Thursday, May 10, 2007

Race Pace?

For some unknown reason last night's easy 10K jog with the Running Shop turned into a free-for-all, slug-fest, course record attempt. I got the word earlier in the day when Lucas emailed me with a warning that Shane would be wearing a singlet for the run, and sure enough he walked into the shop in his racing finery. Scott managed to one-up him though when he showed up with an actual bib number pinned to his singlet. His attempt at waving the red carpet in front of the waiting bulls escalated when he pulled out an old Tucson marathon medal from his pocket, jangled it in front of us, and promised it to the winner. Who says runners are a serious lot?

The evening run did end up a fair amount faster than usual, and Shane looked to have the victory sewn up after a long surge up Mountain Avenue. Luckily a stoplight halted him in his tracks, and things stayed fairly reigned in until Scott made a break for the line in order to keep his medal. I took third place and ended up with an itchy back after turning a somersault on the grassy portion of the run (which marked the end of my early surge).

This morning I decided to head to the freshly paved track at the nearby junior high, and after somewhere between three and four miles of warm up I changed the shoes and got ready to run a set of 5x1000 repeats. Mystery Coach has been giving Eric sets of 1000's where he starts each successive rep 5 minutes after starting the previous one. I figured this kind of workout done at my (hopeful) 5K pace of 5:08 per mile or so would keep me familiar with the effort and cadence of a sub-16 minute 5K, and that the rests of 1:40-1:50 would be a bit of a challenge for me after my usual long recoveries.

I ended up hitting the 1000's in 3:13, 3:10, 3:11, 3:10, and 3:13. Invariably I ran the first 400 of each rep a little fast, after which I would slow a little while I tried to concentrate of proper form and running relaxed.

While the times came fairly easily, the effort during the last 400 of each of the last three reps gave me pause. I wanted to walk away from this workout thinking I could have held the speed for the entire distance without the rests, but that didn't happen. I'd like to blame a quick run last evening and the 10K on Sunday for this, but in reality I'm probably scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as race-ready-5K-fitness goes. I think it's more about holding on rather than building race-specific fitness at this point, and I find myself thinking more and more about the marathon in October.

Training: Today, 10 miles, w/5x1000 every five minutes at 3:13, 3:10, 3:11, 3:10, 3:12
Yesterday pm., 6.2 miles at breakneck speed (6:30-6:40 pace maybe?)


angie's pink fuzzy said...

the thought of the running shop gang going full-speed through the traffic of Tucson, complete with you somersaulting through the grass (grass? what grass?!) gave me the giggles. i'm attempting to cough to cover the sound of my laughter, lest my coworkers realize i'm reading your blog :)

Dusty said...

Nice job on the 1000's. Now I sort of did the same thing Monday before my 1200 repeats. Now I'm not in as good of shape as you but my legs were taxed earlier than normal.

Good luck on your upcoming race!!

Mike said...

It was a fun run. We head down Mountain from the shop and do a lap on the grassy mall at the University, which is where I did my tumbling exercises. We usually have to dodge a game of soccer or Ultimate frisbee en route, but it's still fun.

Dusty, you do somersaults before your repeats too? I knew I liked you.

Marc said...

You dodge the soccer games?

I would be tempted to join in, sans the somersaults, of course.