Time Check

Have you ever been impatient? Yeah, me too. After missing last weeks track session due to horrendous weather (35 degrees and raining buckets) I thought a one mile time trial would be fun and a good check in on where I am currently. The coach agreed, and so we setup Sunday to go for it. As we were talking about the effort, I told him I wasn’t so much worried about anything but the night before when I would have some friends over for dinner. We tend to have a few tipples when we all get together, and this was no exception. I recall something about a shot and pickle juice, but that is another story. Add to that only four hours of sleep on Friday night, a big bike on Saturday, and Sunday morning was rough.

As much as we may not want to push ourselves when we are tired or sore, this is the time I try to push myself the most. In my head if I can get through the toughest times, then the everything else will be simple. I workout after dinner alot for the same reason. My reasoning is that if I can push hard with a belly full of cherry pepper pizza, race day will be a cake walk.

So Sunday rolled in, I wobbled around getting in fluids and some food, and laced up the flats for the mile. Instead of the track I wanted to do the time trial on the road. My reasoning being that my road has a slight decline on it, and I could use that slope to help keep the speed up. I used the run out as my warm up, and it took about 9-10 minutes. I did a few stretches, a few quick drills and took a deep breath.

I started off a bit slow I felt, but was pretty quickly moving well enough back down the road. My coach suggested I look for quarter mile indicators along the way which I did for some rough measures. The first one I ignored, but the halfway mark I glanced at the watch and it said 2:28 elapsed. This was great news and I was ahead of pace, although the watch also said 5:06 pace, so maybe the measurement was a little off. No matter, I cranked it up, and startled a couple out for a nice weekend walk. I can only imagine what I must look like going full gas down a quiet street. Sweaty, gasping for air, and red as a beet. Oh well.

The finish has a slight uphill but I dug deep, got on the toes and sprinted to the end. There was some nervousness to check the watch, but when I recovered enough I peeked: 5:12 1.0 miles.

That is the fastest I have run a mile in 23+ years. For comparison I did the exact same mile earlier this year and it was 5:42. Huge improvement. I also have been pushing on many fronts with work, working out, and projects in general, so the last few weeks has not been a great training block. But after seeing that time, I really think this sub-five may be in the works after all.

Today is an active recovery day on the bike and then back into the rhythm of things. I am thinking about foregoing beer, wine, and bourbon for the next month or so to really keep me focused and operating tip top. With it being the holidays normally that wouldn’t be much fun, but these aren’t the normal holidays. Sleep is another thing I need to focus on. There were multiple days last week where I took in only about 4-5 hours of rest. This isn’t enough when you are pushing yourself. For me it leads to getting sick, and from there training drops significantly. So for now the name of the game is stay healthy, only consume good nutrition (coffee excluded), and keep focused.

There are still a few weeks before Thanksgiving, which was my unofficial target for the goal time. If I want to hit that timeframe it will take everything I have and then some. It will hurt, and parts will suck for sure, but when it is done, I will have ticked something off the list I never thought I would see again. Achieving things you consider outside of your reach is very rewarding and probably the reason I get so much done in general. My goals are always big challenges and working on them makes other things easier. The key is to remember, don’t give up, put in the effort, and enjoy the journey.

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