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

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Math Fail

I've never been great at math. I graduated high school with a perfect GPA by the mere virtue of the fact that my high school didn't use the plus or minus system. Meaning a score of 90 was the same as a score of 100. So while I had a 4.0 GPA in math it wasn't without a lot of toil, tears, and our GPA system. And the fact that my freshman year geometry final exam didn't count toward my final grade. I didn't study and got a D. Lowest grade of my entire life.

In college the only final grade I ever got that was lower than a regular A was in my pre-calculus class first semester freshman year. I got an A-. So, I'm definitely not BAD at math. I'm just not great. Math skills don't come intuitively to me like so many other subjects.

But, counting usually comes easily. I mean, you learn that even before you're in school. At least you do when you watch a lot of Sesame Street, which I did.

Somehow, though, my counting skills abandoned me on the track last night. After our usual stretches we did a 12 minute warm-up. That was easy; just watch the time on my Garmin. 1.29 miles later I was all ready for the workout. And what was my workout? 5x1200 meters with 200 meter rest intervals. 1200 meters is three laps around the track, by the way.

I started and quickly found myself alone. Faster than the back of the pack, slower than the front. Fine by me. Let's me zone out. And zone out I did. I was supposed to be running between 10K and 10 mile pace. Since my 10 mile PR pace is faster than my 10K PR pace I figured I'd aim for between 8:30s and 8:40s. Yet I kept seeing 8:0X on my Garmin. Hmmm. Time to slow down.

But I was in a zone. I managed the first 1200 with little incident except for running an 8:03 pace. I walk/jogged my 200 rest interval and took off on the next 1200. I did my three laps at an 8:20 pace (better) and was feeling fine. The night was cool enough to necessitate capris and a short sleeved shirt and the humidity was low. Perfect running weather.

Which may be why the next laps got all screwed up. As I went past Coach Holly I yelled out, "I've lost count!" I had no idea what lap I was on out of 1200 and only a vague idea of what set out of 5 I was doing. So when my watch beeped a mile I realized I'd run 1600 instead of 1200. At an 8:33 pace. I guess I got one part right!

I did my 200 meter walk/jog and chatted with Coach. "I *think* that was my third set," I said.

"Do you feel tired?" She asked.

"No, not really."

"Then keep going."

So I finished my 200 and took off again determined to get it right this time. Cue the epic fail. I tried to keep count on my fingers but somehow thought I was on lap three when I was really on lap two. So I did 800 (at an 8:10 pace) instead of 1200 before I slowed to a walk. I realized I'd screwed up when I saw my lap time. 1200 in 4:11? I don't think so. I suppose I could have kept going but I figured I'd run longer on the previous set so I could make this one shorter.


After finally figuring out I was on set 5 I made sure to do 3 laps. At an 8:12 pace. Argh! Too fast! Why was I having such a hard time with this workout?

I guess that's what happens when I get in a zone. My legs just want to go and my brain doesn't want to think. Who cares about math and counting and pace when you're in your happy running place.

OPRC Track Workout by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details