes UP, UP, and UP. And it's not a small incline. It's sharp, and gradually continues up. But after the UP, it's sort of flat and easy to get the 1.5 to 2 mile run right to the track.

Tim ducked out for his 1.5 warm-up while Frank and I continued for our 2 mile warm-up. The weather had just a slight chill in the wind. Later, I would notice that I would be happy with my long-sleeved shirt at one side of the track, then be angry and want to tear it off at the other side of the track, due to being insanely hot.

Frank decided to do the original workout he intended. He didn't think he could do mine. I didn't think I could either, but I was going to give it my best shot.

As usual, the first few 400s were not bad. I made 0:55 seconds for the first 200 and that would be the last time I would do it. Ha! You'd like to think I went faster? But I didn't. But it wasn't too bad. It varied between :56 and :58 seconds, so not bad. I internalized that I wanted to make sure it remained under a minute.

The 1:05 200s were surprisingly easier than I anticipated. I don't mean they were easy to run, although compared to the 0:55, they certainly were. But the fact that after 1.25 miles, I was ready to walk after my attempts to hit :55 but I would find that the 1:05 was enough time to keep it brisk (not a jog) and actually find enough in me to start another 200 fast. And for the most part, I kept the 1:05 under 1:05, except for the third mile, where a three of 200s dipped to 1:07 and 1:08. But the last 200 @ 1:05 was a 1 minuter. So I ended well.

But this was sooooo hard. As I approached 1.5 miles, I told myself I could take a walk break. But a couple of guys -- the fast ones -- encouraged me on with the "looking good; keep strong" words. I know that it was obvious on my face that I was in full concentration mode. And that they recognized it and encouraged me was AWESOME that I decided to forgo a break.

As I approached mile two, knowing that I had only four more laps to go, I also thought of giving myself a walk break; drink some water. I needed to fuel up for the last four laps. But I also knew that the satisfaction of continuing without stopping would be "the bomb". Even if it meant that my pace would suffer a little bit, I thought it would be the greater feeling to finish the workout as written vs. taking a little break, that I know no one would care about me doing.

So my ego won out -- I finished the workout. Three miles of nearly an 8 mn pace solid. I told Tim on the way back that for me, during a training run, I can talk myself into pushing hard. That the difference between what I did today and what I do during races is that I *would* have taken that walk break instead of pushing myself to go a little further. I would give in. Why that is, I don't know but my hope is that these types of workouts will brainwash my brain into knowing I can push because I am capable of going that fast.

So I was happy to be finished. No real aches and pains, even running track in my trail shoes (I need new running shoes!). I got to the locker room, took my shoes off and noticed skin peeking through my sock. Huh. These are one of my favorite pairs of socks and now I got a hole? I thought to myself. But upon further investigation, I realized it was not flesh peeking through but blood.

WTF? So I took the sock off and noticed blood all around my pinky toe nail on my right foot. I didn't notice any pain. I had not noticed that this particular toe had any issues, so I was blindsided :-). The only thing I thought of was that perhaps my nail was a tad too long and it dug into the skin during the run...or that the shoes are too tight at the toe area (where I need more room) and it made my nail dig into my skin. Or perhaps, both are what caused it.

I blew it off and cleaned up to get back to work. It was then that I noticed that my feet seemed to have a lot of room in my boots. The same boots I wore all winter without any issues. And suddenly, my feet had quite a bit of space in the boot, to the point that I had to squish my toes to keep the boots less slippy. And because I knew my pinky toe had bled, suddenly, I thought that my pinky toe was in pain...and squishing it against my boots was not a good thing.

Did I run so hard that I made my toe bleed? I don't care. It was worth it.


  1. Sorry. Didn't mean to psych you out. I'm glad you finished...

  2. great job, that's exactly what I meant when I said she gives you workouts that you would never give yourself because you think they are out of reach, then you go out and try them and realize they are...

    Now you just need to apply that don't quit attitude to the races. Maybe you just need to run with a bunch of people you know so you feel like you can't quit or they will see you. When you are in a race no one you know sees you stop or slow down so you don't feel the same pressure. You need to visualize someone behind you that you don't want to see you fail. Didn't you say that one of your pr's happened when Mark was pacing you and you didn't want to let him down?

    once again awesome job on that tough workout :-)

  3. Frank - never have to apologize...unless you call me naive again ;-)

    Bill - I notice I hold back more about running with someone during races...I don't want the pressure to commit :-)...and then I don't want to yell and get pissed at you, um, I mean's all during the race moment...the dr. jekyll in all of us...right?? it's not just me, is it???

  4. Tim is right, you think too much... instead of using that anger to yell at me, ah _someone_, use it to run faster. btw, you've never yelled at me during a race or otherwise, maybe you just wanted too ;-). Oh and feel free to yell at me, during a race that is, I won't take it personally :-)