Saturday, August 2, 2008

On the Road Again

11 min. w/u (1.5 miles)
8 mile cut-down starting at 7:00, 5 seconds faster per mile
(6:53, 6:45, 16:30 for 2.5, 16:10 for 2.5, 6:16) ~ 53 mins.
9 min c/d (1+ miles)
Total: ~11 miles

I woke up early, determined to make it out to the river before it got too hot. Apparently there was some sort of party out there that I wasn't invited to, because when I arrived at the Cochran Shoals parking lot at 7:30 every single parking spot was filled. I flipped a U and parked in an auxiliary lot about a quarter mile away, then ran over the bridge to get back to the main trail.

Though I could've run the entire workout on the 5k dirt loop, I wanted to mix it up both to spare the monotony and to spend some time on a "faster" surface, so I opted to start on the loop and then run out and back on Columns. While this section isn't marked per mile, I knew it was almost ex
actly 2.5 miles from the Columns Drive parking lot to where Columns dead-ends at Johnson Ferry, so I decided to go by feel and effort during this part of the run before finishing up with a hard mile on the dirt trail.

Part of the 5k dirt loop at the Chattahoochee River

I started out a touch faster than necessary, but my legs felt good so I just went with it. The flat, level pavement on Columns is ideal for this type of workout, and I was really able to lock into the pace and just zone out during this section. When I hit the dirt loop for the last mile I was immediately conscious of the change in traction--while the dirt might be better for the legs, the road definitely facilitates the pace. Nonetheless, I finished the last mile strong and felt decent at the end. That said, I was definitely aware of my left hamstring tightening up as I worked the pace down. Occasionally it would "catch" mid-stride and I would end up with a really awkward footstrike, which was more distracting than anything. Next week I'm going to find a massage therapist, no excuses (and preferably one who wears Brooks so I can employ the trusty barter system).

Overall, a solid workout, and one I'm glad I postponed yesterday. I'd like to double tonight but I might just give it a rest for a change and save up for the long-ish run tomorrow.