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Milton, Ontario, Canada

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Excuses, excuses

Last night, my training plan called for me to run 7x400m intervals at the track. Originally, I was going to meet up with my friend Sarah to just do an easy run for 8-10k and hit the intervals later in the week, but she cancelled and I realised that I should just get them out of the way.

The problem was that I really, REALLY didn't want to.

I thought up every single excuse under the sun (and then ridiculed myself for them).

-I had a tetanus shot yesterday and my arm hurt (oh, princess!).

-Fergus hasn't been sleeping well and I was tired (poor muffin!).

-It would be almost 9pm by the time I got home and then I'd have to shower, make a lunch for Alasdair to take to camp and be too wound up to sleep until 11pm, thus making me tired for when Fergus woke up in the wee hours (again and again) (life just isn't fair!).

Of course, I got dressed as soon as I put Fergus to bed and headed out for the run. I decided to run to the track and then see how I felt. I figured I could just do the 10k easy I would have done with Sarah if nothing else.

50m into the run (when I had to stop to tie up my pants tighter as they were falling down), my legs felt like lead and I almost started into my 6k route instead of toward the track. That's when I really told myself to suck it up and kept heading for the track. Somehow, in the next 2.9k I managed to convince myself to get the intervals completed.

And so I did. I also only allowed myself to walk 20 seconds on each recovery lap, so that my heart rate didn't dip too much in the 400m rests.

I was aiming to hit 2:00 time (4:45 pace) per lap and I think I did rather well, considering I ran 7 hill repeats the night before:

1:54 (4:37)
1:57 (4:43)
1:56 (4:43)
1:57 (4:47)
1:57 (4:47)
1:59 (4:51)
1:58 (4:48)

I was really and truly spent by lap 5. I kept talking to myself throughout. I was telling myself to run tall, to keep my hands loose and not to cross my arms over my midsection while running. I used my arms to pump the strides in the last turns. By the time I was about 75m from starting my final lap, I was giving myself a pep-talk about lap 7:

This is the end of your zoo 10k. If you run this in under 2minutes you'll get a time under an hour. This is the last 400m of Hamilton. You'll break 2h10m in you run hard here

I pushed and pushed and ended up getting around the track in under 2 minutes.

Then it was 3k back home.

I was tired and running easy, happy to have gotten the laps in when I noticed that I would be able to best my 10k time from the 2009 Zoo Race if I just bumped my pace up a bit by 30 seconds. So, I did! I made sure to hit the lap button at 10k exactly and was very pleased when I got home to find a 2m33s PB of 1h00m31s.

Not bad for a night where I almost didn't even run.


  1. I like the self-talk to get through that last one - I have FULL confidence that you'll reach those goals!! WELL DONE on the 400s!!!

  2. Very nice. It is what happens a lot when we just go and get it done.

  3. You did great. I've trained for 4 marathons and have YET to do any of my interval training....I run, that's all so I always have admiration for the people that actually stick to the training plan. Awesome!


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