Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Day The Wind Ate My Track Workout..

That's not true. I'd love to blame the wind on the sucktastic-ness of my track workout today, but that wouldn't be entirely fair. Sure the 10-15mph winds didn't HELP, but it's a track. Where there's a headwind, there's also a tailwind. Suck it up, buttercup.

My track workout today called for mile repeats, which in some sick and twisted way, I love. I got plenty of sleep last night, ate a decent dinner, but woke up feeling sore and lead-like in the legs. Sometimes though, the second I start running, this feeling disappears.Today, that was not the case at all.

I spent the drive over to the track psyching myself up - I thought about the successful 5K I ran very recently, which then bled over into a great week of workouts; last week I surpassed my prescribed paces in each of my quality sessions. I've had a good stretch, for which I am very thankful.

My warm-up was "eh". I tried to shake out the cobwebs, and put my game face on. No emotion, just a job to be done. It'll hurt, but will be over quickly. I figured out VERY quickly which way the wind was blowing as I jogged down the back stretch of the track. Yeeps. I mumbled a few expletives, did some strides, and it was onto the workout.

I won't bore you with the dirty details of the repeats, just know they sucked. My lungs burned, my legs burned, and I felt like I was getting stood up by the wind every time I came around that back corner. It was like I was pushing as hard as I could, and running in place. That progressively took more and more of a mental toll with each interval. I tried all the mind games - looking at my 400 splits to force accountability, not looking at my watch at all til the end of the 1600, and trying to just not think. No thoughts, just focus on the interval.  I even obeyed the prescribed rest interval (I'll admit, sometimes I milk these), so that I didn't have too much downtime to "think" and start down the spiral of doom.

When I crossed the line of the last interval, I glanced at my watch, and well, it wasn't pretty. I covered my eyes and cried for a little bit, while walking/jogging/moping around the track to try and stay moving. I was disappointed in my body. I felt like I was in a place where my performance during these workouts should be so much better. And if coach told me I should run a X:XX for each mile, I should be able to. And I couldn't. I failed. And that friends, is not a great feeling.

I turned the radio off for the ride home. I needed to go all zen on myself for a little bit. It helped bring me back to a less self-loathing place.

What I have realized as the day has progressed is as much as I would love to have everyone workout be awesome, it's not realistic.I mean, I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that even my good buddies Kara Goucher and Ryan Hall have less-than-stellar workout days. Looking at my HR file, I certainly wasn't half-assing the intervals. I gave what I had today, and it wasn't my day. This will be a great workout to look back upon the next time I DO those mile repeats and have a better result.

Now that I have logged the work out, I'm moving on. Not over-analyzing right now, or doing the should/would/could - at this moment, it's not helpful. I shall emerge myself back in all things Christmas - wrapping, baking, and red wine. What- is red wine not a staple in your Christmas preparation? My condolences.

How do YOU handle having a bad workout?

Happy Training!


  1. Hey, you got out there and did it. That's never failure. I've definitely had my fair share of sucktastic workouts both running and weight lifting. I just try to figure out what might have gone wrong (like hydration, or even getting slightly sick from allergies). Where was my mind? That sort of thing. I think they make you appreciate those good runs/workouts so much more though.

  2. I come home and take the dog for a long walk and then usually do something I love the next time I workout...

  3. Aw, is this what happens when I stop running???? I jest, I jest....

    You're on a great climb back, so one disappointing workout does not mean a failure. I promise you.

    And you know this because I'm one of your biggest fans (behind Caitlyn, of course)..

  4. I am glad you aren't going to beat yourself up *too* badly for a crappy run...honestly, the fact that you sucked it up, you did it and kept at it is far more impressive, to me, than *easily* killing it. Know what I mean? You did awesome. I would have been wimpering in the corner with that wind and chill ;-) hehe! nice job!!

  5. Totally been there. My husband likes to remind me (oh so wise, he is) that for every sucktastic workout, the next few tend to be great ones and it's those tough workouts that train you to run better and stronger and through the pain the next time around. Good job for getting it done, even in such windy awful conditions!

  6. I had a terrible track workout myself last Tuesday. The only thing you can do is....move on (my workouts since then have been good). And write about it on your blog (I did that too).

    I do think wind can really take it out of you (even on the track). When you're running into a wall, it's really hard to keep your mojo.

  7. Ahahaha...I couldn't help but laugh at this post and what you tweeted yesterday!
    I have a love/hate relationship with mile repeats. Hate 'em [partially] when I'm doing them...but I love the feeling of exhaustion as you do the last couple! And you can't argue with the results =)
    You actually can't make up the difference (using the same amount of energy) with the wind - not sure where I read that - but it uses more energy to push into the wind then it'll save you when it's at your back. I hate windy days more than anything. I'll deal with rain, snow, heat, cold [to an extent] - just NO wind.
    You are right - don't get down about this workout. You can't have a great one every single time you get out there!

  8. love your outlook. ive always heard you learn more form bad workouts, but that still sucks. i try to be positive, move on, and shut the door, but it isnt easy!!

  9. I love mile repeats! Everything you say here is spot on. It was one workout. Maybe you were over-tired. Maybe you didn't have the right fuel. Maybe it was just a craptastic day with no explanation. It means nothing about your fitness or where you are in your training. So good to hear you're moving past it and on the next one!

  10. HUGS... you'll have those days. They make you stronger! :)

  11. Oh girl, running on a track with wind 10-15mph is INSANE! Yes, it is at your back part of the time, but it totally makes it WAY WAY more difficult because it gets your heart rate up super high and you can't recover from it....that's how I feel about the wind-- hate it!

  12. Oh gosh lady! Understood completely. But it is all relative you worked trough a hard day and it wAs hard for that day and that makes it amazing that you pushed through!! That is what training is all about! R u runnin this Saturday or going to do the 5 k next saturday

  13. Everyone is pretty much right on par here, we all have bad workouts from time to time no matter if we are Olympic marathoners or pushing for our first 5k...it happens. It is a part of running. The important thing is you got outside and onto the track, you stuck with your workout, and you gave all you had that day! Sometimes that is the hardest part, and you aced it! WAY TO GO!