Annoyance Not Pain

“You must listen to your body. Run through annoyance but not through pain.” – George Sheehan

This morning, Tuesday morning, I did my speed workout. It was a 2 mile warm up then 4 by quarter mile (400 meter) repeats and to top it off for quick leg movement 8 by 200 meters. Before going into my workout, I must back track to last night – I am an avid reader and I had 20 pages left in the book I was reading. Putting it down to go to bed at 10:30 was not going to happen, so I finished the book. It was past 11:00 before I fell asleep. Going into my run this morning on 5 and a half hours sleep was not the best preparation, but I felt good. My pulse was not elevated when I woke up and my warm up run felt good. I did well on my 400 repeats – all within 2:04 to 2:00. Then the 200’s – I did five. It was annoying, to quote Dr. Sheehan, during the 400’s. I was pushing my pace with the treadmill set at 7.4 miles per hour for the last repeat (8:06 minute miles), but it was not painful. When I went into the 200’s I set the treadmill at 8.5 miles per hour (7:03 a mile) and was going all out, I would hop off for a quick recovery and then back on. For the fifth one my heart rate went up to 162. That is a bit painful. Instead of lowering the pace to something more comfortable I decided to cool down. The purpose of the fast 200’s is to get my legs turning over about 180 steps per minute. Going slower would have brought me to around 170 and my heart rate would still be well over my anaerobic threshold.

I like the quote by Dr. Sheehan because it reminds me to listen to my body and also gives a guideline as to what to listen for in my body. I did not get enough rest (second time in five days) and I did not want to cross over to pain and risk exhaustion. The last thing I need is something going wrong less than three weeks before my race. Despite knowing this, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t run all 8 repeats. Not every day is going to be a great workout, but I still believe every time I get to run adds something great to the day.

A friend who is doing the same race wrote me today in an email – “the hay is in the barn in terms of training” – brilliant. His words reminded me that I have proven to myself I am ready, I have the training “piled up in the barn”, and I only have to keep my fitness level up. And make sure to get enough rest.

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