Monday, April 28, 2014

Get out of yo head

#1's track season started out really promising. She ran a 5:25 1600 at a pre-season all comer's meet, and her coach was psyched ("That's just seconds off of {insert fast girl}!!"). We were psyched. It was all very exciting.

Fast forward 3 months and (what feels like) a billion races, and her 5:25 PR holds strong. She hit 5:27 once, and 5:28-5:30 are pretty much par for the course for her. She knocked a chunk of time off her 3200 last month - from a 12:01 to 11:46, but that one has also stood since then.

Obviously 5:30/11:46 is a great time. It's so fast, and I know it's hard work. But months of training and conditioning haven't budged that time.

Last week, I sat in the bleachers during her speedwork day, and watched her knock out 2x800, 2x600, 2x400, and 2x200...
Once I was over how consistent she was (seriously, robot??), I played around with McMillan trying to figure out what race pace she's actually training for - she mentioned that her coach told her it was sub-5, so I wanted to check for myself, because I'm a helicopter. If McMillan is not lying to me, it looks like she should be racing closer to a 5:00 1600.

That's a little faster than 5:30, eh? She says she sees her time on the clock while she's racing, and freaks out, because in her brain, she's a 5:30 runner, THE END. Despite what her training shows, and despite how easy it looks. Seriously, not one race has she finished and looked like she needs to sit down right now. It's a comfortably hard pace for her, and so far, she's not willing to push through that.

She's been so frustrated with her racing lately, and it's - frankly - frustrating for us, too, to see her performing consistently under what she's capable of. Obviously we're not disappointed in her - not at all - but if you're gonna complain about your time, suck it up and run harder, yo.

It's a hard thing to tell someone else - it's going to hurt, and you just have to do it. I don't know how to make someone else run uncomfortable, you know?

Shockingly, this didn't work.
On Saturday, she was PISSED that the head coach yelled at her during her 3200 that she wasn't working hard enough.

Well, guess what kid? After a full season of you not PR'ing, and consistently running slower than you do in training... it's a valid thing to say while you're running an 11:58. I bet he's pretty frustrated, too.

Anyway. I guess I'm really just venting about this track season. I'm trying to impart on her the importance of at least taking a lesson away from each race - maybe today you don't PR, but you kick it the last 200 and pass someone, or you keep someone else from passing you, or you stick to the person in front of you, or you work your way up slowly and patiently. And someday, these pieces will all come together, and you'll run a great race. I feel like she's putting the cart (a big PR) before the horse (the basics of running a track race), and sabotaging herself. She's chasing a PR while not taking the coaching advice. The faster times will come, when you learn to trust your training and run smart.

It's a tough thing for runners to learn - trusting your training and shutting up your brain while you run.

Anyway. Here's a cute shot of her teammates cheering for her.

Go Lora.

Recap of last week....

Monday: Nothing

Tuesday: XT, 4 miles
It was cool and cloudy, so I ran 4 miles easy in the AM, followed by an arms/core video (my favorite one!, and total body with HIIT intervals - 55 min total.

Wednesday: XT, 5 miles
5 easy treadmill miles catching up on RHOC. After this, I got stupid and did a killer lower body video, which almost killed me dead - Brutal Butt and Thigh Lower Body Sculpting. I actually really enjoy this video, but it's hard, and perhaps was not a wise choice immediately following a run? Eh.

Thursday: XT
Combined 3 FB videos for a 50 minute strength day - warm up, Strength Training for Strong Toned Arms and Shoulders, 10 Minute Abs.

Thursday afternoon, #1's team was hosting a dual meet, so I spent some time on the field volunteering. The view was OKAY, I GUESS.

Hey, Varsity Girls.

Friday: lame
Intended to do a long trail run this day, but that was thwarted by a mystery sick day that made me vaguely pukey and lethargic.

Saturday: "rest"
Track meet for A MILLION HOURS. I think we left the house at 8, and got home around 6. I have a pretty gnarly sunburn to show for it. (Always use sunscreen!) It was really long and do you know it's exhausting to sit in the sun and cheer for that long?? #1's events are the 1600 and the 3200, which were events 9 and 32 on this day (they're generally one of the first and then one of the last events, respectively), so we generally take off shortly after her last race, because by then it's already been a long day. Saturday, we stuck around until the end, and man, so glad we did because the very last event - boyx 4x400 relay - was SO GREAT, and we won by just a teeeeeeeny tiny bit, and it was very exciting.

Sunday: More rest
Yeah, it's true. We also took #2 to the track to practice for her event next month.

"I'm a starfish. Starfish don't run." 

I was slightly thwarted by the mystery illness last week, and then just didn't have any pep in me to make up the miles, because default=lazy. At least it was a scheduled "cut back" week? Ha.

Monday: XT (arms/core), 3-4 easy maybe.
Tuesday: 5 tempo, yoga
Wednesday: XT (arms/core)
Thursday: Long run (10-12, with middle miles at goal pace OR hills?)
Friday: rest
Saturday: 5 easy, XT (legs/lower body)
Sunday: Gab is racing!


  1. Oh man! I totally feel her. I think in your teens it's even easier to doubt yourself than when you're an adult. Maybe she just needs to stop looking at the clock. I was a "watch" racer for the longest time and honestly the ONLY race I wore a watch in was Boston last year, and my splits weren't super great...without it I'm solid & usually negative splitting. Ditch the clock, just listen to the body :)

  2. My friend is a track coach for high school and he said it is a hard thing to get teens to be willing to really hurt and push to the point that you need to in track races to PR and go for good to great. He said a lot of times especially after they get a taste of the "hurt", they race "just hard enough" but don't cross the line. She will have to get "hungry" enough and want it enough to push herself there. It's obvious she has the talent!!!

  3. #2 should try mermaid dancing, it's a lot of floor work.

    And, #1, gah, so fast, so frustrating. Her 40 year old self will look back on these days...le sigh.

  4. I don't like pushing myself either, so I can totally identify. But then, I also recognize I can't be "mad" that I'm not faster. lol

  5. It's so hard to embrace the hurt. That's pretty much the main reason I don't race 5Ks. They suck! At a longer race, I can put it in cruise control and run that comfortably hard pace.
    My #1 son also does the 1600 and 3200. We usually go home in between, we're slacker parents!

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  7. I wonder if Lora just needs a break...probably some rest and a summer to back off a little before she picks up for cross country would do her some good. She's plateaued, and that's not permanent . But it is discouraging and mentally, it can be more damaging than just being tired. I bet she comes back next year with a vengeance! Maybe she should try some starfishing...

  8. I think #1 just needs to get good and pissed off at herself for the self-sabotaging and then run like hell at her next race. Looking at my splits can wreck me too.

  9. sounds like my convo with kim!! gotta go to the pain place. That's my plan for this weekend. Push till I can't anymore. If I fail, at least I tried. No regrets. She'll get it. Or get so frustrated that she just goes balls to the wall. Or take the watch away.

  10. I agree with the above comments about not looking at the watch/splits. It's the best way to psyche yourself out. Also, I can relate to settling for the comfortably-hard-but-not-in-pain... except that I'm 2-3 minutes/mile slower than #1. ;)

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