In case you have missed past reports I have been on a quest to complete the goal of being my fastest and strongest. This goal would considered achieved upon running a sub five minute mile, or 1600m, and deadlifting 300 pounds within a week of each other. I had set a deadline of June 2 to complete the run. That deadline has come and gone and the results are in.
Read on to find out the race week results and insights.
TRAINING WEEK: MAY 29 to June 4
The end of last week, and beginning of race week, I was away visiting family. Travel can be a training death sentence and I was determined to make my time at altitude an advantage. I was at 6,500 feet above sea level. Enough to possibly spur some physiological benefits during my six day stay.
Check out the last report for more details.
This week’s training is not too exciting. With the travel and upcoming race it was fairly loose except for some key track sessions to maintain my feel for race pace.
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After a horror story of travels home I arrived back in town Thursday morning with about two hours of patchwork sleep. The sleep deprivation led to a rather unproductive day and an easy run club jog in the evening to loosen up.
I did a good job of staying active while away and also maintained a daily meditation or visualization. The later was a “next step” highlighted in last week’s report. Mental practices should be credited with helping me not lose my mind during the travel debacle. Without the ability to mentally calm myself and stay aware of my emotions I probably would have spouted off an angry rant at a United employee that would have done nothing to help my situation.
Exercise session this week held little to note. The hay was in the barn. Hard workouts were swapped for easy sessions to keep my body loose and recovered for Friday’s race. This week’s sessions were mainly relaxed mountain biking at altitude and short track work to keep my body primed for race pace.
ONE MILE RACE DAY:
The weather was as close to perfect as you could get. Warm, but not stifling. Cloudy with a slight tail breeze. My warm up went well. The legs turned over easily. Everything felt strong and solid.
I joined up with my training partner Doug ten minutes before the start. He was expecting to be off the pace so I would be on my own. We lined up and the gun sounded.
The first quarter mile weeded out the sprinters and gave me a good idea of how the mile would play out. There was a lead group that went out fast and held a steady ten second lead on me. I was running comfortably hard at what felt like five minute pace.
My breathing was more controlled than I expected. Maybe I did get a little boost from being at altitude for a week. The lead female runner ran next to me. Her gait was quick and fluid, but her breathing gave away the pace was unsustainable. At about half a mile I left her, picking up speed out of concern that my breathing and perceived exertion were lower than past race efforts on the track.
Even after quickening my pace the lead runners hovered about ten seconds ahead. By the third quarter the front pack had strung out. One runner seemed within reach. I tried to gain on him each step. The quarter went quickly and then I was sprinting. Trying to pick the pace up just a little more each step.
I could see the timing clock and it was going to be tight. My body was tapped out. I had reeled in everyone I could. It was just me and the clock. Ticking.
By the time I stopped my watch it said 5:08, but I came over the mat a good second or two before that. Officially I’m claiming a safe 5:07.
I have a choice.
- Take the hard line and choose to throw up my hands and declare I did not make my goal.
- Then there is the choice to give myself an extension on the deadline. Recommit to my goal. To look past any disappointment I am feeling and remember that this whole endeavor is about improving myself. While I am temporarily embarrassed at publishing my efforts and missing my deadline, that race was only a means of motivation to get the work done. I still believe I can accomplish my goal.
Ummm number two please!
Time to get back on the proverbial horse and get this thing done.
Some will say it is cheating to extend the deadline or that it will count less when I do achieve my goal. It does not matter. This is my goal and I am the only one that has to live with how I get there. The point is getting it done.
I want to see this through. Sooner than later would be nice, but as long as it gets done is all that truly matters to me.
Sure it would have been a happy ending if I had pumped out a 4:50 mile at that race and turned around and deadlifted 310 lbs the next day. It would have wrapped this story up nicely. Even though it is going to take more work and time I like that it has played out this way as it re-teaches me a powerful lesson.
I control my goals and the efforts that go into them. I am the one responsible for doing the work. No one else can do it for me. I also know what achieving that goal means to ME. Others might know about what I’m doing, but at the end of the day it is me that has to go to sleep with whether or not I worked up to my ability to achieve my goal on that day.
If taking a little more time means checking this goal off my progress list then I am still moving in the right direction. Just think of the alternative.
Get this thing done without injury. Doug’s half marathon is in two weeks. So for now my running will shift focus to getting Doug to the start line at one hundred percent. After his race I can put my efforts solely on knocking out my goal and putting this thing to rest.
Do what I can to help Doug get ready for his half marathon
Get in speedwork efforts where possible to maintain mile foot speed
Maintain strength work