Boston Qualifying Training To quote an iconic figure… “It was a dark and stormy night.” Snoopy.
It was a dark and stormy night, I woke several times in the night with the sound of RAIN. I knew when I went to bed the forecast called for rain and that the track workout would be wet and cold. The thought of rolling over never crossed my mind as the alarm rang. After all, it was track workout and this one going to be fun.
I met Jay at LTF, we waited to see if there would be anyone else to join us, however we both already knew that answer. Five minutes later the clock hit 5:45 and it still just Jay and me.
We set off across the parking lot dancing around the puddles and steady flow of water on its natural path, more times than not that path was right in front of where our feet were landing.
Making the way to the school track I think not about the rain, but how good it is to be outside, the weather is cool, but not cold. The rain is falling, but not too hard. The gently sloping hill that leads to the track is a perfect warm up, just the right distance to get the body moving and start to open up the lungs.
As I enter the track, it is empty, dark and colorless in the absence of light. I have been here before. I have been doing this a long time and it is a very familiar place. I have been here in the scalding heat of summer as sweat poured from my body, and I have been here in the darkest and coldest of winter when the run was the only way to stay warm.
I remember the first time I brought Jay, Corey, Jeff and Walter to the track and we did our first track workout as a group. I had been away from the track and it was so natural to be back, that was years and years ago. A quick trip around the track to lengthen the stride and my body is responding well. This will be a good day.
The workout today 2 x 6 x 400 at 1:35 pace. A very pedestrian pace, this one will be easy, work will get done, but it will be easy. I start the first lap and the rain begins to come down a little harder. The visibility drops to 20-30 yards and there is only darkness. Large puddles form on the track, but they do not slow down the pace. The first of the 400’s is done with little physical exertion. However the set times tend to bounce over the next few sets, 1:32, 1;28, 1: 34 1:27… this continues.
The focus is pace and when I do consciously keep the pace in mind, the numbers are good, when left to just run and not think about pace, I am fast, is that so bad?
During the second set my mind wanders back to running 1:07, 1:08 and the idea that 1:15 was slow, or maybe moderate. How many years ago was that 4, 5 , 6 at the most. What happened. I have a deep desire to just rip one off right now just to see if the lion can still roar. My better judgement keeps me from trying.
Do I still have any speed left. Did my ankle injury just destroy any chance of gaining speed or is it age catching up. I dismiss all those thoughts. My goal is set firmly on qualifying for Boston and muscling around the track for my ego is not going help and would likely only cause injury. I will look for speed again… but not today, and not before December 12th.
Finishing the last 400 I feel good, the legs are still feeling the effects of the 20 miler 12 days prior, but my conditioning /breathing is great. There was work accomplished as expected this morning, though this workout was not difficult and I was quickly able to regain heart rate and normal breathing after each 400, feeling fresh for the next 400.
I will find time today to hit the weights at the gym, though multiple meetings will make it difficult, it is important I keep building core and strengthening the legs for the duration of the marathon.
At home I chase away the dampness with a nice warm bowl of oatmeal… I forgot the raisins, but the brown sugar on the oatmeal is good enough. A nice glass of juice and I have given my body the energy it will need over the next 4 hours.
Weight a disappointing 180.