Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Cali Farewell Workout

6k w/u + strides
Target: 2x5k @MP (6-6:05 pace) w/3 min. jog
Actual: 18:42 (5:59 pace); 18:35 (5:57 pace)
~800m c/d
Total: 10 miles

When deciding whether to work out today or tomorrow, the answer was obvious. On Tuesday morning we would still be basking in the warm sunshine of Palm Springs, while Wednesday would find us fresh off a red-eye flight just in time to greet the coldest day thus far in Boston. So, despite having a busy day of work and travel that included meetings in LA and San
Diego and that aforementioned red eye, we woke up early to enjoy one last hurrah in shorts and a t-shirt.

While warming up, Jordan suggested using the same route he'd taken for a similar effort the previous day. It was fairly low traffic and only featured a few turns, so it seemed ideal. What would make the loop a bit challenging is that it started with a long, gradual uphill for a full mile--not the most enjoyable way to kick things off, but fortunately this segment was immediately followed by a flat half-mile and then a gradual downhill mile before finishing slightly uphill for the final kilometer. Certainly not the rolling hills of Charlotte or even the Marblehead Neck, but still a bit mentally challenging. Jordan's plan also dictated not running faster than goal marathon pace, as the purpose here was not to achieve any fitness improvements but rather to gain comfort and confidence at the clip I'll hopefully be maintaining for over two and a half hours in less than two weeks' time.

As expected, the first mile was a bit of a grind as my breathing and legs struggled to find the pace on the uphill section. As soon as we turned the corner, however, everything fell into place. I was completely cruising through the middle portion of the interval and breathing like it was
a light morning jog. Even the final slightly uphill kilometer did little to fatigue my breathing, which returned to normal almost immediately after finishing the first interval. Three minutes later, we set off again on the familiar loop with similar results. This time, however, I found my legs and lungs struggling more than I would've liked on the final uphill kilometer despite once again killing the middle section. Overall I'm still pleased with my breathing but frustrated by how tired my legs felt toward the end. Jordan assured me this is normal and that my body will snap out of it before next weekend, so I'll have to trust in that. I'm also nursing a slightly sore left foot, which meant I played it smart and cut the cooldown out almost completely--hey, I'm tapering!--so I could run home and stick my foot in the icy non-heated pool in Jordan's dad's complex. We're both depressed about leaving beautiful, warm, sunny California later tonight, so I'm glad we were able to fit this in before departing. Nothing but rest and recovery between now and Houston!

View from our last dinner, at Pacific Beach in San Diego
Can you blame us for wanting to stay??