Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Controlled Burn

AM: 3+ mile w/u
Target: 8 min., 6 min., 4 min., 2 min., 1 min. all faster than the one before
Actual: 8 (5:56 through mile), 6 (5:37 through mile), 3 (~2:40 through 800), 2, 1
2+ mile c/d
Total: 10 miles

After some debate about whether to do this on the roads or brave the muddy postdiluvian trails at McAlpine, we opted to hit the trails and hope for the best. While completing our warmup it became clear that while there were certainly some treacherous sections, the first 3k of the course was more or less dry and runnable. So, while we knew it might be lacking a bit in the way of excitement, we decided to run the workout portion of the run on that 3k loop (minus the hill). Today the "we" consisted of myself, Caitlin and Spada (plus Justin, who arrived just in time for our second interval), while our cheering squad of Paul, Jay and Aaron were content to put in a few recovery miles instead.

Though Caitlin had only prescribed 6:05ish pace for the first interval, the first few minutes out the gate felt fast; too fast, it seemed, for the early hour in my mud-caked trainers. I've come to expect that the first uptempo attempt of these early morning runs will feel pretty sluggish, but today I made a mental note to at least start doing a few strides to wake up the body going forward. My body gradually began to respond as we finished the eight minutes, and we were all pleased to see we'd split sub-6 at the mile marker. During the rest, which was equal in length to the previous interval, we decided to pick up the pace slightly for the sixer and come through the mile around 5:50. Clearly we misjudged what that slight effort increase would feel like, because my watch read 5:37 as we passed the marker. It actually felt better to me than the slower paced 8-minute section, and I knew that my body was finally ready to get in gear and respond to the effort increase for the rest of the workout. We accomplished our goal, steadily inching down the pace, until the final minute interval felt like an all-out sprint. On the drive out here I'd thought this workout would be a cakewalk, but pushing as hard as we did made it a much more rigorous effort than I'd anticipated. That is precisely why I enjoy working out with people, because I know that by myself I certainly wouldn't have gone as hard.

The best part? With the mileage totaling 10, that meant there was no need to double in the evening. Instead Caitlin and I congratulated ourselves on our awesomeness and went to Yo-yo-yoforia instead.