Friday, January 21, 2011

Last Tempo Before Houston Half

30 min at Goal Half Marathon Pace (6:00)

5 mile warmup
30 min at 5:58 pace
1.75 cooldown for 11.75 miles total

I ended my streak of not working out alone in five months with two back-to-back solo workouts. While many of my fellow CRC board members are racing the Hot Chocolate 10k tomorrow, I did not want to run this race as a workout and opted to run, by myself, a day earlier in Charlotte instead. This was a good decision because, although I ran alone, I was able to get in a good workout on familiar terrain and in temperatures that were 20 degrees warmer than those forecasted for Asheville tomorrow.

Michelle, Matt, and I all met at my house for a nice warmup together on the Sugar Creek Greenway. We ran 5 miles easy and discussed how Title VI needs to be revised in such a way that men's sports such as Track & Field, Wrestling, and Gymnastics do not continue to be dropped from colleges as funded programs. Matt's alma mater, University of Delaware, is the latest university to drop its running program. Matt has vowed to never donate any money to their sports programs any more.

Once we reached the 5 mile mark, I bid my farewell to Matt and Michelle as they made their way back to uptown and as I began to prepare for my 30 minute tempo. Going into this workout, I was really nervous that I would not be able to hit my goal times. This is very unlike me to not possess a calm confidence and peaceful state of mind before a workout, but every now and then it is hard to keep such thoughts quiet. I decided it would be best for my mental psyche to not look at the splits as I ran from Freedom Park, onto the roads, back into Freedom Park, onto Sterling, and on the Sugar Creek Greenway and then back down Sterling.

In the first mile, I felt fairly relaxed but I was still doubting I was hitting my times. After the second mile, I peaked a glance at my overall time and was pleased to find that I was hitting right below 12 minutes. Here, my confidence seemed to get a boost and I continued to press forward, trying to ignore the fact that the wind was much stronger than I had anticipated. For the fourth and fifth miles, I really had to dig in as there were some decent sized hills and my legs were starting to feel the fatigue build up from Wednesday's speed workout, my weight lifting, and the current workout. For some odd reason, I thought it would be more fun to go through Sterling than to run through Freedom Park. Making this decision meant that I would spend my entire 4th entire mile uphill, versus flat in Freedom Park. In the end, I'm glad I did this because focusing on driving my arms forward on the uphill took my mind off the fatigue I was feeling in my legs.

5:54 (flat)
6:00 (slightly uphill)
5:53 (flat and wind at back)
6:07 (uphill, turnaround, wind)
6:00 (flat)

I finished up and was pleased to find that I had finished at 5:58 pace for 5 miles, which is exactly where I want to be for the half marathon in 8 days. Considering that I am usually babied when Jordan does all the work in my hard effort runs, I am exceptionally pleased with my ability to push myself to maintain an honest pace as well as with my determination to keep going after mile 4 when I really wanted to just stop and call it a day. I think that running 13.1 miles at this pace is something that is within my reach, if all things fall into place perfectly. On another positive note, my IT Band and knee caused me absolutely no pain or discomfort. In fact, I didn't even notice anything in that region.

After the workout, I ran almost two miles back home and began to stretch for a while before packing. I'm about to head off to Asheville for the Charlotte Running Club Board Retreat. This is where we are going to make a lot of decisions about the future of the club, outline our vision, and determine our 2011 Social Calendar. Don't worry, your membership fees are not paying for the house we are renting...The board members are splitting the cost. We feel this is an important activity that needs to be completed in order to keep our club moving in the right direction and to continue meeting the needs of its members. In fact, Larry Seavers provided us with some great information on how we could throw one really HUGE annual social, with a band, at a low cost to members. I think this could be a good one!


mrn said...

we are going to kick sooo much ass next weekend!

mainers said...

yes you will!

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