Saturday, September 15, 2007

Climbing the Ladder

Yes, it is this gorgeous in Tucson

The schedule got shuffled around a bit this week with my wife going out of town for some kind of scrapbook-fest in Phoenix on Friday and today. Luckily Kiera's mom came by early so I could get in a workout this morning, and while it was hot I was glad to get the run in.

The coach has slowly been turning the screw on some of the faster paces, and instead of the usual 7 miles around marathon pace he prescribed 2 repeats of 3 miles, with an easy mile splitting the intervals. The first 3 miles called for 5:45 pace, and I was cautioned to keep to the program. For the second three I was free to run 5:40-5:45 pace, and I had free reign to speed things up and test some faster paces if I felt up to it.

After two easy miles of warm up I ran the first interval in 5:43, 5:45 and 5:43. The second mile had a fair amount of uphill, which was a bad idea since it's always mile 2 that gets me during a tempo run. I found myself working at a pretty good rate for this first interval, and it felt like the heat was probably causing a little strain. A few miles at 5:45 often makes me wonder if sub-2:30 is just going to be out of reach for me.

Enough about that though, as there was an easy mile to jog before the second effort. I worked it out so that I would be on the junior high track for the second set. With a stiff breeze coming off the desert floor and the sun beating down at a good angle, running ovals seemed like a good way to distribute the stress evenly instead of running directly into the fireball for a mile, turning away from it and then doing it again. The first mile found me a bit fast off the line, and I could tell by about 600 in that I should back off just a little if I wanted any chance of steadily building through all three miles. I get enough practice slowing down in races, so no need to repeat it here. 5:38 for mile one felt as easy as any of the first three miles, which was a good sign. The track helps on these, as it's easier to get into a good rhythm without all the undulations of the roads in my neighborhood. Mile two 5:36, and I'm starting to feel it a little. I make a plan to just maintain for 800, then run as smooth as I can for 400 before trying to edge it up for the last 400. The last mile passes in 5:35. Maybe I lagged on the watch, but when I took my heart rate immediately after the last repeat I was surprised to find it at 176. It was down to 140 at a minute, then 120 at 90 seconds. Again, I think the heat was the culprit, as I could feel the heart thumping a little towards the end of the easy mile between efforts.

With an easy long run of 2h 10m planned for tomorrow, the week will end without a single mile between the planned 5:50-6:00 marathon pace. However, with the different stress of the 800's on Wednesday and the longer tempo segments today I think it's a pretty fair trade.

Yesterday I was planning on 12 miles with a series of strides, but the combination of one of my neuromas bothering me and a third night of poor sleep made me change my mind. I just didn't feel that fresh or motivated, so I canned the strides and just eased along for 10 miles instead. The workout days are starting to gain in importance now, so I'll probably continue being cautious about the recovery days in order to make the most of efforts I have left. Again, so easy to write...

Training: Today, 10 miles, 1:03:17, 6:17 pace, w/2x3 mile effort (1 mi. recovery) in 5:43, 5:45, 5:43, 5:38, 5:36, 5:35
Yesterday, 10 miles, 1:11:25, 7:08 pace


Dusty said...

Yes, the picture is awesome - you read my mind!

Nice job on the first set with the second mile only being 2 seconds slower when it is uphill and the spot that usually gets you - doesn't sound like it did today!

Don't even question the 2:30. Of course you can running is 90% mental. Which also means, don't even question it - make yourself think something different -- don't let those thoughts sit in your brain - EVER... just go after it.

Smart on the strides. I'm already anxious to read your race report to see how awesome you do. You are well trained & just getting stronger and faster each day!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

what an awesome photo!