Friday, February 21, 2014

Winter blues

Maybe it's the long winter wearing on me, but my faith in PR-setting abilities next month is waning.

I still wanted to get a race in before Dam to Dam — though I might've picked something besides the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick race if I hadn't been eyeing a 5K PR — so there aren't any registration or training regrets.

And I'm only in week three of eight of Hal Higdon's 5K training plan, so perhaps I'm sounding the alarm early.

But there are two big reasons why I'm pessimistic:

1. I'm missing workouts. More accurately, I'm missing key workouts. Still more accurately, when I'm choosing which workout to get in and which to skip, I'm taking the easy, lazy way out.

Again, it's only week three. But I passed on the first tempo run and will likely not get in the second set of intervals, thanks to the flu bug I'm recovering from.

2. The speed workouts I have done have been rather lackluster. Well, I guess the first set of intervals went OK. But the three fast miles ... oof.

I can blame conditions like wind in my face, unexpected hills and flooded sidewalks, and of course I'm happy to do that. There's no reason race day can't have those things too, however.

Also, the numbers don't look as bad as they felt, especially given it's the first sustained speedwork I've done all year. But they're nowhere near what I notched last September.

* * *

So what to do from here?

I'm not going to throw in the towel overall, but maybe scratch one day a week off the schedule — it's too tempting to opt for "three miles" over the more challenging and race-specific workouts.

I'm going to ease up on the smack talk about beating my gentleman friend in another 5K, because I'm not so sure about walking the walk this time.

I'm going to continue running smarter, not harder. I didn't cram in any missed workouts, and I'm going to let my body finish flushing out this flu virus before lacing the shoes back up.

And next time, I'll remember the value of a solid base — you know, like training for a half marathon — before dreaming of getting in PR shape in eight weeks.

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