Faster!

06Feb16

Today was the dreaded Two Mile Time Trial. That’s when you warm up with a couple of easy miles and some dynamic stretching, then run 8 laps on the track, aiming to be mostly dead by the last lap, preferably by way of negative splits. I’ve done it several times before and always love/hate it. I love having a mile time that I don’t often see doing AHR runs. I hate the pain involved. By the end, there is really nothing left in the tank.

Most years I have a rock solid plan of how I want to run, and what time to aim for. This year, I was too busy ice skating with the little one the night before to plan. So my legs were tired this morning. And it was colder than expected. The warmup jog was demoralizing. I couldn’t seem to get warm. I was working really hard. My legs were heavy, and I only finished with my group because they got stopped at the crosswalk.

Back at the track, I shed my outer layer, and was ready to run in a t-shirt and tights. We organized into pace groups, and before there was time to think, I was off. I was pretty sure I could do something in the neighborhood of 19:00, which is something under 2:30 per lap. Knowing that I could negative split, I set out to run the first lap in 2:30. I carefully glanced at my watch at 100 and 200, and saw that I was doing well. It felt easy. Somewhere on that straightaway in the last 100 of the first lap is the last time it felt easy.

I sped up a little, probably too much in lap two. And a little too much more in lap 3. Lap 4 was a struggle to maintain the pace I’d set in the previous lap, and indeed I slowed down by a second. Lap 5 I inched back down that second, but 6 was up by two seconds. 7 was down one, and in 8, I gave it all I had, grunted the whole way, and blasted through 7 seconds faster.

Total time: 18:27 (9:14 pace)

Splits:

2:29
2:21
2:16
2:17
2:16
2:18
2:17
2:10

9:23 first mile, 9:01 second mile (slightly under the total of 18:27 due to the fact that I rounded down a few of the lap times)

I felt pretty good about this. I had really given it my all in that last lap, and even though I’d erred in how I’d sped up between 2 and 3, I was consistent enough in 3-7 to feel like I belonged at a 2:17-ish/400 pace. Not super distinguished, and I feel like I gave a way a lot of time in lap 1 (too slow) and lap 3 (too fast, slowing me down in lap 4 and beyond). Oh well, I got the job done.

I cooled down with my running ladies, stretched, and headed off to Starbucks. A busy morning of skating lessons for the little one and trips to Costco and Kroger kept me busy. Finally this evening, I took a moment to look up last year’s time trial. Total time on that was 18:59. Wait, what? That’s 32 seconds slower than this year! I dug back to 2011, which I recalled as my fastest two mile time trial. 18:53. SAY WHAT? This body, five years older and on the other side of forty, now post-hip scope, just obliterated my previous best time trial time.

Well, shoot. I wish I’d spent the day knowing that, so I could have walked around with my head all swelled up all day. Guess I’ll just have to do that tomorrow.

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