Friday morning. As I sit having breakfast, Pat returns from her run and reports that the weather is "grey, not too cold and quite still". For once , I think, the track may be wind free for today's session.
I load the car with this week's Nelson branch delivery and set off with the sun shyly peeping through whiter clouds over Ilkley . All well and good.
Until I reach the sign post declaring I'm now entering Lancashire and the windscreen wipers are brought in to action. Damn.
By the time I've unloaded and driven on to park for the session, the rain is sweeping heavily across the track. I start review my options..........
One. I am at the track ...stick to the planned session of 12 x 300.....grin and bear it. Grind them out.
Two. Just do a set of 8.
Three. Forget the track session and just go for a run on the canal.
Four. Just drive home and train this afternoon.
Five. Just sit and wait for the wretched weather to blow through. But a glance to the west indicates that I could be sat waiting for quite a long time!
Fortunately, I'm fully waterproofed up so I run the 2 mile park warm up and add another mile on the tartan track. The rain continues unabated. This is not going to be pleasant at all.
I'd calculated that a creditable target time for the 300 reps would be 75 seconds based on approx 20.45 5K race pace. But of course that didn't take into account a curtain of rain being drawn continually across the track.
Heel striking, negligible knee lift , hamstrings stiff to start with , as always , I scamper swiftly
through the first rep to record 77. Not too bad, considering but more uuumph required!
The next few reps go better and gradually I'm getting more on the forefoot and driving (relatively) well.
Acceleration and good consistency.
72.9 73.9 73.6 73.3 73.1 72.7
Seven reps ticked off but it's getting hard work as the rain continues to sweep across the track.
Let's leave it there I think.
8 reps wouldn't be bad and all faster than targeted.
But another voice says no ...you said 12...don't wimp out....stick to the plan....you are already soaking wet ......another 4 laps won't make much difference.....dig deep and you can do it.
A 9th rep in 72.7 ......3 to go....73.0 73.9.....last one.....I lose concentration....the mind starts to think about the weekend ahead .....73.4. Not good enough. I always like the last to be the fastest.
So after all that deliberation about whether to do the session at all, whether to pull out after just 8, I decide do a 13th.......and determined to focus and make it the fastest, manage....70.6.
Last and fastest achieved.
Just a couple of miles easy cool down and on cue.....the rain stops and the sun comes out! Typical.
I'm joined for the cool down by a local runner and he tells he how he was doing 300s himself yesterday in 50 seconds or so which makes my efforts look paltry but as I'm giving him 12 years
and my personal taget was achieved i have to be satisfied.
So that was today's track session. A foul day and one when it would have been so easy to curse the Rain Gods and drive home.
I'm sure we've all had to abort a run or session through injury or perhaps been unrealistic in our aim for the outing but I think it's like dropping out in a race when the going gets hard .....do it once ,perhaps OK, , do it twice and there's a danger of creating a habit!
Similarly, miss sessions or cut them short can equally become habitual and performance deteriorates.
So a pat on the back.....and an easy day tomorrow.