Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Faster and Uglier

Long, flat and forever, what it felt like Tuesday night at the track.

So I'm a week and a half into this taper and for the most part I'm loving it. More time to do other things and more rest. I'm never bored when I'm on taper. However, the one thing I do hate is the feeling of sluggishness and tiredness that I feel in a taper which supposedly is normal. Paraphrasing from a taper article from Runner's World:

Heavy legs, a tired, heavy feeling centered in the legs, but affecting your whole body, that you get late in a taper. This is caused by tissue repair in the legs during recovery, coupled with the fact that you are storing more carbohydrate and water late in the taper, will make you feel like you do after eating a big meal," says Dr. Smurawa. In other words, you feel like a slug.

Which makes last night's workout at the track suprising. We were revisiting our 2-mile (3200 meters) benchmark workout that we did at the beginning of track back in February. Back then I ran a 13:38 (Mile 1 = 6:55, Mile 2 = 6:43) which is pretty much where my times usually fall for the distance. I got the math wrong earlier, sorry for the confusion. One lap is 400m, 4 laps is about a mile.

Came to track sleepy and sluggish. I dreaded the workout all day but it was perfect for taper, high intensity but short in duration. Felt a little bit better during the warmup but not a whole lot better. Heehawed and grumbled at the start line and sighed at the go signal. It hurt right away, my form was squirly but not as ragged as my breath - it felt loud in my ears. I felt like I was running on no sleep. Now, I've never recorded anything faster than a 6:30ish for the mile but I blew by the 1600-meter mark at 6:10 - Coach Duane called it out from the sidelines. The warning signals that told me I was going too fast was lost in the general feeling of weakness and fatigue. You should have seen my eyes when he called that out. I paid for it in the next 1600m with a 6:25 but I came through the time trial with a 12:35. Back in February I was whining about always wanting but not being able to break 13 minutes. Well there you have it, as ugly as it was. It also helps that I'm 5 pounds lighter, I'm sure that was a big part of it. I'm always heavier from October thru February.

On the way home I lost my bus ticket and got caught in a surprise inspection by transportation agents downtown. They patrol occasionally, there to catch freeloaders who get in on the back of the buses. Since I didn't have proof of fare payment I got hit with a $50 ticket. It's a lot of money and it bites since I actually paid the fare but so it goes. I tried to be real sore about it but to no avail. I'm still grinning about track today. Progress is such a sweet thing. 6:10 huh, what do I have to do to get that down to sub-6? Can I finally break 22 mins on the 5k?


  1. Swwweeeettttttt job homie!! Dang!! I say fo sho you'll be breaking the 22/5K. Pass that speed on over, I need some LOL

  2. Whoa!! That is some serious speed you got going on! That sucks about the ticket though. Grrr...

    I am not tapering but post race and I feel the sluggishness. I am trying to ramp it up again.

    Ok, a separate question....what is the best way to pick up bike speed? Is it hill repeats? I feel like no matter how hard I try I can't bust the 16 mph average. It's not that I always bike that slow I do hit 17-19 mph on stretches but no matter what my average always ends up at 16. Thoughts?

  3. Oly-J, you need the bike equivalent of track which is a good Spin class. You need some good interval sessions on the bike. I'll send you an email.

  4. Nice times! Good luck on that 5K goal!!!!

  5. That's how I felt when I surprised myself with 400 and 800 times been so much faster suddenly. Weight loss and accumulation of fitness, even if slow...
    Bummer on the bus really. Bites. Hope you look past it.

  6. is a bummer about the bus and the "Quota Police" should have told them you know me :-) nah nevermind, then ur fine would have been doubled--LOL

    or you could have said "it's about time, I am about $1000 up on free bus rides, so I am glad to pay the $50" --haha (ahhhh I am so Jersey huh)

    Way to go on that Slug Speed track workout!!

  7. Wow! 6:10? Man, you are speedy! Way to go. And glad to hear your taper is going well. Good luck as your race continues to get closer!

    Sorry about the bus ticket! :(

  8. Are you kidding me? With all the mileage you've racked up for Kettle 100 and the 5 lbs. you've lost... you would probably break 20:00 for a 5K right now.

    That really does suck about the $50 ticket. Bummer. But at least the track workout made your day! Nice job, Rick.