Friday, January 05, 2007

Damn That Baseline

You've got to start somewhere. The coach advised a blind 5K time trial for either this morning or Saturday, and during most of my slow, 3 mile warm up I was convinced I would wait until tomorrow. I just didn't feel that motivated, and the 7:20-7:35 miles I was running had the legs feeling not sore but sluggish. However, I knew Kiera would most likely be running with Angie tomorrow, which would make the time trial even more "blind" then as I probably wouldn't be able to see where I was going for most of it due to darkness.

With this in mind, coupled with thoughts that I was probably just a bit afraid of a slow result and the pain associated with it, I found myself in the driveway changing into the lighter shoes and ditching the long-sleeved shirt. From there I jogged the last quarter mile to my one mile time trial course, which I haven't covered in anger since November. The watch was set to record each mile, but I was instructed to ignore it until the 5K was finished in an attempt to get an honest baseline of my fitness for the speedwork and racing ahead. In the past I've run 2 mile to 5K trials like this, but I've pretty much just tried to keep a steady pace between 5:30 and 5:35 per mile. Without any idea of pace (which was the point) I would have to gauge my effort early closely to avoid a world of hurt towards the end.

My starting point was mid-way through the most uphill section of my mile, and within 400 meters I had an inkling I'd be cooked early. I was striking the ground harder than I wanted to and I couldn't stop clenching my fists. Soon enough I was on the slight downhill though, and by the time the first mile elapsed I knew I had at least another mile in me. The second mile found me a bit hypoxic by the end of the uphill portion, but this time I was able to relax a bit as I rounded the curve and got to the easier par of the course. This half mile section in the middle of mile 2 was the best I'd feel for the run. As I started the slight climb again to end mile two all the good vibrations vanished, and if left to my own devices I would have quit here after picking up the pace too much in the minutes prior. Still, there was a job to be done, and I thought for a moment about Lasse Viren and the data his coach collected from the 20x200's. This time trial would be the bottom of the chart, and someday in the near future I would laugh at the effort it took to get the feeble numbers I would collect. When mile three beeped I waited 15 seconds or so then watched the watch for the last .1 mile. When it was finally over I stopped at the side of the road and checked my heart rate: 158. After two minutes of spitting, coughing and walking I took it again: 122. I actually felt pretty good after the effort, though I cut the cool-down to one mile in order to get home after stalling earlier this morning.

I checked the damage and uploaded the handy chart. It could certainly have been worse, and I'm looking forward to better.
5K, 17:18, with splits of 5:36, 5:32, 5:36

Training: 7 miles, 46:41, 6:40 pace, w/5K TT in 17:18 w/5:36, 5:32, 5:36, :34


tb1 said...

Great effort Mike. Thanks for being such a great experiment to watch and learn from.

Abadabajev said...

17:18 x 2 = 34:36 + 1 minute = 35:36

Your best 10k 34:11

Piece of cake

Michael said...

Good solid workout, I love those tests!

The rain started this afternoon and I'm going to have to switch the planned w/o 2x (15x 30" on/30" off) for tomorrow... I can't begin to describe how hard it is raining:(

Eric said...

Nice TT, Mike. It's definitely a good start. Even pace, strong effort, and a low heart rate. It will be fun to see the other graphics in a couple of months.

Mark said...

nice low ahr and consistent effort, kudos for you in taking on the challenge. Do you know the Forerunner can be set to alert you at 5K?

You and the Mystery Coach seem to have turned the page and opened up a new chapter of development.

Makes me turn my head and pay attention for more learning.

Juls said...

Impressive TT. Everyone is different, but I would have been happy if I could have hit your warm up pace. It will be interesting to see where you can go from here. Best of luck & FUN.