Friday, January 15, 2010

Predatory Musings

AM: 30 mins. ellip + stretching
PM: 3 mile w/u
3 mile predator in 18:17 (6:08, 6:09, 6:00)
2 mile c/d
Total: 8 miles

Jordan and I left around 2 to meet the team for an early afternoon workout at McAlpine. I planned on doing a short, cautious predator run (oxymoron, right?) while Jordan had the world's longest workout on tap. Good thing he's fast so I wouldn't have to wait around for him all day. The best part about today's practice, in addition to it being much earlier than normal, was the absolutely gorgeous weather. I swear the temperature was almost 60 when we started; combined with the ample sunshine and a light breeze, it made me feel like we were back in California for a few hours. I think it's supposed to rain all weekend, but this was definitely a special treat.

Coach Simmons had instructed Jess and I to run together, started at "around 6:30 pace" for the first mile. I knew that wasn't even remotely realistic given the perfect weather and Jess's penchant for starting off too fast. If anything, our second mile would be the slowest since it involved a 180-degree turnaround.(Our course was an out-and-back starting at the first mile marker on the Footlocker course, then running back toward Old Bell to the 1/2 mile marker just beyond the underpass, then returning to where we started.) Sure enough, despite starting out with the intention of being conservative, we passed through the first 1/2 mile in 2:56. From there we slowed to what felt like a jog in order to come through the mile at 6:08, finally locking into pace as we passed the Footlocker staging area.

I wasn't sure how long Jess and I would stay together--last track season I was quite a bit faster than her, but she ran an solid xc season and was thisclose to making All-American, so I knew she was quite a bit fitter (and I obviously less fit) than this time last year. As it played out, we stayed together until the turnaround, at which point I began to put a bit of distance on her. I came through the second mile marker eager to see if I could get the legs turned over on the last mile without straining too much--after all, this was supposed to be an "easy" predator run. I'm pleased to report that I split my third mile the fastest, but not so pleased to report it didn't feel quite as lackadaisical as I'd hoped. Seeing as I haven't run any sort of tempo since, well, Nationals, I suppose that was to be expected. Jess came through about 15 seconds back looking strong at the finish.

Also of note, for some reason this workout really wrecked my stomach. Even hours later I felt sick and vaguely nauseous. I'm attributing this mostly to dehydration, as admittedly I haven't been drinking too much water the past few weeks. When the temperature is as cold as it has been lately, the last thing I feel like doing after a run is pounding a cold beverage. Sometimes I'll look at my watch and realize a full hour has passed without me consuming anything liquid except maybe some coffee. Not good. I definitely need to be aware of this and monitor my fluid intake going forward.