Tuesday, May 3, 2011

6 x Mile Solo Effort

3 mile w/u + drills and strides
Target: 6xmile @5:40 or faster w/3 mins. jog
Actual: 5:40, 5:38, 5:37, 5:36, 5:38, 5:34
2 mile c/d
Total: 12-12.5 miles

Q: What takes longer than doing a 6xmile workout? A: Doing a 6xmile workout by yourself.

Okay, so maybe it doesn't literally take longer, but it certainly feels that way. Because Jordan's hip is still banged up and because I'm too lazy to get up and do this at 6am, I had the privilege of taking a solo trip to McAlpine to attempt one of my longest workouts of the season. Jordan set the bar at a challenging, but achievable, level, and I went into it confident I could hit the mark. My legs felt light and fresh during the warmup, due in no small part to yesterday's massage from Byron, and I actually took extra time to do the drills and stretches that Jenna introduced to me last week.

After that, it was time for the real work to begin. I decided to stick to the first mile of the Footlocker course, which meant miles 1, 3 and 5 would go in one direction and mile 2, 4 and 6 would go in the other. In this way I was able to mentally break the workout up into three sets of two, which somehow seemed less tedious than six individual efforts. Though temperatures were "only" in the mid-70s, the air was thick with humidity, a harbinger of tonight's impending thunderstorms. Luckily cloud cover prevailed for most of my workout, because otherwise I think the weather would've taken a toll. Instead I felt strong and fluid throughout, with no objections from my knee, and the only time I truly faltered was on the penultimate interval. I was running down the long straight stretch from the woods back to the starting line of the Footlocker course, and at that point the wind in my face began to wear on me. I swear I felt like I was slogging through at 6-minute pace, but somehow I managed to still dip below 5:40. The downside of that extra effort is that I was spent. Instead of jogging around casually during the rest segment like I'd done for the previous four, this time I opted to stand and drink from my Nuun bottle and simply take a few minutes to catch my breath. For the briefest of moments I contemplated bagging the final interval, but then I tricked myself into thinking that having the previously hindering wind at my back would surely make sub-5:35 seem like cake. While that wasn't exactly the case, I did manage to dig in and find another gear to just dip under my goal time.

Remember in my Week in Review when I talked about focusing on incremental fitness gains? While today's workout wasn't remarkable, I definitely come away from it feeling confident that such gains will be made. Furthermore, I averaged only a few seconds slower per mile than when Jordan dragged me through the same workout last March. Why is this significant? Because a week later I ran 34:37 at Stanford. Now, I am a realist, and by no means do I think this translates to me being in 34:xx shape right this minute. However, it does give me the confidence to believe I should be able to run sub-36 on the roads (barring a ridic course like the 5 Miler last weekend). I'll have the chance to put that prediction into motion when I attempt to do just that at the Capital City Classic in Raleigh on Saturday. It won't be easy, but after today I definitely think it's doable.


caitchris said...

Great workout meagan. Sorry i wasn't there to help you out. Good luck at the 10k!

mfranks said...

Hi Meagan,

Don't think I am a blogging psycho or anything, but when I read your comment the other day I almost passed out- I enjoy your writing so much!!
Your blog is extremely entertaining- I think I mentioned once that I found it through Blake (My husband coached him at SMS). I enjoy reading about your training/racing/life...you write very very well.

I hope things go well for you this year and I will be cheering from afar. Truly appreciate the comment and good luck in the 10K.