Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Little Help From My Friends

AM: 3 miles
PM: 3 mile w/u + strides
Target: 16x400 w/90 sec. rest @5k pace (80) or faster; hammer #11 and #15
Actual: 76, 80, 80, 79, 77, 76, 75, 75, 74, 74, 71, 75, 74, 74, 70, 75
2 mile c/d
Total: 9 miles

After running almost all of my recent track workouts solo, I'd all but forgotten what a difference it makes to have a solid group on the track together. Somehow the stars aligned and we were able to assemble an all-star cast for today's shape cutting: Tanya, Pezz, Maraya, Holly, Jess and myself. Maraya and Holly would only be running 8-12 intervals but the rest of us were stepping up to 16. Having not run this many 400s in quite a while, I was both apprehensive and excited to see what I could do. Judging from the warmup, I didn't think anything special was in store. My legs felt decent, but it was quite cold and very windy outside, making it almost impossible to get the blood flowing. I did my best to push that out of my mind and just focus on the workout.

With that in mind, you can understand why I panicked a bit when I saw the split for my first interval. The times for #2-5 reflect me fighting to keep the pace from getting out of control; the rest of the workout reflects me throwing my reservations out the window and just going for it. I cannot stress how much it helped to have the other girls out there at the same time. There was always someone in front of me who I could chase, and always someone behind me who I was trying to fend off. In between intervals we encouraged each other and rallied for the next go. When all was said and done, each of us agreed we had a much better workout together than we would have on our own. Even the wind seemed less bothersome than usual. Every way you look at it, this workout brought out the best in us.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I threw on my spikes for the last four intervals. Believe it or not, I haven't worn spikes in almost a year--I even wore flats in my recent 5k and 3k at the Armory--but I'm planning to bust them out at Nationals. With only 10 days until the race, it's probably time for me to start adjusting to them. I'm pretty sure my calves will be less than thrilled with me tomorrow.