Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Final Speed Loop Workout?

3.5 mile w/u
Target: 3 miles @~18 mins. (5:55-6:05); 3x400m @77-78
Actual: 17:22 (5:55, 5:45, 5:42); 75, 73-high, 73-low
3.5 mile c/d
Total: 12 miles

With only a few precious opportunities remaining to run with my Charlotte friends, I was excited at the prospect of working out with Caitlin and Pezz, who's in town for most of the autumn, early this morning. Caitlin and I are both racing Army 10 Miler on Sunday and Pezz has the Tufts 10k up in my new stomping grounds on Monday, so all of us were looking for a workout that was moderately difficult and not too high in volume. Since the above was on Caitlin's schedule from Mark Hadley, that's what we went with (except Pezz the overachiever threw in a few more reps afterward).

Also in the mix was Jordan, who isn't 100% fit but is finally 100% healthy, which makes him the perfect candidate for dragging us around the Dilworth Speed Loop. We started off conservatively, the three girls chatting about upcoming races while Jordan lagged behind, until he got frustrated with the slow pace and the conversation--he hates, hates for people to talk during workouts or races--and shot to the front. Within the span of a few meters the pace dropped significantly and the gabfest dwindled to silence. He told me after the workout that we'd run our first 1k at 6:10 pace so he wanted to bring us back down to the prescribed 5:55. To be honest, I would've been fine with starting off a bit slower, but when everyone changes gears at the same time I'm not looking to get left behind. Sure enough, we split 5:55 on the dot for mile one before hanging a left and cruising through the slight downhill section of the course. My breathing grew increasingly labored, to the point where I couldn't even muster a hello to Michelle and Thomas, whom we saw a few minutes later. I was both relieved and distressed to see a 5:45 split at the mile marker--relieved that my 10-mile race pace should not, in fact, feel this difficult, but distressed at the prospect of holding the pace for another mile. Surprisingly, I never really felt my effort increasing past that point, and though the final few minutes were tough I was able to stay with the group and finish strong. After a generous rest and an equally generous cup of water from Rebecca's porch (thanks for the Crystal Light packet too!), the 400s came and went in no time flat. Aided by the slight downhill, we were able to open up our stride and easily surpass the prescribed pace. It's the fastest/hardest I've run in months and it felt great to test the legs. Here's hoping all three of our races go just as well as this workout!