Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I survived.

Thank goodness I have done nothing but rest over the last day and a half as this evening was reserved for my track work with Panther's Tri Club members and TopNotch coaches. I must admit I was extremely hesitant going into this for numerous reasons:
  1. Never done track work before
  2. Feel self conscious of my running dis/abilities
  3. Worried I would get injured
  4. Hate feeling out of my depth
I tried to keep my self defeatist attitude in check by repeating to myself that this is what was going to help me to get better and faster and fitter. By doing this I was going to finally get my running under control and I would be able to hold my own in the run leg instead pulling all out on the swim and bike and dying a slow painful death on the run. I was hopefully now on my way to becoming a worthy competitor.

When I got down to the grass track as usual I was early. This is another unmistakable Barbie trait. If I am not there early at any training or meet then there is something wrong - so come looking for me. Within 10 minutes the coaches pulled up and shortly there after other members started turning up one by one. Always nice to see familiar faces who can share in the joy and torture.

We started off with a 1200m warm up - nice and easy we were told. Running on grass is so very different to bitumen. It's uneven and really soft underfoot so I really had to focus where I was placing my foot. The lines on the track have no grass so it kind of hollows out inbetween lanes. I found myself running in these grooves just trying to find stable footing. When we finished the warm up it was time for some dynamic stretches. We did a couple 20m high knees, kick backs, and some side running where you kind of do a zig zag with your legs (not sure what that's called), sorry for the lame description.

We got to have a bit of a rest and then I got hit with our main set. I nearly keeled over - 10 x 400m continuous done as 200m race pace and 200m recovery run. Never ever in my wildest dreams did I think I would be asked to do this. I was having trouble digesting that piece of information until it finally hit me - I was going to have to run that oval 10 times. Did they get me confused with some All Star track athlete? My name is not Florence Griffith Joyner, it's more like Elmer Fudd!!!!

After procrastinating like a big girl, Chris the coach said to me "it's only 4km, you have run 4km". He was right - I had, it was just the way it had been presented to me that scared the living daylight's out of me. So, I finally sucked it up and started.

As usual I went out too hard and did my first 200m a bit too fast and knew that I would not be able to maintain that tempo for all of them. The recoveries felt really nice and it's funny cause after you have run a race pace 200m when you get to go slower it feels like you could almost walk faster. As each race pace 200m went by I could feel myself getting slightly slower but not by too much. What was really starting to show was my lack of form.

I think I have described my running style previously as a bit of an Olympic walker, well it showed again tonight. So what Chris got me to focus on was trying to place my feet on either side of the track line versus on the line - which is what I was doing. It seemed to work but it was not an easy thing to do. It really took all of my concentration to master. As did relaxing my shoulders and pumping my arms in a forward motion versus swinging them from side to side.

In saying all the things I did wrong, I did do alot of things that I am proud of:
  1. I didn't quit
  2. I smiled and laughed ALOT
  3. I attempted everything
  4. I ran faster than I ever have before
Am I looking forward to next week? You bet your bottom dollar I am. I had a ball. I can really see how this is going to benefit me. I am already sore in my glutes, hammies and quads. But not a bad kind of sore - more like a 'your muscles have been lying dormant kind of sore'. The only thing that is sore that I am now icing is my left Achilles. It is not horribly painful but rather a bruised sort of feeling. Other than that - I am on top of the world.

Your hard work will be rewarded.

"The path to a dream is paved with sacrifices and lined with determination. And though it has many stumbling blocks along the way, and may go in more than one direction, it is travelled by belief and courage and conquered with a willingness to face challenges and take chances" Barbara Cage