Saturday, November 26, 2011
Starting the long road back...
Yesterday I felt somewhat better from the brain fog, and I went out running before work. During my seven mile run I did an accurate mile as fast as I could on a rolling stretch of the Power Trail. I surprised myself with the time, six minutes and 52 seconds. At first glance at my watch, I was surprised because I really didn't think I could break 7 minutes at this point.
Then, for a minute or so, gasping and doubled over on the sidewalk, I remembered the days when I could run 6:50 pace with the guys for 20 miles. And a 5:52 mile was no big deal, I could run that a week after running the Leadville Trail 100. That was about twenty years and nearly 20 pounds ago. So, yesterday, in my pathetic state of trying to recover from a 6:52 mile, out in plain view of walkers and joggers along the Power Trail, hoping no one would call 911, my unexpected sub-7 was not exactly cause to celebrate.
I often think about how I'd like to get some speed back. I used to really enjoy speedwork on the track, but the past four years I've been focused on longer races with little need to do pure speedwork. And I've made all these plans to add it back in, in some form, to my training routine, but when it comes down to it, I opt for a long slow run. My thought is usually, "I don't care about the speed, I don't need it." I need to quit being so apathetic about the speedwork and realize that it's the only way I'm going to improve on my performances the way I want to.
Just 4 years ago I was able to run a 6:10 mile and ran a 1/2 marathon in 1:37. I also ran an 8:47 50 miler on a warm day on rolling hills and trails. That was also at 112 pounds. That year I did lots of speedwork at 6:50 pace, no problem. As of today I'm at 129 pounds, and a 6:50 mile just about kills me.
I want to get it back. I'm going to be 48 years old in the spring, and I know I still have some speed in me somewhere, waiting to come out from under the layers of fat and years of slow-trained muscle fibers. I need to literally get back on track, and run speedwork on a regular basis! Over the next 6 months I'll have to do it, instead of whining about how slow I am. As for the fat, I have to hope the speed training will jump start my metabolism, and make some changes to how I'm eating. In the past the speedwork always was enough to do it for me, but I never had to lose this much weight before.