Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Longest Track Workout Ever

3 mile w/u + strides
Target: 3200, 2000, 1600, 1200, 1000, 800, 600, 400, 200 all w/400m jog
Actual: 11:50 (5:55/5:55), 7:14 (5:46 through mile), 5:44, 4:14 (2:49 through 800), 3:30 (2:48 through 800), 2:44, 2:01 (79 through 400), 76, 35
Total time: 58:17 for 14.2k/8.8 miles (11k workout plus 3200m jogging)
3k cooldown
Total: ~14 miles

Any way you dice it, this workout was destined to take up a large chunk of time. Jordan and I were up well before 6am to prepare, and after firing off a few work emails we put on our costumes and headed out the door. Continuing with the past week's trend it was unseasonably warm this morning, and I was already sweating in my light windbreaker by the time we reached our destination at Village School. (This is the track that eluded me several weeks ago which I erroneously thought was located at Marblehead High. Turns out it's not that far away, and Jordan and I have been using the adjacent grass fields for some of our evening shakeout runs ever since.) The warm weather also brought with it a prevailing wind which would prove especially obnoxious on the top curve of the track, but fortunately my trusty coach and pacer would be front and center to provide me with a significant drafting opportunity throughout the workout.

Last night when we were discussing this morning's details, we revisited the blog archives to find a similar effort that took place when we were visiting my parents for Thanksgiving last year. This time around I wouldn't necessarily be shooting for drastically faster times, but rather increasing the total workout volume from 8k (6 miles including jog recoveries) to 11k (8.8 miles including jogs). Two weeks after that session last year I ran 21:05 for 6k at USATF Club XC Champs, so I certainly wasn't in terrible shape at the time. With all that in mind, I was interested and not just a little bit eager to see if I could sustain similar paces today for a longer duration.

As is often the case with me, the first half of the first interval felt uncomfortable and a bit choppy. It took well over a mile for me to settle in and allow my limbs and breathing to relax. I quickly learned that checking my watch after each lap would make for an extremely long morning, so I decided just to glance at key markers in each interval and otherwise simply focus on tucking in behind Jordan. There was a point midway through when I had a minor mental freakout--for some reason I thought the sequence went "1600, 1200, 800" and I had no idea there was actually a bonus 1000 tucked in there--but otherwise I grew more comfortable and confident as the workout progressed. Once the 1000 came and went, I knew the most difficult sections were behind me. While Jordan added on an extra 200 meters hard after each of my intervals, I tried to keep the 400-meter jogs between 2:15 and 2:25. This seemed to be just the perfect amount of time to allow my legs and lungs to recover, maybe even a bit long as the interval length decreased. I may or may not have run blades out for the final 200, which was more of an homage to my training with Tanya at Queens than an actual attempt to muster up more speed; either way, the lighthearted moment indicated that I hadn't completely drained my energy or gone to the well.

Overall I was satisfied with my execution of the workout, especially compared with the November 2010 workout, and I could tell that Jordan was as well. I cannot stress enough how much of a help he was from start to finish--I literally could not have done this, physically or mentally, without him. So often he sacrifices his own training to improve mine, and I try never to take that for granted. His efforts certainly did not go unnoticed today.
I know Caitlin and I both are already looking forward to him doing the same for Friday's tempo. It will be just like old times! Just a few easy runs between now and then before the band gets back together again. Can't wait!


mfranks said...

Wow. I may half to try that workout. It looks like true torture in running form. Nice

Mad said...

Dam gurlll

Mad said...

And by dam, i mean damn. Swear to god, im not trying to make mistakes