Wednesday, January 5, 2011

6x5 Min at McAlpine

6x5 Min at sub 5:45 pace with 2 min rest

2.64 miles warmup
6x5 Min at 5:37-5:42 pace with 2 min jog rest
~1 mile cool down for 10 miles total

I recruited Meagan and Heidi to run this workout with me so that I would have some company at McAlpine. Heidi runs for NYAC, graduated from Duke XC/TF in '04, and heard about the CRC through the Club XC race. Jordan of course showed up to support his girlfriend and to pace us ladies through the mud.

I was worried about my IT Band rubbing against my knee, so I took all the necessary precautions beforehand: I alternated ice/heat (ending with heat), stretched, and performed my strengthening exercises that I found on youtube. I even curled up on my heated blanket to ensure that my entire IT Band received enough warmth to be ready for the soon-to-be assault on my body. Finally, I tucked a hand warmer into my capris so that my IT Band connector would be warm.

After a 20 minute warmup, we made our way to the 1.75 mile marker at McAlpine in an effort to avoid all hills (big or small) and all cambered surfaces. The plan was to make our way towards Old Bell, turn around and then head back onto the first two miles of the XC Course, skipping the hill. Jordan and I lead the way for the first 2, and I felt strong and consistent on these. My breathing felt a little out of whack, so I'm not sure what that was all about. By the 3rd and 4th intervals, Meagan and Jordan had created a 5 meter gap on me, so I made a surge to finish back up with Meagan by the finish. I was not as lucky on the 5th and 6th ones, as Jordan and Meagan made a sizable gap on me of at least 10-20 meters. I was still maintaining my original pace of 5:40, so I'm guessing she was running 5:30-5:34 pace.

For each of the intervals, I tended to finish about halfway in between the 1.2k and 1.6k marks, a little past 1.4k. I felt the worst on the 5th and 6th intervals because my IT Bands on both sides just felt very weak and fatigued. It could be from the exercises I've been doing, or just from general weakness in those areas. It could also have been from the increased number of turns and the uneven, soft surfaces that were causing me to utilize my IT Band more for balance. ALl said and done, considering that I felt no pain in the side of my knee and that I hit a faster pace than my goal Half Marathon pace, I am really pleased with this workout.

Meagan should be very happy and confident about her workout as well because not only did she rock the 6x5 min portion of the workout, but then she knocked out a 20 min tempo afterward. While her decision to run the Houston Marathon is still to be determined, it is clear that she is definitely strong enough to post some fast times within the next couple of weeks. It will be fun to watch, even if from behind!

1: 5:40 pace (.88 miles)
2: 5:37 pace (.89 miles)
3: 5:37 pace (.89 miles)
4: 5:40 pace (.88 miles)
5: 5:42 pace (.875 miles)
6: 5:42 pace (.875 miles)

Now I'm off to see Dr. Price, in hopes that he can give me some more pointers to getting my IT Band back to normal!


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