When I planned my summer out a few months ago, I was licking my chops at the short races I was planning on doing. You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men. I really thought I could focus on the short stuff and do really well over the summer and break some PRs. It’s come a lot tougher than I expected. My first planned race this summer was supposed to be the track mile on the Wednesday after San Diego Rock n Roll. I went to the well so hard in the half that I was too sore to do any racing. It’s been a while since I’ve been so beat up after a race. Then a couple weeks later I planned to do the track 10,000 and just couldn’t find the motivation. I skipped it and ran a tempo run instead. It was the right move, I didn’t have any speed and was just mentally tired. At that point I realized I really hadn’t done anything faster than half pace in a while so I started doing track work again.
On the 4th of July I ran a 10k without a real big taper and set a PR. That was a big relief, although I didn’t feel like I ran as well as I wanted. I also had some issues knowing where I was at in terms of how hard I could push and what paces I was capable of. Let’s be honest, in this buildup, I have no idea about my fitness. I’ve surprised myself a couple times and had some lousy races too. I really don’t have a baseline for what kind of shape I think I’m in. I may need to do some indicator workouts. For me, it’s a big thing to know where I’m at so I can push that pace in a race. If I think I’m in 1:15 shape for the half, I need to push a 5:45 and see if I’ve actually got it. Otherwise I never break any barriers because I won’t be able to put myself in the pain zone. That’s been a problem this summer.
A few weeks ago I ran a track 5,000m at Cuyamaca College on a Wednesday night. I figured I would attempt PR pace and see how long I could hold on. Well.. I was off pace on the first lap and knew it was going to be a tough race. My head just wasn’t in it. I had also run a 10k two days before, so I figured I’d be fatigued and it showed. I slowed in the last mile and ended up running a 16:49, 24 seconds slower than my road 5k in May. I shrugged it off as fatigue and bad weather (it was hot and muggy). Then 10 days ago I had a 3000m that I felt pretty apprehensive about. I’ve never run that distance, so I had no idea what it was supposed to feel like other than me wanting to die at the end. I figured I could do 5:00 pace and hold on. I trained through it, because the race wasn’t a big goal and I ran terribly. I remember thinking at the half way point that I felt like I was running 5k pace. I probably was. I think I ran 5:11 for the first mile. I never hit my splits. It was frustrating, even though I came in 4th and ended up winning 2nd overall for the long distance series. (Free t-shirt, woot!)
I just haven’t run well this summer. It’s okay. But mostly it’s inconsistency and lack of work. I went a month without running a tempo workout and those are what I need the most. So I pledged to be more consistent and stick to 65 miles a week for the rest of the summer. Hopefully I’ll see results in the AFC 5k and then in the half marathons in the fall. I’m also planning a few 5ks later this year, so hopefully I’ll be breaking my sub-16 goal then. I just don’t see it happening on August 21st (my last race of the summer), although you can bet I’ll be aiming for it.