Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fantastic Workout, Craptastic Knee

Goal: 15x1 min on/off
Actual: 11.5 miles total, 15x1 min on/off, hurt IT Band/Knee

After procrastinating about 8 hours of the day away at the timeshare on Newport Coast, I finally got ready for a workout. This was difficult to do considering that all I did today was watch Discovery Channel, read Franzen's book The Corrections, eat food, and take a nap. Once my parents drove off to pick Sally up in Long Beach, I decided 3:30pm was a good time to go running because 1) it had stopped raining and 2) I would finish before the sun fell below the ocean line.

I ran down the mountain that defines Newport Coast Drive and made my way to the Crystal Cove State Park, where I ran along the cliffs overlooking the ocean. I enjoyed watching the sun drop lower and lower until it finally seemed to touch the ocean and reflect its brilliance straight into my sensitive eyes (I forgot my sweet new Nike sunglasses Garrett's parents gave me at the timeshare).

I noticed for the first 5 miles of my warmup that the wind was terribly strong going one direction, so I started my fartlek with the wind at my back to make it easier. For the first 9 minuters, I ran with the wind. I felt really good and my legs felt like they had lots of bounce to them. However, everything changed once I turned around when the wind was in my face. It was difficult to get my legs up, I was leaning forward too much, and my hair was blowing all into my face. I'm sure I looked like a terrible mess. I finished out the workout, and slowed to a stop, and knelt down to stretch for a moment.

As soon as I stood up, all my confidence from having a good workout slipped away as a sharp, persistent pain pulsed through my knee. A pain that literally came out of nowhere worried the crap out of me, and I wondered if I could even make it home the next three miles. The sun had already set and I knew that if I were any tick past 5:30, my parents would be really worried. Fortunately, the pain seemed to subside just a bit so that I could run to the bottom of the big mountain. I walked/jogged up the mountain and counted down every second until I made it to my temporary abode. As soon as I walked into the timeshare, I grabbed some ice and stretched.

Online research commenced and the pain worsened. I determined that my IT Band was rubbing against the side of my knee, causing inflammation and irritation. I could tell there was excess fluid in the attachment of the IT Band and the knee. I decided to take the next two days off and figured rest, ice, and massages from my mom would do the trick. I could only wait and see if it would actually be a magical formula to recovery.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

18 Mile Progression Run

18 miles with 50-60 minutes uptempo

16.04 miles: 1:48:55 @ 6:47 ave
1st 8 miles: 56:46 (7:06 pace)
nd 8 miles: 51:46 (6:28 pace)

After exchanging several emails on Christmas day with Bill Sumner, coach of Corona Del Mar High School and at the Cal Coast Track Cub, I finally linked up with Juan and Juan...two runners of the CCTC. Bill Sumner was really helpful and I am really grateful for him linking me up with people to do 16 miles with! He has the most wins of any high school coach in California history. Cool stuff!

I met up with the two Juans at 830am at the Back Bay and I soon learned the plan was to do 8 out and back. After that, I was going to run back to my sister's house which was a perfect 2 miles away. We started out with a 7:15 mile and that would be our slowest mile split of the day. For the next seven miles, I enjoyed the view of the snow covered mountains in the backdrop and the beauties of UC Irvine's campus. At 8 miles, we began to dip under 7 minute pace for a progression run. It wasn't anything that we had verbally agreed to, it just felt good for our legs to gradually pick up the pace, and so we did. My legs felt great until about miles 14-15, where they began to feel fatigued. My breathing became more labored, but I had enough in me to finish up right around 6:00 for the last mile.

One of the Juans has never run a marathon and asked for some advice. I told him to go out so slow that he feels like he needs to rip his hair out it's so boring. The other Juan is 41 years old and looks like he is 30. He was the 2010 masters champion at the LA Marathon this year. It was cool running with such a local stud! He told me that he "liked marathons best because they are like a journey." I never had thought of it like that, and I liked his analogy. I'm going to remember that when my marathon training cycle starts for the Olympic Trials.

I really enjoyed the company and might even link up with these guys again for a tempo on Thursday! It's a lot of fun meeting people from other running clubs and hearing about how they work. This club has workouts led by a coach on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. I will continue to get more ides from other clubs to hopefully incorporate into the Charlotte Running Club's future.

After the 16 miles were over, I ran 2 miles back to my sister's and we enjoyed the rest of the day at the timeshare. I went in the hot tub for 20 minutes and wanted to alternate hot/cold, but the pool was heated so it was not worth it to jump out of the tub. It's definitely nice to be with my family during the holiday season.

9 - 6:55
10 - 6:33
11 - 6:37
12 - 6:27
13 - 6:34
14 - 6:24
15 - 6:12
16 - 6:04

Friday, December 24, 2010

6x2 min on/off in California

6x2 min on/off at 520-ish pace
~6 miles warmup
6x2 min on/off at 515-525 pace depending on the uphill
2x1 min on/off
~2 miles cool down for 11.5 miles total

I'm on my third day of taking anitbiotics for my bacterial virus, so I took it easy for the first four days of the week. This was my first workout in 7 days, so I had good reason to believe that my legs would feel pretty good on this one. I was right. After I ran from my sister's house to the Newport Back Bay (only half a mile away), I settled into a nice warmup on the bike path towards UC Irvine. I enjoyed the 65 degrees and hoped the sun wouldn't roast my semi-albino skin too much. I did put sunscreen on my face to prevent from aging prematurely since I'm a redhead and all.

Dad and I before the run

I got in almost 6 miles before I decided to pick it up because a guy was trying to "run with me" and I didn't want him to think he was faster than me, so I pressed the lap button on my garmin and I sped away, leaving him in my dust. I rounded the nature reserve in the Back Bay, enjoying the scenery on my rest intervals and practically ignoring it on my fast segments.

For the fourth interval, I even counted all the way to 90 just to help pass the time. The 6th interval was all on the downhill, so my pace for this one was flying: 5:12. I was pretty happy with that one...but then I paid for it because I could barely finish my minuters that I had planned to do. A stark contrast to how my legs felt for the 6x2 minutes, my legs began to feel like they had no power to lift and drive forward. It didn't matter much because I felt like I had gotten in the quality I needed and ran it back in to the house.

Despite having traveled across the country yesterday and staying up for at least 20 hours before I finally made it to bed last night, I felt really good on this workout. Without any company, I found myself mentally tough and tuned in with my body. I quite possibly got a boost from the temperature, the sun, and the excitement of running on new routes. I'm trying to link up with members of the Cal Coast Track Club to run an 18 miler on Sunday.

I'm looking forward to the Christmas festivites tonight and tomorrow with the Quinn family. Best yet, we check into the timeshare tomorrow so I can get in the hot tub to get the soreness out of my legs!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Week in Review

~69 Miles
6 Runs
1 Full Day Off
17 Mile long run

Hooray, Hooray! This week was a success. This is exactly what I've been yearning for, a solid week in the books. After weeks upon weeks of feeling slow and lethargic, my legs are finally starting to come around. Even with a day off on Monday because I was still feeling sick and tired, I was still able to get in almost 70 miles on just 6 runs. While I did feel pretty tired in my 17 miler today, I'm fairly certain it was due to the two hard workouts I had this week. I had company for both workouts, and felt consistent and strong in both. I'm ready for Meagan to be cleared by Coach JSK to run a workout, but with the holiday coming up, it doesn't look like we'll be able to workout together until the new year. Crazy stuff!

The week was topped off with a fun Christmas light run, followed by hot cocoa and cookies at Freedom Park. We had a huge turn out, and it was a great way for Charlotte Running Club members to meet each other. I got to meet Stephen Spada's kids and also keep Thomas' daughter warm! Santa even made an appearance!

In just four days, I will be in the beautiful and sunny southern California, where I hope to focus on my training and get my mileage back into the 75-80 mile range before 2011 rings in.

Friday, December 17, 2010

3x2 Miles Success

3x2 mile at 5:50-6:00 pace, around the same effort as back in September.

3.43 mile warmup
3x2 mile at 5:48, 5:45, 5:46 pace
1.93 mile cool down

Wow, that workout went much better than I had anticipated! What a great relief because, to be quite honest, I've been feeling rather flat and tired on my runs. This lethargic feeling actually makes sense because today my doctor confirmed what the homeopathic doctor told me last week - that I have some virus. I'm now taking an antibiotic that is supposed to help me get rid of the sickness that has taken over my lymph nodes in the past three weeks.

For that reason, I came into this workout with less confidence than normal. I knew that I would need to adjust accordingly if my body began to show signs of fatigue earlier than normal. When Thomas and Matt showed up at 4pm to warmup, I warned them of this, they nodded, and we made our way down the Sugar Creek Path to meet Meagan for a quick jaunt before she went right back home to ice her soon-to-be-healed achilles.

After our warmup, we dropped clothes off at Rebecca's house so that they wouldn't get stolen like Billy's Wake Forest sweatshirt, and toed the invisible line near Rebecca's driveway.

On the first set, Thomas stayed with me the entire way. We cruised through the first mile too fast (5:48), but managed to keep it even through the second mile. When I saw our mile split, I kind of freaked out but just kept pressing and crossed my fingers that I wouldn't die on the next two sets.

On the second set, I surprised myself when I still felt good. Matt and Thomas had worked out a scheme where they would meet me at various segments to help out. It was great.

On the third set, my legs felt really tired right off the start, and I contemplated stopping at the mile mark because I didn't want to overdo it. Instead, Thomas pulled me through as he ran with me for the final mile and provided some much needed encouragement.

1st set
11:36 (5:48, 5:48)

2nd set
11:29 (5:45, 5:44)

3rd set
11:32 (5:45, 5:47)

Overall, I am very satisfied with this workout. When I did this workout in September in the same location, I ran 610, 550, and 542 average pace. This is definitely a much needed confidence boost as I head into higher mileage with Houston in sight!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

14x1 Min On/Off

14x(1 min on, 1 min off) at 5:20 or faster pace

14x1 min at just that, for 10 miles total.

Well, I'm trying to get my wheels back on the bus for my Houston training, and minuters workouts seem to always do the trick. I had expected to do this workout solo after work, but I was delighted to receive an email from Will that said he needed to run this evening instead of tomorrow evening. It worked out perfectly as we met on the Sugar Creek Pathway and continued to Freedom Park.

I got in a solid 4+ miles of warmup before we reached the Dilworth 2-mile Speed Loop and began our workout. I was expecting my legs to feel the effects from the 6k XC race on Saturday (or from the night of dancing at the XC Race After Party), but instead my legs felt fresh and light. This could also be due to the fact that I took the day off from running on Monday and slept 11 hours to make up for the lack of running. Clearly, I needed to recover from the USATF Club XC Race more than I had expected!

For the most part, we were able to cruise through the streets of Dilworth, but there were some intersections where we had to slow down because drivers couldn't see us.Considering that Will has only run 200 Miles over the past like 4 months, he did a fantastic job and worked with me through 10 intervals. His company was appreciated, especially after almost 5 months of not having had the opportunity to run with him. Once we finished up two loops, we headed right back to Morehead, where we parted ways.

On my 15 minutes back to the house, I was able to reflect on how awesome it is to know that 99.9% of the time, I can find a running buddy. This is definitely something that should not be taken for granted and that can be attributed to many things - Run With Theoden's facebook page, the Charlotte Running Club, informative blogs on running from local enthusiasts. All of these things have sparked comaradie and fellowship in the running community here in Charlotte. I also like how the triathletes and the runners are training together now more than ever. We're one lucky bunch!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Week in Review

61 Miles
0 Doubles
1 Race - 6k in 21:19
13 Mile Long Run

Well the focus this week was simply to reunite with friends, to cheer loud, and to race hard. I had a great time with Garrett and his mom earlier in the week but still was able to get the miles in, despite the cold weather. I logged a fun workout with Jordan and felt pretty speedy doing it. I felt pretty good about my race on Saturday at the Club XC Champs and was even more excited about our team placement. It was really nice to spend time with former Wake teammates and to reminisce about fun times. I enjoyed my time with Addie Bracy as we invited her over for a pre-race meal with John and Garrett. Best of all, I was able to spend some quality time with all my running friends at the Club XC After Party, including hanging out with Ruth from Twin Cities. This is my sixth week over 60 miles, and I'm gearing up to start hitting 70-80 miles over the next three weeks.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Two Races, One City.

Goal 1: Thunder Road Marathon, cheer for friends in Plaza Midwood section in car.

Actual: Cheered for friends at Thunder Road Marathon at Mile 25.5, attempted to do so in the car, but feared that I would get stuck and not make it to Goal 2. Missed Danielle's 25th mile because I was putting chip on shoe.

Goal 2: USATF Club XC Championships @ McAlpine 6k with 5:45 ave goal pace

Actual: 6k @ 5:42 ave pace
4+ Mile Warm Up with CRC team
6k race @ 21:19 for 60th place, battled out with Colleen De Reuck in final stretch
9th Place CRC Team Finish
2.5 mile cool down

I did so much today that I'm not even sure if I can get it all into a relatively short blog, so I'll try to be as brief as possible. I started off the morning by sleeping in, and then waking up to remember that I still needed to fill my tank with gas so that I could drive to McAlpine for the race. I hopped in the car, but then was put onto a detour due to the GOTR 5k. So, I jumped onto 277 and Independence and went five miles out of my way to get gas. By the time I got back, it was time to get my gear on so Meagan, Jenna, John and I could go to the 18.5 mile mark to cheer Jordan on. We got there right on time and gave him a slight boost of energy as he headed down Caldwell.

We would have liked to stay here to continue cheering for the slew of other friends coming that way, but we had to get ready for our own race, so we headed back to my house to eat a pre-race breakfast and drink some more fluids. Soon, we walked half a mile from my house to the 25 mile mark, where we got to see Jordan again. I thought he looked great. Then we hung out near my house to see Billy and a couple other guys run by, but we had to head back in to start getting our gear packed into the car to go to McAlpine. We left the house by 10:50am, just in time for me to miss Danielle, Kevin, Eric, Theoden, and many more.
Once Garrett, Meagan, and I piled into the car and drove out to McAlpine, we didn't have much time to waste, and began our warmup with the crew of Meagan, Jocelyn, Kelly, Pezz, Alice, and Jenna. It was great to run together as a pack and we immediately realized that we did not have the snazzy warmups like all the other teams. We featured an assortment of different brands, colors, and styles, and we laughed at our ourselves for our authenticity. After a couple of bathroom breaks in the woods with Alice (the bathroom lines were too long), I put my Nike Zoom marathoners on and took a stride to the starting line. My favorite part was when I saw Val and she was wearing our CRC jersey and situated herself in the box next to us. Ben Hovis took some great pictures of us, most of which you will see below, and he snapped a shot right before the start. 12:45 came soon after that photo, and Meagan and I sprinted ahead after the sound of the gun to hopefully get a good position. We cut in to the cinder path and did quite well establishing our position. Since the goal was to run with Meagan as long as possible, I heard Meagan tell me she was on my shoulder. Perfect. We went through the first mile in 5:31 and I didn't panic because we had not dipped under 5:30, which would have most assuredly put me into oxygen debt.

I continued to look ahead at the 75+ women in front of me, and worked with Meagan. Once we hit the grassy turnaround, I fell off of Meagan's shoulder and really began to hurt. By the time the 2 mile mark approached in a split of 5:40, Meagan had already gained 10-15 meters on me and she looked strong. I immediately reassessed my plan and decided to keep Meagan within my sights. I was especially thankful for the slew of Charlotte runners out there to cheer us on because I could definitely hear them and it gave me that added motivation to keep my head up and driving forward.
By the time I hit the 3 mile marker, I was hurting. I didn't want to look at my split because I knew it would be slower than I would have liked, and it was: 5:50. In the final 1k of the race, I spent time trying to get around ladies who were going slower than I would have liked, and on the final downhill I felt like a couple of women were blocking me in and not picking it up for the finish. Once they moved out the way, I made my way past them to come out of the woods for the final stretch. Little did I know that as I battled it in to the finish that I was running stride for stride with Colleen De Reuck, as pictured below. I finished up feeling tired, but realized that I within 15 seconds of my college 6k PR.
In the finish chute, I found Meagan and Pezz and waited for the rest of the team to come in. It seemed like everyone was fairly pleased with their results. After a cool down, we were able to see that the Charlotte Running Club women's team placed ninth overall. Considering the club is just under two years old. I believe this is a huge accomplishment for us to have placed in the top ten of an elite field. It was a lot of fun to run with so many accomplished runners in Charlotte. I can only hope to add in the few that were sidelined today for next year's race. It was also really fun to actually participate in a competitive cross country race again because I hadn't run XC since Nov 2007. This race also served as a semi Wake Forest reunion, as I got to see Caitlin, Marley, Allie, and Liz. It was great to see former teammates! Allie got sixth place overall. She is bound to run a lot of good times next spring!

After our cool down, we went to cheer the men on and I enjoyed spectating as the men stormed on by.

As a reflection of the race, considering that I've been hitting 45-60 miles in the past 8 weeks, the race was a good effort. I would have liked to run faster in that final mile, as opposed to running the slowest at that point. However, it was strategically necessary to get out pretty fast to get a good position at the start. I think I paid for that decision in the latter parts of the race. As I have six weeks until the Houston Half Marathon, I know that there is a lot of work to be done over the course of the holiday weeks.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Exciting weekend to be in Charlotte

This Saturday, Charlotte is going to notice an influx of runners wandering the streets. Thousands of runners from all over the country will be arriving today and tomorrow for both the Thunder Road Marathon and the USATF Club XC Championships. These runners will make drivers mad when they jay-walk/run diagonally across the street, they will give local Italian restaurants a boost of sales when they flock in for carbo-loaded meals, and they will showcase their finishers' medal after the races in pride. Some of these runners you will not know, others you will know, or should have at least heard of. Friends from out of town, former teammates, and old high school rivals will all be coming to Charlotte for the same reason: our shared passion for running. There will be a slew of professional women out there - Tera Moody, Nicole Feest, Colleen de Reuck, Renee Metivier, Sara Slattery, and many more. I'm sure there are talented men coming out, but I'll leave it to Bill Shires to track them down.

This is an exciting time to be in Charlotte if you are a runner, and I would highly recommend that you take advantage of the events. The expo is going on uptown at the Convention Center on Thursday evening and all Friday. The Thunder Road Marathon starts at 7:45am. It's most likely that if you are a resident of Charlotte that you know of at least one person running the race, so get out there and cheer for them!

The Men's Masters XC Championship race is at 11:30am. The women's XC open race is at 12:45 and the men's start is at 1:30pm. The XC Champs after party starts at 5pm at Whiskey River and makes its way over to Strike City.

The Charlotte Running Club will have a booth at the Expo, which will really give us a lot of exposure. I think it's important for us to promote our club more and more as people are still under the misconception that it's for "faster" runners. We just want people who are passionate about running, and if you have that passion, then you are the best fit for the Club. I highly urge everyone to make it out to at least one of the events listed above!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Last Workout Before USATF Club XC

3.72 mile warmup

Fartlek cut Down

~3-2-2-3-2-1 with ~ 2 min rest @ ~5:14-5:25 pace

~ 4 miles cool down

Jordan is running the Thunder Road Marathon on Saturday. This didn't stop him from doing a workout with me today...or from putting in over 20 miles on each of those days. Despite the three days until his 26.2, he has run two workouts with me in the past week. He not only ran two workouts with me, but before each workout, he already put in at least 9 miles with a different group. Take, for instance, last Saturday: Jordan ran the Thunder Road course preview run for 13 miles, and then ran over 14 miles with us at McAlpine for a tempo. Today, his running schedule was a bit tamer as he had "only" run 8.6 miles prior to meeting up with me, where we ran at least 11-12 miles. While this sort of training approach would probably tear my Achilles in half, this seems to be working fine for him as he has not been injured in over a year. It will be exciting to see how Jordan does on Saturday. He's definitely put in the work.

So back to the workout. Jordan and I left our respective houses to meet halfway on the Sugar Creek Greenway. I got a late start and pushed the first two miles of my "warmup" to run under 7 min pace for both miles. Once I caught Jordan, we eased the pace back down to a more respectable range. I like to keep my workouts before races as fun and low key as possible. So, today I decided to do something different. Jordan and I would run around the Dilworth Speed Loop twice for our workout. I just chose markers to run fast towards, and once we reached those markers, we slowed to a jog rest. We repeated this cycle for two loops and ended up running at a pretty speedy clip. I really just wanted to maintain a solid form, control my breathing, and focus on the target. Although Jordan created a gap between us on several occasions, I visualized picking off girls in the race.

Splits On (off)
3:18 (1:36) at 5:22 pace
2:06 (1:44) at 5:23 pace
2:01 (2:02) at 5:14 pace
3:07 (2:20) at 5:30 pace (felt terrible)
2:18 (1:36) at 5:20 pace
1:16 for 400m

My splits were faster than anything I've done since the summer, which would explain why I felt so oxygen-deprived on the third interval. I got a boost of energy on the last 400m when Rebecca drove by and shouted words of encouragement. As we finished, we walked back to her house to check for some water, and, as a testament to how much Corbett and Rebecca support runners, they had water bottles conveniently out on the porch since the water dispenser wasn't out. I'll keep dreaming up the day that I own a house on the Dilworth speed loop and do the same thing.

In other news, Garrett took me to a homeopathic doctor in Kings Mountain, NC. His great aunt goes to this place, and they told me lot of cool stuff about my iron deficiency and then gave me a vile of liquid that I'm to take twice a day. They told me that I had had the flu (just got over that a week ago) and a bout of food poisoning (no idea) recently and that I'd been exposed to pesticides. Considering that I eat mostly organic, the only thing that could explain the pesticides exposure would be when I got the house sprayed for ants. Anyways, it was a great birthday present for a wannabe hippie like me. Now let's see what happens to my iron levels. Granted, it would be best for me to get my iron checked right now, before I start taking the liquid concoction. Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Week in Review

69.3 Miles
1 Double, 8 runs
2 Workouts

Well this week I hacked up 2 ounces of phlegm, coughed 197 times, and drank over 20 bottles of water. In between all of this, I still managed to run almost 70 miles, get in two solid workouts, and almost get over my sickness by the end of the week. While I'm not necessarily exactly where I'd like to be with my fitness right now, I know that as long as the effort is there, the times will come in races. One of my key weeks will be over Christmas, while I'm enjoying the warmer temperatures in southern California, so I'm guessing that will be a good week for me to get in some great running.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

50 Min Tempo with Friends

14-15 miles with 8 mile tempo in between at ave. 610-615 pace

34 min warmup, 14.5 miles with 8 mile tempo at 610 ave pace

Today I woke up at a normal hour of 8am to meet a group of 20+ runners for a long run, and, for those who wanted to hurt a little bit more, a tempo mixed in. I rolled into the parking lot at McAlpine to find a slew of runners, some of which I had never met, and some familiar faces. Once we got on the trail, we picked up another group so that combined we had over 20 runners. The best part was that there was an equal ratio of females to males, which is a rarity in itself. After 33 minutes of fun with the large group, about half of us split off for a restroom break before we started the tempo. Thomas, Lat, John, Ben, Meagan, Jordan, and a new guy joined us for this. John warned us that after the four mile mark, he would be picking it up, so we started off at a respectable pace Meagan and I leading the entourage of men. Fortunately, Jordan took over pacing duties after Meagan "gently" urged him to take over the pacing efforts.

The first four miles of the tempo were fun as we made our way from the start line of the course, to the 4 mile mark, and then back around to the course. Then we did the back loop of the third mile of the 5k course, and around there my pace group of Meagan and Thomas stopped at mile five. At this point, John and Jordan had picked up the pace to something under 5:40 and I could see them pulling away. Lat had joined them, and I didn't want to run the next three miles of this tempo watching as everyone pulled away from me at a quicker pace. For this reason, I decided to turn in the opposite direction of them, and to circle backwards onto the XC course from mile 1.5 back to the start. This was definitely the toughest part of the tempo, as I was solo, but I pushed a good bit to keep the effort solid. I ended with an overall average pace of 610, and was pleased with the strength I was able to maintain for the latter parts. I am finally getting over my sickness, and I hit my target pace for the workout. Ironic how this is the same pace I ran in the marathon over two months ago, but I know that with time I will begin to feel stronger. The sooner the better!

for 49:21 total

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jordan's Club XC Workout for Meagan

3+ Mile Warmup
Set 1: 3x6 min w/ 1st 90 sec hard (3 min jog rest) from Club XC Start Line to past the mile mark
Set 2: 4x McAlpine hill loop (500m) (1 min jog rest)
Set 1: 3x6 min w/ mile splits of 5:42, 5:34, 5:32
Set 2: 3x McAlpine hill loop @ ave 1:53
1.8 Mile Cool Down

Meagan asked me to do parts of this workout that Jordan had crafted specifically for her upcoming race at Club XC in just 10 days. I blindly gave in to Meagan's pleas for company, knowing nothing except for the fact that Jordan was creating a workout that would (hopefully) make Meagan puke. Since I am coming off a sickness, I figured I could jump in for parts of it, and once Jordan sent me the workout, I was pleased to find that it was similar to what I had on schedule originally (5x5 min) and to find that I could jump out 2/3 the way through without feeling like I had let Meagan down too much.

As you can read in Meagan's post, she was a little worried about it, and I was too. After all, I hadn't worked out in 8 days and was still feeling congested and tired. Regardless, I made the drive out to McAlpine, arrived a little early, and began the warmup early. Eventually Meagan and Jordan arrived, and we enjoyed a nice warmup on the first miles of the course. After that, I did a couple of drills, 1 stride before we headed to the USATF Club XC Start Line. Jordan wanted to simulate the start of the race with the first 90 seconds hard, and that's exactly what we did. I tried to tuck in behind Jordan, expecting me to feel terrible, but I soon realized that I actually felt pretty good so I ran alongside him. After the first 90 seconds, Jordan always said "Settle" which at first I thought it meant slow down, but I soon used that phrase as a mental note for me to just relax, but maintain a pace fairly similar to the quick 90 second pace. It worked quite well. I felt much stronger on this section that I was expecting. Meagan tucked in behind us and her presence was reassuring. I envisioned it to be like this at the actual race - side by side! To be quite honest, I was guessing that I would have had a hard time hitting 6 min pace.

Then we went straight to the hill. This is the part where I went from having a great workout to a mediocre one as it was fairly difficult for me to keep my breath even with the symptoms from my cold and sore throat. I felt pretty good on the 1st one, but the 1 minute rest was too short for me given the circumstances. I felt lightheaded on the third one, and cut the workout short. I guess I could have given myself an extra minute and gutted out the fourth one, but it didn't seem worth it. Meagan continued on to dominate the third part and I was definitely amazed. I cooled down a short bit and drove back to get to work on time.

On my drive home, I reflected on the fact that the Charlotte Running Club team could have a strong appearance next weekend at McAlpine. While we are missing the speedy legs of Megan Hovis, I am confident we can represent our city! Be on the lookout for the CRC Jerseys on both men and women!