I've learned this lesson too many times. So many times, in fact, that I was smart this morning and went back to bed.
I've been waking up around 4:30/4:45 most mornings since school started so that I could get my workouts in before school since standing on my feet all day can make for some tired legs (as I'm sure most of you can relate).
This week I've had a lot of students come in to retake their quizzes (they have to have their parent sign it, do the corrections, then come in for a retake), so instead of arriving at school around 7:05/7:10, I've been having to get there before 7 every morning. Doesn't seem like 5-10minutes is that big of a difference, but Lake Cook Road gets full of delays at specific times. Why, I'm not sure, but am thinking because of the lights spaced about 5 feet apart from one another.
Anyway, my workout was 3x3miles at marathon pace (which is 6:18-22, or 9.5-9.6 on the treadmill for those treadmill folks). I woke up at 4:10am and was out the door, starting my warmup at 4:25. Generally, the first mile of my run is an 8:15-8:20. Today it was an 8:48. I knew I was tired going into this, but I just figured it was the 30minutes earlier wakeup that caused it. I started my workout to see if my legs would respond. At 1/2 a mile, I was running slower than 6:30 pace.
I threw in the towel and went back to bed.
And guess what???
After teaching, coaching, and a new teacher meeting, I went and did this workout on the treadmill at my school gym (I'm surrounded by busy roads so wouldn't be able to get in a full 3 mile stretch without stopping for at least 5 stoplights). Even better--the workout ROCKED.
Part of the reason I did the workout on the treadmill is because I will not be using my Garmin for the marathon (USATF rules). I really wanted to make my body feel the 6:18 pace. My hamstring did flare up for a few minutes during the second set, but I focused on my form like Earl told me to do when this happens and I felt better than ever on the third and final set.
Funny how the little things like FORM can make such a difference and have such an impact on running. There are a lot of things we as runners can control, so we really need to take advantage of those things so that when the uncontrollable ones (weather, for example) come up, we are ready and prepared.
As my dad would say
"Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance"
(in case you are wondering how this ties in to the title, if I had gone to bed 30-60minutes earlier as I had planned, my morning attempt might not have suffered. BUT I'm still glad I stuck with my decision to listen to my body)
Speaking of, time for bed to promote recovery....although I don't think I'll need an alarm to wake me up tomorrow: tomorrow is the ONE MONTH TIL I MARRY RYAN day :)