Most mornings around 5am it's the same story: After drinking my coffee and pulling on the running shorts, I search around in the dark kitchen feeling for a sharpened pencil or functioning pen in the cup by the phone (why we have a dozen unsharpened pencils in there I'll never know). Once I find something (often half of a discarded crayon that I step on ends up sufficing), I search for an envelope of junk mail or an old post-it note to turn over and write on. After scribbling my approximate return time down, I place the makeshift note in the middle of the stove-top, where I know my dear wife will find it.
Well, those days are over now. While Kiera was delivering cookies to the Running Shop, the kind employees gave her this, which hangs nicely from the microwave door above the same stove-
While I was expecting to run a speed workout yesterday, the coach gave me an extra day to recover from the last back to back workout instead. I was happy about this after staying out late the evening before while attending a Richard Thompson concert, so instead of running fast ovals I ran 10 easy miles with 6x100 accelerations/strides with 300 jogs in-between.
Today I was to repeat the same 1000's workout I struggled a bit with last time. The goal was to run 5-10x1000 at about 3:20 (80 secs per 400), and to start each repeat on 5 minutes (1:40 rest). This time I had Lucas along with me, who seems to act as my lucky rabbbit's foot when I'm on the track. For some reason I usually end up having a good day when he's out there suffering with me.
3:19, 3:19, 3:18, 3:18, 3:18, 3:18, 3:17, 3:16. After the 6th repeat I started thinking more about the coach's emails, which urged me to be cautious and to "leave one or two in the bag". I told Lucas we'd do at least two more, and when we finished the 8th one I think I was excited enough about how well things had gone that I might have just drilled myself into the ground by continuing. So I didn't.
This was a really good day, and as I checked the watch at the first 200 of each rep I saw it slowly creep from 39 or so to 38, 37, and finally down to 36 for the last one. I was able to relax more and more during the last 4-600 of the efforts as they progressed, since I kept finding myself a little more ahead of pace. The last 100 of each rep was more of a "float" than an effort. The legs seemed to pop right up behind me without me thinking of it, and each stride felt light. It's hard to believe this was the same workout that had my huffing to hit 3:21 last week. It was fun to quit while I was ahead today, and I was able to bottle up the smooth feeling of those last two reps and bring it home with me.
Training: Today, 10 miles, 1:17 or so, w/8x1000 every 5 minutes at 3:19, 3:19, 3:18, 3:18, 3:18, 3:18, 3:17, 3:16. Everything clicked
Yesterday: 10 miles, 1:10:02, 7:00 pace, w/6x100 strides/accelerations every 400