Somewhere back in time, the Grand Idiot Nitmos advised, "If you keep knocking out these easy feeling negative splitters, maybe you ought to kick up the training a notch!? Shouldn't be that easy. Start approaching the puke threshold."
Last night, after the sun had finally sunk into its bed below the treeline, I stepped out my door for a four-miler at attempted 10-K race pace. The puke threshold was my pursuit.
The result was failure and success. I blame the sushi for both.
My four-mile neighborhood loop features a mostly downhill first half and a steady uphill second half, with the dreaded Garman Hill a mile from the endpoint. I set my pace range between my 10-K PR pace of 8:11 per mile and that puke inducing 10-K pace of 8:33. The result was a disappointing 8:55 per mile, despite a hard kick to the finish.
I flew through the first half, but maybe took it too easy for the first few minutes. I seemed to be on pace at my estimated mile markers.
When I encountered the uphill portion, I tried to keep up my pace with light pole intervals. My neighborhood loop finishes with a final road crossing and then a very flat 0.1 mile straightaway, where I attempt to expel the remaining effort left in the tank.
I had the right-of-way with lucky timing of the traffic light, and I burst into my finishing kick as I crossed the intersection. The whole time I'm concentrating on forefoot striking and turnover. I do not relent until I pass the gray utility box near the end of the block, where I reach across my body and press the stop button on my watch.
The effort tightened my lungs and diaphragm and I felt the familiar twinge in my guts. I trotted around the corner until the feeling subsided. The puke threshold was near. I could taste rice, soy sauce and wasabi from my dinner.
I don't usually run after dinner. This is probably why.