Friday, January 14, 2011

3x2 mile at Dilworth Speed Loop

3x2 Mile at Same Pace or Faster than last time (5:40-5:45 pace)

4.1 miles warmup
3x2 Mile at 11:33 (5:47/5:45), 11:33 (5:46/5:47), and 11:30 (5:50/5:40)
2 miles cooldown

Before I start with anything else, admittedly, this workout went much better than I had expected. Considering that the last week of the year I had to take two days off due to an IT Band pain in my knee, I was skeptical of whether my leg would hold up during this workout. Fortunately, things seemed to be looking up for me because last night I ran for the first time in over two weeks entirely pain free. Jordan and I ventured up and down hills throughout the Dilworth neighborhoods, which also indicated that my IT Band was feeling better since it was holding up over hills. I will credit my Physical Therapist at Carolinas Rehab for getting me back to a pain free state.

Regardless, Jordan nursed his Achilles back to normal health and was game for working out with me. Typical of Jordan, he immediately agreed, without a second thought, to working out with me on Friday night. We warmed up on the Sugar Creek Path and through Dilworth for four miles and then dropped our stuff off at Rebecca's porch, even though she is in Africa. From our Thursday run, Jordan and I were expecting three patches of ice that were about 5-10m in length. At these parts, we would be forced to run defensively and with tentative, slower steps than on the other surfaces.

For the first interval, my breathing felt more labored than it should be and I hoped that I could maintain an average of 5:45 for the entirety of the workout. It was frustrating to slow down on the patches of ice, and I told myself that I would be running faster if the ice wasn't getting in my way. However, I did not want the ice to be an excuse for not hitting my goal times, so Jordan lead the way for us to still hit an average of 5:45.

After we finished this set, Jordan and I both agreed that my breathing was labored so he told me to focus on pushing the uphills on the second set and to focus on the downhills on the third set. This method would hopefully get my mind less focused on the pace, and more on my form and other, less stressful things.

By the second and third sets, I was more relaxed and tucking in behind Jordan as he did all of the work. I didn't really like focusing on the uphills because it seemed that the majority of the loop was uphill as opposed to downhill, but it did help me keep rolling. We finished up and I was really pleased that 1) I had hit my goal times and that 2) my IT Band hadn't bothered me at all! On the third set, we ran both the slowest split of the day (5:50) and the fastest split of the day (5:40). What was great about the workout is that each set was around the same total time, but each was run with a completely different strategy which allowed my mind to practice more techniques and allowed my body to adjust accordingly to changes in pace.

After we picked up the remainder of our warm weather gear, Jordan and I cool down 2 miles back to my house, where we stretched, ate dinner, and hung out with John and Anne Marie. We watched Inception on Bluray.

15 Days until USA Half Marathon Championships!


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