i read on dailymile the other day that my friend stan chose (wisely) to bail out of a planned 32k training run at 24.3k. he attributes it to soreness having raced/paced a 30k on the weekend, plus anticipating a half-marathon this coming sunday. i read that post with admiration and respect, because i'm not sure that i'd have the wits or courage to call off a planned training run.
and as it turns out, i didn't.
this morning my coach had on the schedule a 10k tempo run at 4:15/km or faster. i'd managed to produce a 4:16/km effort for the same run last week, and that was on the heels of an exhausting 9 days working at the Rogers Cup - so i felt like after a comparatively easy week that this should be more than manageable.
however, a couple of factors managed to complicate things.
first, i ran my longest training run of this cycle this past sunday - 39k.
second, it was humid like crazy today, and factoring that in the temperature at 6:30am this morning felt like 26° celsius.
i went to bed last night thinking "if it's raining in the morning, i'll take an extra day's rest and run on friday instead." the weather gurus have forecasted friday to be a cooler, much less humid day.
but it wasn't raining when i got up.
so, being the stubborn, 'if i'm supposed to run i'm gonna run' kind of guy that i am, i hit the road with a 4:15/km 10k tempo run in view.
what i got was 10k in 44:38 (4:28/km pace), and sweat-soaked everything.
i'd call that a bad workout. and with under four weeks until my next race, it's a little deflating.
still, everything that i've read is that just about everyone experiences at least one or two bad workouts in a training cycle, elites included. the difference between 'joe casual runner' and 'addis ababa joe' is how you well you can put the lacklustre performance behind you and get back on track (without injuring yourself).
i don't plan on doing anything crazy like trying to jam in an extra tempo run this weekend. i'm not dripping that much machismo that i have to prove myself before this week's out. i will trust my coach, stick with the plan, and believe that this one workout will not define me or my performance on race day. i know that i've put in many strong workouts during this cycle - pushing myself to go at faster paces than i'd ever trained at before - and that my (short) racing history tells me that i tend to be able to capitalize on a proper taper to produce actual race paces that top my training paces.
bad is bad - but it doesn't mean that i'm in a bad place.