Goal Pace: The Way Life Should Be

Sometimes all it takes is a workout. Some workouts you remember for different reasons than others. Often its the grinding workouts that you didn’t think you would be able to every get through about 1/3 in. Today was a different story. It was the first time I really got to see Robillard in the Sun. After a good chat on the warm up, we came over the hill to our new summer home (which I’d never even seen before) and I found training partners!! I was so excited to see the triathlon girls and Kyla today I wanted to hug them. Having someone to push you and that you know you can to rely on to pull you along if needed can make a huge difference. It was a great start.

The workout was supposed to be 1k @ 5k (89) 45 sec break 600 @ 3k (84) 5 min break, 600 @ 3k, 30 sec break and 400 @ 15 (78). This gives a 18:30 5k a 10:30 3k and maybe a 4:50 15 (its not the important one). These are times that I’ve come to terms with for the most part that I’m in shape for, but that haven’t been motivating me greatly. For one thing, I haven’t been able to believe that I can do it-it at this point being anything, from a PB to a 20 minute 5k- the way I used to. An 18:30 going towards 18 flat 5k is quite good, I’ve only been under 18 once. But realistically its not what I want. Since my last blog I’ve been doing a lot more running and in the last 3 weeks have generally been able to put in the work. But just this morning I looked at the numbers and I still wasn’t satisfied.

I got to the track and found out the tri girls had a little bit of a different pace in mind than we originally thought, not much but a little more aggressive. Amelie was planning on going out in 88 to my 89 or 90 in the first lap of the 1k, so I let her take the lead. I was feeling good so stayed on her shoulder to see to what was going on. Being a bit outside sometimes helps me to not fall into the ‘yup I’m just followin’, wait where did you go?’ trap. We went through the first 400 in 84. Going to admit John looked a little perplexed but Kyla was positive about it and we just kept on running nbd. For some reason tonight I wasn’t fixated on it numbers like I can sometimes be (I used to have to hand my watch over to coach every cross practice in college, I don’t think it helped, but that’s just my personal opinion). Though I really like running with Ame and Alizee haven’t run with them too much so didn’t really know what to expect from Amelie on lap 2. I tucked in and was just rolling for a bit but at about 700m noticed that she was still driving, and thought to myself she’s going, just relax and get this done. It could be a good one. We rolled through Kyla again to “47-48” which meant we hadn’t slowed down. Mystery. We finished the repeat in 3:31 (yes a second slow down) which was about 10 seconds faster than John (3:45) and my (3:39) expectations. There was a bit of confusion before starting the second repeat but Kyla just said run 81s. And we did. Ok, we ran 2:03. Longer rest. The next 600 I didn’t really know what to think, I was feeling good even though the effort was supposedly up quite a bit. 600: 2:00. I went through 200 in 37… I was getting a little excited, oups. At this point I was thinking to myself that the numbers were sounding familiar. A 75 is what I needed to complete the set for the 1500m pace. The last 400 I didn’t look down and ran 75. As soon as I’d finished I knew that I’d just run a workout that exactly matched all the paces I’d run for my old PBs, something I hadn’t done all year. Even though it was an under distance workout, it had short rest sections and a progression to quicker times so it was definitly legit. I said to John as soon as I was done, ‘goal pace, the way life should be’. Ironically, the reason that that came to mind was from my old Maine roots: Maine motto (official or unofficial??) ‘Maine: the way life should be’.

My goal at Maine first became running under 10 minutes in the 3000m the third week of January my Sophomore year (#2), but I didn’t actually start believing I was ready for it until I had one key workout the first day back in January my Senior year(#4). I had had done a shitty set of 1200s and was hitting what were supposed to be goal pace (80) 400s (first 3 of 4) at about 88. My coach kind of stopped me from saying: ‘I want to stop right now why do I have to do this?’ and said to me ‘all I want you to run is an 82.’ So I lined up to run 82, and just before I started he said ‘the clock says 8:38.’ After that day, I knew that if you wanted it bad enough, you could always run an 82. I watched the clock all year as it crept closer and closer to 8:38 with 400m to go, and then one day it said 8:36.

Today went from a shitty day to a good day with 3 numbers, 84 (17:30) – 80 (10:00) – 75 (4:41). Those are numbers that I will also be keeping in the back of my head on days when running gets rough. Tonight’s workout really solidified for me that at least for the short term, the up and coming summer season, though this weekend I may still only be ready to run an 18:30, I can be ready to hear the numbers I want.