Process Running: r001.02 — What Ballpark am I in?
April 11 2018 // Edmonton, AB
It’s Tuesday April 10th. I notice Colby Schulz hits his first Monday night North Brooklyn Runners Nightowl workout since The Speed Project (TSP), and I feel invigorated by Colby getting at it. Thanks Strava.
I’m inspired to run hard under the lights in the city, so that means the Mayday Mile in downtown Edmonton is calling my name. I also need to get the speed work routine started pronto. Greyhound Grand Prix training y’all.
Track Tuesday — Asphalt Edition — returns to the schedule.
I am stoked.
I don’t have a plan other than four hard’ish miles. I want to see where I am at. But I am concerned.
Running fast by myself just hasn’t been something I’ve done in a while. A long while. I haven’t had to ask more of myself through the inner dialogue that only a struggling runner knows. To not just accept the current level of pain a pace demands, but ask for more. To respond to being behind on a split with “stay the fuck on it”.
Not since Vancouver in February have I had to stay the fuck on it, and even then it was a one off endorphin fuelled burst 20km into a long run with Coca-Cola coursing through my veins turning my muscles into sugar and crack powered hydraulic pumps. Unlike a grinding Tuesday night workout where I am facing that bullshit detecting workout of whether or not my body is going to be sub-twenty ready in a six short weeks.
7:05:38 @ 4:24/km
7:02:32 @ 4:22/km
7:00:98 @ 4:21/km
6:40:18 @ 4:08/km
My goal is 7:00 miles with 60 second active rest. The last one feels good. The stoke is high. The reality is that all mile repeats could have been at or near 4:10/km. The numbers and the workout are irrelevant to a degree. Me having to say out-loud to myself stay the fuck on it is the goal.
I have to. I do. I respond.
That is what I am training on late Tuesday night mile repeats around a high traffic six block square in downtown Edmonton. To speed up to hit a light like answering a surge from another runner. To fight a headwind, scavenge speed from a tailwind, then back into a headwind within a six block stretch.
I’m training my mind to ask more of my body when I need to. I’m starting the process of getting comfortable running uncomfortable again. This is how you run faster. You get comfortable with a pain threshold. It isn’t pretty or glamorous work.
I haven’t consistently been fast since September of last year. That is, I haven’t been able to consistently tolerate high levels of discomfort while running on a regular basis since September when our outdoor track season winds down due to cold temperatures and lack of light.
I need confirmation I can get my mind in the shape it’s going to need to run the pace I deem my body capable of on May 23, 2018.
Tonight is a test. My body, and more importantly my mind, pass.
It feels good running fast again. Working hard. Hurting. Knowing an extremity freezing dark winter of base work is about to get leaned on — hard.