A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Crash and Burn

Something happened at track last night and I'm not sure what caused it.

As I alluded to earlier this week, I've been feeling pretty exhausted. So maybe that's one of the causes. When I got home from work even Jason could tell I wasn't as gung-ho about going to my workout as usual. I was just feeling blah. Still, I suited up and drove over to the track. Maybe driving versus riding my bike made a difference.

When we arrived the college football team was still practicing so we didn't really get a chance to do a warm-up. That doesn't usually affect me, though.

Our workout was 4x1-mile repeats followed by 4x400 meters. The air temperature was better than it has been but the humidity was high from all the rain we'd had earlier in the day. Our coach was pushing us hard. I busted out three fast miles but then there was the final one.

The first lap felt hard. Harder than it should have. I was 5 seconds slower on that lap than any of my previous laps. Our coach was encouraging us to pick up those 5 seconds. But I just couldn't. My second lap was still slower. And then it happened. 200 meters into the third lap I just couldn't catch my breath. My breathing was ragged. My lungs felt constricted. And I stopped to walk. I didn't walk much but when I started running again it was slower than a speed lap should be. My breathing would loosen up but every time I thought about how I had blow this last mile it would tighten up again. I would be gasping for air and breathing through clenched teeth. I just couldn't relax.

I finished that mile over a minute slower than the other three.

And yet, my 4x400s were fine. I hit all my usual times there. Under 2 minutes each.

Mile 1 - 7:57
1 minute recovery
Mile 2 - 8:01
Full recovery
Mile 3 - 8:00
1 minute recovery
Mile 4 - 9:07

1st 400 - 1:55
30 second recovery
2nd 400 - 1:57
Full recovery
3rd 400 - 1:53
30 second recovery
4th 400 - 1:46

So what happened in that last mile? Yes, my first three miles were fast, but not THAT much faster than previous 4x1 mile repeats. Why did my anxiety-induced asthma crop up last night? Why did that last mile feel so hard? Was my brain just not in the game? Did I just not have the "mental toughness" our coach talks so much about? Does a roasted veggie sandwich and fries not make good pre-run fuel? I don't know.

I'm kind of discouraged but I also know that incidents like that are not the end of the world. There are more important things to worry about. One "bad" mile (which, really, wasn't all THAT bad overall) does not make or break all the rest of the training you put in. You learn what you can from it and move on. And that's what I plan to do.


JadeEJF said...

Well, I'm glad it wasn't worse than that- I was a little worried you'd really overdone it. Huh. Hope you figure it out and get back up to speed soon ;)

Leah B. said...

You were probably just exhausted. You'll be fine! Good job finishing!

MonkeyBusiness said...

It had to have been the humidity. I keep noticing you having what you consider "bad runs" when I am struggling with the humidity myself and having good runs when the humidity is much lower. Maybe it affects you more than you think it does?

kilax said...

How completely bizarre. Do you think your body was just like "that's enough for tonight, Erin!"?

Have you been feeling exhausted at work too? I know Mica had suggested looking in to your diet... do you think that's it?

Hope you're feeling okay!

Mica said...

That IS strange. I agree with Kim's assessment. Maybe your exhaustion just came to a head on that mile.

I know the feeling of being disappointed and frustrated when your body doesn't behave. It happens out of the blue some times, and you can't find a good reason. (Like, "I've done X before, and it didn't happen then...")

(Oh yeah, and diet too!)

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