Friday, May 22, 2009

Tempoing the Streets of Norman

26 min. w/u (3.5 miles)
Target: 6 mile tempo @6:15-6:25
Actual: 37:34 (6:15 avg.; splits 18:46/18:48)
20 min. c/d (2.5 miles)
Total: 12 miles

Given the intensity of this week's training, today's tempo run went much better than I expected. My expectations were also low because summer seems to have arrived in full force today, bringing the heat and humidity that's more typical of May in the South than the weather we've had the past week or so. Jordan and I were out the door by 7:30 and already soaked a few miles into the warmup. We met Scotty at the corner of Pickard and Lindsey and planned to do two loops--rectangles, really--of a course they'd run before. It consisted of basically a mile straight down Pickard, a left on Imhoff for .75, a left on Jenkins for .5, a left on Timberdell for .75, and repeat.

Since Jordan and Scotty were obviously running much faster than me, this meant I wouldn't have the aid of Jordan's Garmin. I would know where the halfway point/3-mile marker was, but that's about it. Not very reassuring when your pacing skills aren't quite up to par. Jordan had the idea of running the first half mile with me to help me find the pace, which I thought was a grand idea. Apparently my pacing skills were even worse off than I thought; we set off at what I thought was 6:25-ish pace only to have Jordan tell me "Good job, you're on 6:09 pace" as he let me go. Oops. I made the turn onto Imhoff feeling comfortable, but was tested pretty much immediately since the street is gradually uphill for the entire .75. After a bit of weaving on and off the sidewalk and dodging traffic on Jenkins, I made the turn down Timberdell and came through the half comfortably just over 18:45.

The second loop was considerably tougher, but I was pleased with how well I held it together. I definitely struggled going up Imhoff this time but knew I was on the home stretch once I made the turn onto Jenkins. Scotty, who finished his workout a bit before Jordan, was waiting for me at the intersection of Pickard and Timberdell and pulled me through the final half mile. Much thanks for the assistance.

As I said up top, all in all I'm pleased with this effort and with how my fitness is coming along. This week's workouts have been huge for me both in terms of fitness gains and confidence. Now I'm looking forward to a relaxing holiday weekend and hopefully a game or two of tennis.