Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A dash of inspiration plus a pinch of accountability equals...

...a full tempo run.

My afternoon was made complete by a surprise phone call from Stefan.  It has been awhile since we spoke, so it was great to catch up with him.  Speaking of the training he was doing with one of my old training partners, Jon Moncrieff, I missed the old crew.  I complained about tempo treadmill runs, he complained about Ontario weather and the rigors of being a lawyer keeping him from training.  I explained my 15k tempo tonight and subtly called me out on bailing on the earlier ones.  So it was with the inspiration of running with Moncrieff, Timms, and Taylor that I approached the run this evening.

The 15k was to be run at 3:35/km pace.  This is faster than last time, and longer.  I figured it would take me 53:45 to complete the 15k, which was going to be tough.  As I eased into the workout, I found that the heaviness present in my quads during the warmup dissipated and I was able to get a comfortable turnover going.  The Vancouver Canucks game was on the TV, so that was a good distraction (except they are playing poorly recently, so I didn't watch too much).  The pace was fine, but the treadmill is relentless.  There is no opportunity for a change of cadence, for a little break, as the rubber keeps passing underneath my feet.  This is the challenge - the constant pace.  I found myself wanting to pull the plug around 25 minutes, even though both heart rate and muscular fatigue were not an issue.  I pushed through that rough spot, thinking about Boston and trying to strengthen myself mentally.  Around 40 minutes, I dropped the 1% grade to 0% for about 4 minutes to change it up.  I put it back up to 0.5% for the remainder of the workout, completing the full 53:45 - the first treadmill tempo I have full completed.  

I would like to believe that I was mentally stronger tonight, but it was shame that got me through the workout - the shame of having to tell Stefan that I stopped early.  But I didn't.  So I don't have to.  Thanks, Stef.

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