This week I earned my spikes. After the breakthrough races two weeks ago, I thought it was time to get back into a pair. The first time back, I tripped about four times when walking around! Nonetheless, they felt amazing and I cannot wait to wear them more often at the track.
Speaking of breakthrough, this week featured extending it to my tempo and long run as it would be the first tempo and longer run since the race. As expected, I was able to apply my track work to these workouts. Here’s how the week played out:
Monday: 4 miles easy on the golf course at night.
Tuesday: 7 miles with track workout. There’s a good story behind this one. I helped pace Salty friend and amazing Masters runner, Barb Broad, on an 800 and then the plan was to keep going for a pseudo mile time trial. The way the track is set up, I waited down by the mile start for Barb to come join me as she started at the 800 mark. I decided not to run with my watch and then as soon as she came down the stretch, I realized, “Crap! No one is timing my splits!” As we approached the 800 mark, I yelled for coach to keep the watch going. I felt completely discombobulated at this point, but tried to regain focus. I pushed it hard and through quite a bit of discomfort on the last lap. I heard 6:09 but it wasn’t until the next day that coach realized the time was about 10-12 seconds off due to me starting later. So while it’s not official, I likely (and finally!) broke 6 minutes for the mile. I can’t wait to run it for real next time!
After the time trial, the workout was 2 sets of 4 x 400, keeping the same pace or faster. It took a while for me to recover from the mile. My first three repeats were 93, 93, and 97. At that point, I wanted to go back to my old ways and bag it but I took a deep breath and repeated over to myself, “Just relax.” Relaxed equaled an 89. The next set, I continued to relax (my jaw, my arms) and split 89, 86, 85, and 85. So next time you are falling off pace, simply and quickly changing the mind set and relaxing as best as you can just might do the trick. You might surprise yourself and get faster, too!
Wednesday: 7 miles easy at night with James.
Thursday: 5.75 miles easy at night again with James. This was a slippery one!
Friday: 3 miles with James on his tempo cool down. I’d like to note that my recovery runs are still by feel and average around 10 minute pace. And my workout cool downs are often at 11-12 minute pace. I attribute this “recovery by feel” to my recent success, too.
Saturday: 7.5 miles with baby 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 tempo on the treadmill. Due to work and life schedule this week, my tempo was pushed back a day. As mentioned before, this was my first one since the race. I decided to bite the bullet and start at 7:30 pace for the first six minutes (a few weeks ago, I ended at 7:30 pace). The first repeat felt decently easy. But minutes 5-3 were pretty tough mentally. My lungs and legs felt fine but a little bit of lactic in the stomach made it challenging. I worked down to 7:10 pace by the end. I am now looking forward to tempos as they do help you learn how to process discomfort.
Sunday: 16.5 miles long run with good friend and Salty fan Beth Heier! We drove out together to run the Mill Creek Distance Half Marathon (1:56) and then add some miles for a quality long run. It was a great time but boy was it a challenging course! It has 19 hills. I struggled on the cool down as 16 is my longest run to date. Very pleased to get that under my belt though!