Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Good Idea

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

10 comments:

Uncredited/under appreciated photographer said...

Again, no photo credit. What's with that?

Mike said...

Sheesh. All right, all right. Photo credit goes to Kiera Salkowski, who probably took 90% of the photos that appear on the blog. You'd better leave the same comment on Lucas's Tucson high school cross-country blog while you're at it.

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

Very cool clock. Don't let me wife see it...she'll want one, too.

Awesome job with the intervals. Once again, it looked like you nailed the workout. Looks like you are setting yourself up for a hell of a marathon.

Andrew said...

That is a great clock! Please have Kiera take a photo of it at different positions, say, every quarter hour between 4 and 7. Then email me the photos. That way, I can just tape the appropriate photo to the coffee maker.

I'd send Lauren over with some cookies but she says Tuscon's too far.

Eric said...

Amazing photo...who takes these again??

Nice workout, Mike, and, more importantly, good job walking away with a spring in your step. To me, there's no better feeling than leaving some gas in the tank, knowing there were more/faster reps in the legs, and saving it for race day. That undoubtedly *is* the feeling of 'coming up' to the peak.

Good work!

brian said...

I agree with Eric. Things are certainly looking good for TCM.

Abadabajev said...

You decided to bag 2 repeats? Have I got the right blog? Is this the Salkowski blog? It appears these recovery runs are doing their magic. You got that 'spring' feeling in your legs?

Your recovery runs are still TOO fast (7:20-7:30 is your pace) but I'll take anything resembling a recovery run.

Aug 31 you did your long run 19.6 miles in 2:10 (6:39 pace). Way too fast. This cost you at least 3 seconds per kilometer during your 8k race on Sept 4 a few days later. Possibly you could have ran 47 minutes flat. But what do I know anyway.

Your kids are so darn cute. Nic pics. Darn good blog.

Mike said...

Thanks for the nice comments. Andrew, a few minutes in Photoshop and you'll be set.

Abadabajev, the recovery runs have been creeping up in speed. I think it might be due in part to a reduction in volume, but I'll watch it.

I think you're also right about the long run possibly hurting my 8 mile race, but like Arthur said (and as Mystery Coach reminded me), "It's impossible to train hard and race well at the same time." Even though the race was fun and I gave it my best effort, I've been putting just about all of my eggs in the Twin Cities marathon basket.

Paul said...

Mike,
First thanks for the comment on my site.
Second, wow what a 1K workout! I've been away from the fold, but once I'm past the races tomorrow and next Sunday I am planning on re-entering Arthurland as I build towards my first year in the new age group. If I can achieve the consistency in workouts that you have (age-graded of course) I will know that I got it right. Don't be surprised if I show up on 'Ask the Coach'.
Paul

Amanda said...

Mmm drooling over your pace...I'm working on it though!

The clock is a great idea, poor d never really knows when I'll come or go!