Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mercedes Half-Marathon Pre-Race Workout

AM: 2.75 mile w/u
Target: 3x5 mins. @race pace and faster (3:40/k, 3:38, 3:36) w/2 mins. jog; 3-5x1 min. hard
Actual: 5 mins. @3:39 pace; 5 mins. @3:36 pace; 5 mins; @3:34 pace; then 3x1 min. hard
2.25 mile c/d
Total: 9 miles
PM: 5 miles easy
Daily total: 14 miles

Running outside is a delightful, joyous gift that should not be taken for granted. After having been confined to my house and the YMCA treadmill since my last outdoor run on Friday, I've been dying to get back into the fresh air. Last night I took my first tentative jaunt on the streets of Salem, mainly to assess the conditions and determine whether or not the roads would be passable for today's pre-race workout. With the exception of a few treacherous sections where the snow banks threatened to encroach upon the majority of the thoroughfare, everything appeared to be smooth sailing. I was wholly, disproportionately elated. So despite the early hour and chilly temps, I was thrilled to lace up the shoes and head outside with my queenmaker for this morning's effort.

As we warmed with the sunrise, a part of me wondered whether my legs would struggle to adjust to an abrupt drop in pace after having done nothing more than basically jog in place for the better part of a week. Fortunately, it only took a few minutes of the first interval to dispel that worry. If anything, the only factor holding me back from feeling light and fresh was some lingering fatigue from a new core/pre-hab routine borrowed from the Nike Oregon Project that I found in this month's Running Times magazine. I normally don't pay much attention to those sorts of articles, but this one includes a great mix of new and familiar exercises that are sure to benefit anyone. They're also sure to induce soreness, which I learned the hard way this morning. I struggled on the closing minuters and opted to stop at three instead of pushing to five, as I was going nowhere fast.

Still, you won't find me complaining. The sun is shining, the snow is melting and I'm back on the roads where I belong. With a few days of recovery and easy running I hope to be ready to defend my title at the Mercedes Half!