I had a breakthrough on the track this morning during a workout I almost slept through. I actually did sleep through my workout. I was scheduled to run with my team at 5:45, but my 5:00 a.m. alarm came and went and in my bed I slept. Then at 6:25, I woke up again and realized that I could make the 7:00 a.m. session with my team if I got moving immediately. It took me a second, but I got my butt out of bed and to the track I went. And I’m so glad I did.
We did 400s today. Specifically, we did four sets of three 400s. We’d run a 400 at interval pace (which for me meant 2:24, I think), rest 90 seconds, run another 400 at interval pace, rest 90 seconds, and then run a hard 400. After the hard one, we rested until our heart rates were back to normal, and then we repeated that cycle three more times.
I did the first cycle in 2:18, 2:15, and 2:12, faster than my goal interval pace by a little bit. On the second round, I did 2:16 and 2:14 for the first two 400s. For the third one, our coach, Jeff, challenged me to run it between 2:05 and 2:10, which sounded crazy to me. He said another runner this morning had surprised himself by running a 1:55 during his third set and then repeating that during his fourth set of 400s. Jeff thought I might be able to break 2:00 today. The 2:05 to 2:10 was meant to be a warmup towards that goal.
I don’t really know how to pace myself to hit a particular number, so I just took off. I was hurting, but at the end of the lap around the track, my watch said 1:59, which got a huge high five out of Jeff. Yay for me!
Then on the next set, I slowed on the first two 400s, making those in 2:22 and 2:18. On the third one, I went all out again and hit 1:57! Again, yay for me!
On the final set, Jeff suggested I pull back a little and maybe just shoot for 2:05-ish on the last 400. Again, I feel like I have two speeds – go and go ever so slightly faster. I don’t really know how to regulate myself. So, in my head, I made the decision to go hard and see if I could break 2:00 again.
As I stepped up to the starting line, Ana, a new friend through this team, came up to start her next lap. While I was on my hard effort lap, she was an on easier effort lap, and she offered to run with me.
“You want to break 2:00?” she asked.
“Yeah, if I can.”
“Let’s do it.”
So we took off. I stayed pretty much right at her side until the final stretch, when I fell back a little, but I was just a second behind her. And when we finished, my watch said 1:50. 1:50?!? I couldn’t believe it.
I had no idea that I had a sub 2:00 400 in me right now. I certainly had no idea that I had a 1:50 in me. On my own, I’m certain I wouldn’t have had that speed, but with Ana, I did it.
Thank you, Ana. I’m so grateful that I missed the early morning group. I’m so grateful you showed up for the 7:00 a.m. group. I’m so grateful that you set aside your pacing to help me with mine. I’m just so grateful.
What a kick ass way to start a Wednesday. As my coach Natasha likes to say, “Faster is funner!”
After posting this, it occurred to me that I didn’t thank Jeff appropriately for cheering me on all morning and for believing in me enough to suggest I go harder. Thank you, Jeff. Ana helped me get the fast lap, but you were the one who got the ball rolling for me this morning. I am so grateful!