Wednesday, January 19, 2011

7x3 Min Solo on the Dilworth Speed Loop

6-8x3 min with 2:30-3:00 min rest at 5k pace (5:29)

4 mile warmup
7x3 min with 2:45 min rest at 5:20-5:28 pace
~2 mile cool down for 11.3 miles total

Upon hearing that it was supposed to be almost 60 degrees today, I opted to run my workout later in the day. Since my normal cohorts - Jordan and Meagan - were out of town selling their brands to various running stores, I was to run solo for this workout. To my surprise, the last time I worked out by myself while in the city of Charlotte was in August. I was a little nervous about working out by myself, knowing that I was going to have to push myself all on my own, without the motivation of Meagan flying by me to propel my legs forward. To replace their fabulous company, I decided to let Mr. Garmin do all the work and to beep at me when 3 minutes was over and then again when my 2:45 rest was over.

I enjoyed an easy 4 mile warmup from my house to Freedom Park on the Sugar Creek Greenway. I passed by Rebecca's house, looked for Jordan's headlamp on the porch, and then continued on to the start of the 800m loop. I did a couple of strides and drills to test out my IT Band. Everything was working properly and without any glitches, I began my first interval. Of course, I technically went out too hard. I think I split 5:19 pace and was somewhere below 80 for the first 400m. I powered through the 800m with about a 1-2 second difference and hoped that I'd be able to continue this speedy trend for the entirety.

Luckily, I was able to maintain my form, composure, and mental tenacity throughout the workout. I felt strong on all of the intervals, except for number 6, where I seemed to be overly sensitive to the sudden increase in wind speed. I focused a lot on the portion after the 400m mark because at that point the course begins to have a slight incline that definitely could impact the pace. I tried to go out a little bit easier on the first 400m and then to make a conscious effort to pump my arms to drive my legs to push harder. This mental tactic seemed to work quite well as I came through all of my 2nd 400m splits about the same pace as the first 400m splits.

I wanted to do 8 intervals, but I could feel the effects of the lifting I had done the previous day as part of physical therapy and I could feel a slight discomfort in my knee. I didn't want to run one last interval to find myself stranded two miles from my house, so I played it safe and began my way back home.* As a side note, Will Isenhour made this mistake in May last year, and his knee gave out...I didn't see him running again until three months later!

I am happy that this workout went well but I wish I had gotten in another one of these workouts a couple of weeks ago. Due to sickness, travel, and IT Band related issues, I had to drop a couple of these workouts. Besides minuters and 6x5 min, I haven't really focused too much on speed. I'm hoping that my strength and endurance will allow me to achieve a new half marathon PR in just 10 days.

*Note: After this workout, my knee felt good and I stretched a lot. However, this evening I feel more discomfort than normal (not pain though), kind of like a tightness or pulling sensation on my knee. I will continue to ice!


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