Hmmm, warmups matter

2 June 2007

Everyone was running Vicki’s today, so I was on my own for a workout. Rusty told me to warm up, run a 6:10 mile, and then do 4 downhill quarters (the final ¼ mile of Nite Moves, down the hill from Shoreline) in 68-72 seconds. And he told me not to go all out.

I didn’t think I could run that fast. I was scared. A year or two ago I did a 75 second quarter on a treadmill and felt like I was going to fall off. Go faster than that? It seemed impossible, even downhill.

I warmed up. I went to the City College track to run my mile. I helped John get ready for Vicki’s (anything to procrastinate this workout). Did my strides. Ran my mile. I was nervous. 5:46. As though by running too fast now I wouldn’t have to run so fast later.

I jogged up to Shoreline. I did more strides.

Then I stood at the top of the hill and looked down.

I just stood there.

I couldn’t seem to start.

“What,” I asked myself, “is the worst that could happen? I’ll just run more slowly than 72 seconds. So what?” “No, the worst that could happen is that I’d try really hard and fail. And disappoint Rusty. And trying to run that fast would hurt.”

I stood there some more.

Finally I started. I couldn’t seem to run fast. My legs just wouldn’t turn over. I felt really slow. My feet were slapping the pavement in a very inefficient way. And then the slope ended. I felt I was running better now, but it was hard. The level bit seemed to stretch on for ever. Finally the finish line. 73 seconds.

I did fail.

It wasn’t as bad as I had expected, I was close at least. Still I had gone as fast as I could and it wasn’t fast enough.

The worst had happened. I trotted back to the top of the hill and headed right down. It felt a little easier this time, I guessed I wasn’t running as hard. And then I finished: 66 seconds.

Oh.

Wow.

I guess I just needed to warm up. The next two were 69 and 71. Smack where Rusty said I would be.

If running a 5:46 mile and doing a bunch of strides doesn’t warm me up, what do I need to do right before State Street?

Then I went and watched Vicki’s. That was fun. Mellisa broke the course record.

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