Conditions: Overcast, warm (70F), humid, very light variable breeze.
One the primary reasons that I keep a training journal is to help keep myself accountable. Did I do what I planned to do? How did I perform relative to targets? Did I notice anything that I can work on to improve? Was there anything that I did well that I want to make sure I remember?
This is also why I keep my journal public, so that the other sets of eyes can help keep me honest. All of that really hinges on whether or not I am honest with myself in what I write. So, I made a promise to myself to write what really happens and try my best to avoid making stuff up after the fact to justify the facts of the workout.
Today was a perfect example. My workout plan was:
- 5x1500m / 5′ rest
- Rate target: r26
- Pace Target: faster than 2:15
Pretty simple. But a different story on the water. The issue was the weather. When I pulled into the parking lot, it was overcast. The weather report was for Thunderstorms later in the day. By the time I left the dock, it was REALLY overcast, and the world had that sort of greenish tinge. In the back of my head I wondered if it was a good idea to go out, but I immediately doubted my motivations. Today’s workout was going to be uncomfortable, and I wondered if I was just looking for an excuse to bail out. So, I kept going.
I did a quick warmup and rolled straight into the first interval. Which went quite well. I pushed the pace a bit too much, but I was thrilled with the avg pace (2:07.6). As soon as I finished, I heard a rumble of thunder.
It is just a common and logical groundrule that when you hear thunder, you get the hell off the water. Of course, I was at the far end of the 2K course when I finished the first Interval, so the fastest way to get back to the dock was to actually do the second interval, and then keep going. That’s what I intended to do. I even pushed the pace hard, kind of assuming that I’d be done. But when I finished the interval, I was really conflicted. Do I scrub the workout and try to squeeze in an erg session? What would I use for clothes? When would I do it? The sky looked a little bit lighter to me and I decided that it must be clearing up, based more on what I was hoping than what I was seeing. So, I went for interval Number 3.
In Interval number three, I found that I really had pushed the first 2 pieces too hard and I blew up around 400 into it. I skipped about 2 strokes and then reset my target back to 2:15. That was hard enough, but I was able to carry that pace through the s-turn and push a bit harder in the last 200m.
After I finished this interval, I was paddling out my rest when I saw an actual lightning bolt off to the south, like I could see the bolt, not just a flash. From the amount of time between the lighting and thunder, it was still a couple of miles off, but it really spooked me. But again, this happened at the far end of the course and the fastest way home was to just do interval #4.
Interval #4 was uneventful. I stuck with the slower target and pushed the pace a little after I got through the s-turn. By the HR data, I was working quite hard, but I was in control and I had no desire to bail out of it. As I finished this interval, I was again confronted with a choice. Go back to the dock, like I should, or do interval #5. At this point, the only reason to do interval #5 was because that was what the plan said I should do and that was what I had said that I was going to do. The right thing would have been to go home, but basically, I just didn’t want the feeling of having bailed out on the last rep haunting me all day. I especially didn’t want write a journal entry congratulating myself on being prudent when I actually felt like I was copping out.
So, I did the last interval and really nailed it too. As soon as I finished this one, it started raining, but there didn’t seem to be any more thunder or lightning.
But now I am left with the feeling that I took a stupid risk for no good reason. It was a great training session. Right on the edge of failure, very challenging, but that certainly would not have been worth getting killed in my boat for.
I guess one thing I should do is to make sure I have a extra set of workout clothes on days when the forecast is iffy. Then I can more realistically execute an alternate session if I bail out of the OTW workout. Other than that, I think I need to just wise up a bit.
Next time I do this workout, I will try to stick to a 2:11 avg pace for the first 4 reps and then try for a faster last rep.
Tomorrow: Rate ladders (1000@18, 1000@20, 500@22, 250@24)