I train twice a week with coach Cliff and club members and I was thinking that I would write a blog about a hard track workout. It would describe what I think about, what it feels like, how I get ‘er done, especially when they are physically challenging and environmentally challenging (read indoor hamster track inexplicably shaped like an octagon). Last week, we ran indoors for one workout and I was solo- my guys were both racing on Sunday. The workout was 8 x 1km repeats @ 10km pace in sets of 2 with 30 seconds rest between and 2.5 minutes between sets. So perfect material.
But, I can’t write that blog because what I learned is this: Seinfeld. What do I think about while running 8 x 1000m? Nothing.
Aside from counting my splits, I had about 3 distinct thoughts. Mostly, I was out there just counting up to 4 minutes and 8 seconds per km. For me, counting is mentally soothing and rhythmic and relaxing and goes like this on a crazy-shape-and-distance track: :57, 1:54, 2:51, 3:48, 4:08. I love knocking these off systematically. I’m running hard, working hard but, like I said, it’s relaxing to hit these times repetitively. Occasionally, I make eye contact with my coach and and he nods approvingly and says, “Good girl. Keep it smooth. Stay relaxed.” I also love this because it’s relaxing and soothing and the opposite of him yelling (and he can yell loudly) to slow down because I’ve disobeyed his pace orders or to clean up some part of my stride that we’ve been working on improving for weeks. So he just smiles and nods and I just run and count to 4 minutes and 8 seconds.
Occasionally, I have what’s like an automated PSA from somewhere in my brain that tells me to run tall or to clean up my footstrike or to length my leg extension through my hips. Sometime these are transmitted in my voice, sometimes in Cliff’s. I think they work on a bio-feedback cycle that I don’t have control over because they never start with a thought like, “wow, my footstrike is really sucking right now.” So I don’t count them as “thoughts” because they aren’t really conscious. They are just messages that I respond to.
What were my 3 thoughts during 8 km of running @ 10k pace?
1. Wendy’s big bacon classics are delicious
2. I am going to draft off him (one of Canada’s best masters runners) for the 22m that he is close to me every lap because his stride is so damn beautiful
3. This is the last one
Seinfeld & nothing over and out.