Tuesday, June 28, 2011

7x1000m with 300m jog

7x1000m with 400m jog rest

3.5 miles warmup

7x1000m at
3:24 (800m split 2:42)

3:19 (800m split 2:38)
3:19 (800m split 2:37)
3:20 (800m split 2:39)
3:19 (800m split 2:38)
3:14 (400m splits 75, 800m split 2:34)
3:14 (800m split 2:34)

with 300m jog between
2.5 miles cool down for 11.3 miles total

After fitting in a late night conversation into my night time routine, I got to bed a lot later than I had hoped and woke up this morning feeling exhausted.  After I jumped out of bed, I suddenly felt much more lively and had high hopes for the work out.  I headed out my door with a Timex water bottle, hoping that the water on hand would bring a sense of comfort toward the latter part of the intervals. 
The early morning hours didn't stop anyone else in the Charlotte running community to come out to beat the heat.  Once I made my way over to Dilworth Rd West, I already had spotted Tim Rhodes, Aprille Schaffer, Larry and Kathy Seavers, and Pete (and many more!).  Eventually I ran into Stephen Spada, who was finally able to join me for a work out since his son's lacrosse season is over.  (Apparently their team posted a record of 26-2!)  A couple of minutes later, we picked Eric up and waited for him to stretch before we began our attack on 1000m repeats.
The goal was the run the 800m Dilworth Speed Loop but to add on 200m since there is a mark in the sidewalk on East Blvd that Stephen told us about.  You can see our route in the map below.  With our course marked at every 200m, we set off on our first one on feel.  We started at a relatively conservative pace, going through an 82 in the first 400m. It felt easy.  After that one, I mused to Eric and Stephen that for the next couple, I would like to stay above 2:40 for the 800m split.  Did that happen?  Not so much.
We didn't go over 2:40 for the rest of the workout.  In fact, I felt smooth and relaxed until about the 6th and 7th repeats, but by that time, Justin Breland had randomly joined in for the fun, so I had an entourage of three guys around me to push and motivate me.  In fact, Justin somehow had enough energy to say encouraging phrases to Stephen and I like: "Wow! You guys look great!" 
After the fifth one, I told Spada that he could take off on these next two because I didn't want to hold him back at all.  He must have listened to me because he took off like a bat out of hell in the first 200m and we cruised through the first 400m in 75 seconds.  I had a brief moment of panic, brushed it away, and pushed through the Dilworth Rd E turn.  Suddenly I was ahead of the guys and found yet another gear to push through the small hill before the 800m mark.  We cruised through the finish in my fastest split of the day:  3:14.  The best part about the work out was that I was able to run another 3:14 for the 7th and final interval.
After we finished, we grabbed water with PROPEL at Rebecca's front porch.  Was it the best propel ever?  Yes.  While sipping on my sweet grape drink, I was able to reflect on my completed work out.  I definitely was happy with how things had turned out. 
It could be true that the 1000m Dilworth Speed Loop is a bit off, but I wore my garmin and it consistently had .63 miles, which is technically longer than 1000m.  Regardless, I was able to post my two fastest splits of the day at the very end of the work out and also maintain a fast speed going into a sharp turn onto East Blvd.  I pushed through when it hurt most and took advantage of the competition from the guys around me.  I can tell that my speed is definitely coming along.  I haven't run a 1000m at sub-3:20 in a REALLY long time so it felt great to walk away from the Dilworth Speed Loop with a new workout "PR."

The 1000m Dilworth Speed Loop

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Week in Review

80 miles
17 mile long run
1 Double
2 workouts
2 Ab Sessions
1 Massage at Balance Body Work Charlotte
3 Tickets to the London Olympics

This week was definitely a success because I hit my mileage target with just one double.  After my Friday workout, I had a great easy run with Meagan where we maintained 7-7:10 pace without any effort.  This is an accomplishment in itself because Meagan and I typically run 7:45-8:00 pace together, especially after work outs.  I can tell that I am getting stronger because it takes me fewer days to recover from workouts.

The long run on Sunday featured a group of fifteen or more Charlotte Running Club members and a respectable pace.  The weather this weekend has been fabulous for running and has been a relief from the standard hot temperatures and high humidity levels.

The best part of this week was that Jocelyn and I secured several tickets to the London 2012 Olympics!  We will be attending the women's 10,000m Final, the Men and Women's 1500m Semi Final, and the Women's 800m Semi Final.  We also booked tickets to a women's beach volleyball semi final and a canoe sprint race.  Of course, we'll be attending the Women's Marathon as well!!  I can't wait for such an awesome adventure to begin. Hopefully Shalane Flanagan will be in the women's 10,000m final again this time around.

I also booked a weekend adventure to visit Garrett in Albany, New York so that I can see him at least once in the next three months.  Should be a nice break from the hot weather here!

Friday, June 24, 2011

3x2 Mile at McAlpine

3x2 mile at 11:50 or faster with 400m rest

~3 miles warmup
2x2 mile at 11:42 (550, 552) and 11:29 (5:39, 5:50) with 3 min rest,
1.5 mile in 8:50 (5:50, 3:00) with 2 min rest
800m in 2:41
~3 miles cool down for 12 miles total

Not much to report on this workout except that I was lucky enough to have Aaron help me out, who just ran a PR at Grandma's Marathon 6 days ago.  It was really hot and muggy this morning and, after the first interval, Billy and I both agreed that it was rather difficult to breathe in the conditions.

We ran from the mile 1 mark to mile 3 mark on the McAlpine Greenway portion for the first interval.  For the second, we turned around at the 3 mile mark and ran back to the 1 mile mark. I started like a bat out of hell with a 2:44 first 800m and tried my best to keep the pace honest over the course of the next 1.5 miles until Aaron jumped in.  He motivated me to keep on going and I was able to muster a 5:50 second mile for that. It was so hot that I didn't even bother doing a jog rest.  I just walked around and jogged when I felt like it.

For the third interval, I was hanging on for dear life.  I went through the mile in 5:50, turned around at the start at Old Bell, and passed through the 800m mark in 3:00.  I decided it would be easier for me mentally to walk away from this workout by stopping at the 1.5 mile mark, resting, and then running a fast 800m.

That's exactly what I did.

Aaron and I took it out in 80 seconds for the first 400m and as we rounded through the soft section near Old Bell, I tried my hardest to maintain the same pace as Aaron took off ahead of me.  I ran an 81 for that second half and finished feeling pretty good about the workout.  I'd like to be able to complete the whole workout without modifications next time, but this was a good alternative for my level of comfort today with the humidity.

I enjoyed a nice cool down jog with Jason Martin, Aaron, and Billy before jumping into the car and getting home in time for a meeting at work.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Week in Review

70 Miles
8k race in 28:09
7 Runs
14 mile long run
2 Ab workouts

This week was a bit lower in mileage than I had hoped, but I raced on Saturday so that provides some justification for not getting in 75 miles.  I enjoyed some time on the Wake Forest Campus for the TRAILS study, hung out with Garrett's sister Elyse, raced in Durham, and went to a rained out cookout that was moved to Mike Kahn's house.  Overall, this was a very busy weekend with some travel, food with friends, and a long run that was so relaxed and enjoyable that I almost wish I were still running.  I'm starting this summer in the same shape as when I ended last summer, so that's always exciting.  After this week's 8k I have confidence that I can run a 16:59 5k at Beat the Heat.  All the same women from the 8k will be there, so even if I get fifth, but break 17, I'm a happy camper.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

NC USATF 8k Championships Recap

8k Race in 28:40 or faster than last year

2.7 miles warmup in 22:00
8k Race in 28:09 with splits of 5:49, 5:23, 5:51, 5:49, 5:14 (50 seconds faster than last year)
3.8 miles cool down in 33:00 for 11.5 miles total

Comparison of 2011 to 2010
2011  2010  Diff
5:49   5:48   +1
5:23   5:37   -14
5:51   5:59   -8
5:49   6:01   -12
5:14   5:34   -20

As you can see in the breakdown above, I ran exactly 50 seconds faster this year, or 10 seconds per mile faster, than last year.  This quite possibly indicates that my fitness is at a higher level than it was at this time last year.  What it also indicates is that I thrive off of competition.  This year, five women ran faster than my 2010 winning time, with all of them running 28:45 or faster.  Talk about a great race.

After a delicious meal provided by John's gracious aunt, I headed off to bed to get in enough sleep before the 5am wake up call.  I had received several texts from Jay urging me to watch Mike Kahn's video made in tribute to Jay, so I stayed up a little later to watch the video and talk with Jay before his last night in Charlotte.  After a fitful night of sleep, John and I packed everything back into his car and made our way to Durham from Raleigh.  We arrived with plenty of time and scored a great parking spot close to the start line.  Soon Meagan and Jordan arrived with our numbers and it was time to warm up. I  lead our pack of Charlotte runners through the first two miles of the course and convinced John to run a couple more minutes with me.

During the warmup, Meagan updated me about the competition.  Word was that a 16:34 5k girl - Jackie Kirby - was going to be in the mix.  I decided not to worry about her too much because the track is a lot different than the roads...especially on hilly roads.  Also making an appearance were Heather Magill and Lucinda Hull.  On any given day, any one of us could win one of these NC USATF Championships races, but I didn't want today be that day.  

During my strides and drills, I generated my own version of a race plan, go out relaxed with the pack and let someone else take the lead.  After that, I wanted to maintain the same effort on the hills as on the flat portions and to make my move before the 4 mile mark since Jackie or Meagan could have a better kick than me.  

Five minutes before the start, John, Meagan and I formed a pack in the middle of the start line and wished each other luck.  John was going for sub-25 and at least second place and Meagan and I were going for sub-28:30 and at least some dollar bills. 

The race director said "on your mark, get set..."  (Cowbell rings)  

Was that really the start?  

People stepped forward over the line tentatively, as if their bodies were asking for permission to cross.  I decided to just go and hope that I wouldn't be disqualified and other people did the same.  Meagan apparently was a bit more skeptical of a cowbell for a start cue and took her time to get off the line.  I couldn't feel her behind me for at least the first 100 meters as her start was a bit more delayed. I kept glancing around and even worried that she might have been tripped and trampled over or something even more drastic.

After the start line debacle, Jackie zipped to the lead and another girl in an orange uniform joined her.  I said out loud to my pack of women - Meagan, Heather, and Lucinda -  that they will come back.  Sure enough, Orange girl came back after the mile mark, but Jackie maintained her 5 second lead.  We came through the mile in a somewhat slow pace and I panicked for a bit because it felt a lot faster (and more difficult) than 5:49.    

The second mile is downhill, and suddenly the Orange Girl came barreling past us again and joined Jackie again.  She was a really strong down hill runner that's for sure! I wished her the best, but decided I didn't want to keep playing cat and mouse.  At the first up hill, I pushed up to pass her and run alongside Jackie.  During this whole time, Meagan and Heather followed.  I had support from the crew!  We came through the second mile much faster but I forgot to look at my watch because I was too busy mentally preparing for the hill that was coming next.

As we entered mile 3, there is a big hill that I seemed to bound over quite effortlessly and I could feel that I had dropped the pack of 5 women, including Jackie and Meagan.  After I crested the hill, the pack returned, with me as the leader.  I can't remember if Jackie took the lead again for a little bit here, but then another uphill came along and, again, I gained distance on the other ladies.  

As we entered mile 4, I had created a small gap on Meagan and Jackie, but eventually I couldn't hear Jackie much anymore and could feel someone up alongside my left shoulder again.  I was 99% certain it was Meagan because I've run with her long enough to recognize her breathing but I wanted to make sure, so around 3.5 miles I turned slightly, discovered it was her, and said Let's go.  Or something like that.  Apparently my words of encouragement were caught by the wind and were blown past Meagan's ears so she missed it.  

As we rounded a turn just before the 4 mile mark, Jordan was there to cheer us on and he said "it only takes one move."  So Jordan is my good friend, but he is Meagan's boyfriend and has a social obligation to cheer for her victory.  So while I was racing, I deduced that he was implying that it only takes one move for Meagan to beat me.  In my mind, I registered this so I twisted his words to be directed at me, which would change the meaning to "it only take one move to break Meagan."  Meagan is one of my best friends in Charlotte and is also my training partner that I haven't ever actually beaten in a race, so I knew that it would be really tough for me to actually break her.  

Another hill presented itself to us, and I pushed hard up it and couldn't feel Meagan on my shoulder anymore.  You would think that I would have felt this huge rush of relief, but with the way the rest of the race had played out, I was half expecting her to come barreling past me with this phenomenal 800m kick.  

After that final uphill, I pushed even harder on the downhills and continued to expand my gap on Meagan and Jackie but wasn't sure as to how much.  With about 600 meters left, as I turned into the stadium, I glanced back behind me to gauge how much I was going to need to kick.  Someone helped me out and said, "you've got at least 7 seconds on them!" I circled the outfield and felt immense relief as I began to feel confident that I was not going to get passed right on the finish line.  

I crossed the line in 28:09, and Meagan followed just five seconds behind, and Jackie two seconds behind her.  Meagan fought hard in those final 400m to edge out the 16:34 Jackie.  Does that mean that Meagan and I could run a 16:34 on the track right now?  I guess we'll just keep on guessing!  Heather Magill followed closely behind in 28:42, and Lucinda Hull running 28:45 to round out the top five.  

Meagan and I congratulated the other ladies and made our way to the watermelon.  We were both pretty happy that we had achieved our goals and that we both had run really tough.  Both of us really stuck our noses out there to compete well against some great runners.  I was really proud of us for pushing each other to the limit and not letting the large number of women around us freak us out.  

John ran 25:15, good for second place, but was a little bummed about his time.  He was definitely hoping to run sub-25 but it just wasn't his day.  He was happy about the $300 and the lifetime PR!

As I was grabbing my watermelon, Garrett's parents popped out of NOWHERE and surprised me by coming to cheer during the race!  Ann even took pictures of the race, which you can see below.  It was really nice of them to come say hi before they headed on to Boone for Father's Day.  

Meagan and I, the social butterflies that we are, rounded up Jackie, Heather, and Molly to join us for a cool down together.  John joined as well and we enjoyed a 9:00 minute paced cool down.  Thinking that we had all the time in the world, we barely made the award presentation. 

Before long, it was time to head home.  Total swag for the Charlotte runners:  $1100.
A little over 3 miles, Meagan and I 
John somewhere

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pre Race Workout Fun

8-6-4-2 getting faster on each one

3.2 miles warmup
Time - Distance - Pace
8:00 - 1.36 - 5:53 (uphill)
6:00 - 1.04 - 5:46 (flat)
4:00 - .75 - 5:20 (flat/downhill)
2:00 - .37 - 5:24 (flat/uphill)

3 miles cool down for 10.6 miles total

This workout was a lot of fun because it featured two people that I don't typically work out with! Alice Rogers and Aaron both came out to my house during the early morning hour of 6am to run down the greenway and onto the Booty Loop for a little pre-race fun.  Aaron just wanted to get his wheels rolling for Grandma's Marathon and Alice just wanted to hang out with us before she goes to the Jackson Hole Half Marathon.  Will Isenhour met us as well and we all embarked on our warmup together until we made it to the Booty Loop.

There really isn't too much to report except that I ran on feel and effort alone and just wanted to get faster on each interval.  The hills were great to run hard on to mentally prepare for the Running of the Bulls 8k rolling course.  Overall, my legs felt really good and relatively recovered from the China Grove 5k.  I was most surprised that on the cool down they didn't feel as run down as I had expected.  The quicker that I recover after work outs indicates how much better shape I am in, so I'm hoping that my legs feel fresh and light tomorrow as I become accustomed to my work out routine. 

I am hoping that Alice works out with me more as she begins her training for the Chicago Marathon in hopes to qualify for the Trials.  I know she can do it and want to be an integral piece to help her achieve that goal!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Week in Review

72 Miles
8 Runs
5k Race in 17:21
14 mile long run
4 days in Florida

I started out this week on a perfect note as I spent the first half with Garrett in Orlando.  Some of the highlights?  We ate delicious vegan food, enjoyed a Cirque du Soleil show, and saw X-Men.  One of the reasons why my job is awesome is that I can work from anywhere, so I was able to work remotely from the Holiday Inn in Kissimmee and also spend time with the beau.  Of course, my schedule was off so I was getting only 6 hours of sleep since I was still waking up at 6am to beat the heat.  By Thursday morning, I was back in Charlotte to get ready for the China Grove 5k.

The rest of the weekend I spent as many waking moments with one of my closest friends, Jay, in an effort to see him as much as possible before he embarks on his New York City journey.  I am extremely proud of him for landing such a sweet gig in NYC for the ABC station, but will miss him tremendously.  I did manage to get in a long run after a night of mingling with friends at Jay's going away gathering and am now painfully aware of how run down my body and mind feel.

This week I'll focus on getting lots of rest and drinking plenty of fluids to gear up for the Running of the Bulls 8k in Durham.

Friday, June 10, 2011

5 mile tempo

3.5 miles 

3.1 miles warmup in 24:00
China Grove 5k Race in 17:21 (5:35, 5:39, 5:33, :33)
2 miles cool down for 8.2 miles total

So I was supposed to do a 5 mile tempo but wanted to carpool to a race with my friends, so I ran a 5k instead.  There was also the incentive of cash for the top three overall winners, so that was a no brainer.  I spent a little too much money on my mini vacation with Garrett earlier this week so I could use the cash to help cover those expenses!  

John, Matt, Boriana, Alice, Lat, Lauren, Jay and I all met at the Dowd YMCA to split up into two different cars to make the 45 minute drive up to China Grove, NC.  The race start was at 9pm, and for the first time in my life I did race day registration.  I had considered running the mile but I ate a little too much of the Trader Joe's Frosted Wheats to prevent that from actually happening.

After seeing the familiar Charlotte faces of Pete Kaplan, Leonard, Theoden, Allen, and Christina, the Dowd group took off on an entirely social warm up.  It was great to be around Alice's never-ending exuberance and energy.  She puts a pep into anyone's day, that's for sure.  

Soon, we all surrounded Jay's car to put on our flats.  John commented to me that his legs felt really flat.  I agreed with him about my own.  After the standard set of drills and strides, we made our way to the start line. The race was packed with lots of talented runners, especially on the men's side as the mountain folk came down!  

After a really long prayer, we were finally off at 9:00PM. My start couldn't have been more perfect.  I wanted to go out really relaxed and to run as even as possible.   I glanced at my garmin and saw that my overall pace about 600m into the race was around 5:25.   I was happy with that because I knew that I would settle into a nice rhythm.  I glanced around and noticed a girl that I did not know out in the lead.  Lat even pointed her out to me.  I told him that she would come back to me.    Indeed, I did pass the woman pretty soon after I said I would get her.

I passed Leonard somewhere around the half mile mark and told him some words of encouragement.  There was a nice pack of boys at this point so I situated myself on the left to get the shortest tangent possible.  After the mile mark, I had already passed the majority of the boys and was left to pick off guys every 10-20 meters.  I went through the mile in a perfect pace:  5:35.  Admittedly, I did have a sliver of doubt of whether or not I could maintain this pace.  My stomach felt bloated and I felt like it was sticking out a ton.  Not a great feeling.

As I neared the turnaround, I saw John and screamed that "he could break those guys."  I also shouted for Jay and Marchinko as I saw them make their way back to the finish line.  Once I finally reached the turn around, I attempted to practice a technique Garrett taught me for making u-turns.  He instructed me to swing out wide before the turn and to cut in real quick as you round back in.  While I was successful in swinging out wide, I was cut off by another guy cutting the turn way too wide, and had to jump out of his way.  I surged after the u-turn because I knew that I had lost some seconds there.  Shortly thereafter, I heard Alice scream out for me and I couldn't help notice that she was a bit closer to me than I deemed comfortable.  I know that Alice has it in her to fly past me some day, but I didn't want it to be tonight.  

Over the last half of the race, I let go of my doubts, forgot about my bloated stomach and felt an overall calm and sense of peace come about me.  This hasn't really ever happened to me before and I'm going to have to credit the darkness for having a certain effect on me.  I knew that I was running better than I had expected and I really focused on just driving forward and having fun.  I passed through the second mile in 5:39 and was pleased I was able to main a pace in the 530s with the u-turn.  

After that, I kept picking off all of these guys until I came up one particular man who apparently did not like the idea of having a woman fly past him.  He stuck with me and we worked together for the final mile.  He did yell out the f-word at one point, which greatly confused me, but I chose to ignore his random outburst over nothing.  Soon I could feel him begin to drop off and I told him "Let's go" and he pulled back up alongside me.  He kept looking over his shoulder looking for who was behind us and muttering random curse words under his breath.  I was tired of his negative and somewhat angry energy so I decided to start kicking it in around 800m to drop him.  

With just under 400m to go, Ben Hovis told me to catch David Duggan, my former Wake Forest assistant coach, and I couldn't help but smile because I could see him fading back to me in a way that would make it possible for me to catch him.  I had probably passed over 20 people over the course of the entire race, but in the final 100m three different guys BLEW past me as they had a lot more speed in them down that final stretch.  I did lower the gap between David and I from 15 seconds to 1 second at the finish line, so I felt like I had accomplished something!

I finished the race in a solid 17:21, which is one of the best summer 5k openers I have ever posted.  I'm hoping to break 17 at the Beat the Heat 5k in Winston-Salem, so this gives me confidence that such a feat is possible for me this summer.  After taking two down weeks in the last half of May, I haven't even posted that many weeks of high, quality mileage so I know there is lots of room for improvement.

I'm also extremely proud of all of the Charlotte Running Club members who came out.  We really showed some great sportsmanship out there and cheered for lots of different people.  Even for those of us who came away feeling a little blue about the race, the food and celebration after the party wiped away any disappointed faces as we all mingled together over watermelon, cantaloupe, cookies, pizza and Cheerwine.  We also cheered on everyone who received an award from Charlotte and Alice Rogers definitely gets the best cheerleader award.

Enjoy the pictures of the group below.  
Jay and I putting on Body Glide 
The Charlotte Running Club at China Grove

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

800m Repeats in Florida

9x800m with 400m jog rest at 240

3.1 mile warmup
9x800m with 400m jog rest at 2:40-2:45 in Florida
2.2 miles cooldown for 11.8 miles total

While I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate every moment that I get to spend with Garrett when I visit him, it is always difficult to find the motivation to do work outs when I'm in Florida.  I am always torn between spending every possible moment with Garrett and wanting to keep my normal running routine.  Of course, it is best to compromise and create a marriage between the two options.  After all, during travel it is quite impossible to keep the regular routine and, instead, I make some minor adjustments to account for the change in schedule, diet, and running routes.

This morning was no different in that I yearned to just stay in bed and to skip my work out all together.  However, my end goal was in mind so I pulled my mind together and stepped out of bed at 6AM, feeling motivated after revisiting my long term goals for 2011.  Meagan Nedlo and I talked about how we want to enjoy every single moment leading up to the Trials and every single moment when we're actually in Houston.  Days like this may on unforgotten, but I know that it will help me run what I've set out to on January 14th, 2012.

Soon I was out the door and entering the heat that I'm slowly becoming accustomed to.  Actually, the heat here in Florida is not any different than the heat in North Carolina, and I was grateful that the humidity in Florida wasn't exponentially higher than the NC humidity.  After a 3 mile warmup, I programmed Mr. Garmin to beep at me every 800m and 400m for the interval and the rest.  Mr. Garmin comes in most handy when I'm travelling and am unfamiliar with routes and do not have access to a public track.

I decided to run the roads in Celebration, Florida.  With its perfectly manicured lawns and matching architecture on all of the public buildings and residential areas, Celebration is the near equivalent to the town in Stepford Wives.  The roads were fairly quiet and I was able to complete all of my intervals without any major interruptions besides running on some grass randomly to avoid oncoming traffic. 

While my times weren't speedy, I was pleased with the effort because the terrain varied on each interval as I snaked through the neighborhoods.  I was also really thirsty and was able to make it through all 9 intervals without getting any water (this was mostly due to the fact that I did not find a water fountain until the 9th interval).  Nevertheless, I completed the entire work out and got in a good amount of mileage in for the day, so I came away feeling satisfied and confident that things are moving in the right direction. 

Now I can enjoy the rest of my 48 hours with Garrett before I head back to North Carolina, where I will put all of my energy and focus into running again so that I don't miss Garrett too tremendously, and thereby maintain my sanity.  I did this last summer while training for Twin Cities, and such a method worked out quite well for me, both in terms of my running and of my sanity.  Due to my training regime, race schedule, and travel plans to visit my family, it is likely that I will not be seeing Garrett again for another two months. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Week in Review

70 Miles
7 Runs
15 mile long run
2 Ab Sessions

What was the theme for this week?  Waking up every single day at 5:40AM to avoid temperatures in the mid-90s.  Such an early wake up call was well worth it because each and every day I had someone to run with and I ran temperatures 20 degrees cooler than the afternoon temps.

Overall, after two weeks of not working out, I feel like this was a really successful week of training.  I got in two solid workouts and a long run that I felt phenomenal in.  I'm ready to test my legs in some shorter races this summer and to build up my speed.

Friday, June 3, 2011

4x1.5 Mile Modified

4x1.5 mile with 300m rest

3 miles warmup
3x1.5 mile in 8:48, 8:36, 8:44 with 3:15 jog rest and then 800m in 2:40
2 miles cool down

Last summer I felt like I always had an entourage of people to work out with.  Either those people got faster or we are just training for different races.  Regardless, my always dependent running buddy, Will Isenhour, was able to make it for this workout.  This is always a plus so that I have that extra motivation to get out of bed at 5:30AM to meet him to avoid the summer heat.

As soon as I set foot outside my air-conditioned uptown condo, I was overwhelmed with the thick, moist mass of air that engulfed my body.  My body still has not adjusted to the heat and humidity that's been in NC for the past week - highs in the mid 90s with high humidity levels.  I knew that it was going to be difficult to tough this one out.

After a 3 mile warmup, Will and I began with the goal of running 6:10 pace (I know, very conservative) and then working our way faster as each interval passed.  We went out a little too fast on the first one but  we maintained a 5:52 average on the Dilworth Speed Loop.  I had cotton mouth the entire way.  After a jog rest, we began our second one and I felt fabulous on this one!  I ran an even 5:50 pace until the slight downhill at .75 mile and was able to pick my overall pace up to 5:44.  I negative split and I felt relaxed.  Things were looking good.

I must have used up a lot of my energy on that second one because I struggled on the third one.  While I was able to muster a 5:49 pace average, everything was a lot harder:  it was hard to pick my knees up high, it was hard to breathe, it was hard not to focus on how terrible the air felt, etc.  This slower interval felt harder than my second interval, which was a little bit faster.  In the final 400m, I felt like I was going to the well and that my legs were toast.  I still wanted to get in at least five miles of workout, so I ran an 800ms in 2:40 and then called it a day.

While I do not always liked adjusting my planned work out, sometimes it is best to be smart and listen to your body.  I've been running long enough to know when my body has had enough and I knew when it was time to call it quits today.  I still got in 5 miles of quality work and am confident that in just a week's time my body (and mind) will have adjusted to the heat and humidity that is here to stay for the next three months.