But, not without freaking out a smidgen beforehand. As it turned out, my first hill workout would have to be done on dear Tready, my favorite treadmill at the 24 Hour Fitness in Carmichael. Ironically, Tready was my companion on my last hill workout; the one where I did all of the damage to my achilles. Every corpuscle in my body was filled with angst as I ran the 4.5 miles to the gym to take on my 30-minute uphill workout. Of course, everything went fine. I ran at marathon effort for 30 minutes at 4-4.5% incline without incident then ran home, throwing in 5 x 2 minutes at 5:35 pace and 3 x 150m cutdowns for good measure to complete 14 miles. I thought I felt a couple of twinges of tightness during the workout, but I believe it was all in my head.
My second hill workout was part of a 12-miler last Thursday, where I went over to my favorite 45-90 second hill at William Pond Park. I warmed up, ran for 15 minutes at goal marathon pace (6:15) and then jogged to my hill to do 7 x 75-second hills alternating between 5k and 3k to mile effort w/3-minute jog down rests. The first hill repeat was a true stinker. The effort felt harder than 5k, but my pace was only a few seconds shy of 6 minute pace. I know, I know, these are effort-based hills, but I've done this hill so often, I know what my pace usually is at that effort. The next repeat was @ 3k to mile effort, and I brought my pace down to 5:30. That was more like it. I continued in this pattern, and alternated 5:45/5:30 pace for the rest. I heard nary a whistle from my achilles or calf. I pronounced myself officially healed after that workout.
The Heat Wave
We've enjoyed a pretty mild spring in the Central
I generally consider myself to be a heat wimp and am absolutely certain that I will not survive the summer when the first 90-degree days hit. I have been leveled by the heat on more long runs than I care to remember. Somehow, I never really learn my lesson and find myself backed up against a wall, needing to do a hard workout or long run in 90+ degree weather. Sunday was the first day this year that I tortured myself in this way.
I have really been having a ball with Pinky, my new Phat beach cruiser bike. I got her some handgrip tassels and a basket last week and have ridden her all around Sacramento. On both Saturday and Sunday, I decided it would be fun for me and the Genius to ride our bikes into the city to breakfast and then to get bike stuff, and… Meanwhile, the temperature soared. Saturday, I ran 8 miles in the low 90s. Sunday, I started my long run at 6:45 p.m. The thermometer at my house read 100F. The only saving grace was that the wind was blowing from the north, so the humidity was low.
With a cavalier attitude, I jaunted off to the track for my workout.** It was a total of 16 miles and included 5 strides, then 5 x 1200 repeats as a cutdown:
- 400m @10k effort
- 400m @ 5k effort
- 200m @ 3k effort
- 200m @ mile effort
Bottom line: the next three were fine though I never really slowed the first lap enough. My splits were:
- 91, 89, 43, 41
- 92, 90, 86 (stopped taking my 200m splits for the last 2 reps)
- 92, 88, 83
It wasn't very pretty, that's for sure, but I got it done. My run home was slower than usual, until I remembered I had 10 sprints left to do. It always amazes me how dead I can feel and still get my little legs moving for sprints. While running in hot conditions is not ideal, I need to do it. The simple fact is that most of the races I run for the next few months will be in the heat, and I need to get used to it. In fact, many of my training runs will be run in the heat regardless of what time of day I start. Hello, summer, (un)glad to see you again.
**After reading Flo's race report today about succumbing to heat exhaustion during her 5k last weekend, I promised to take the heat more seriously. Glad you're okay, Flo!
I'm mostly concerned about running well in the heat during two upcoming track meets that are on my racing schedule. The first is the Western States Masters International Invitational on July 10th just down the road in Davis, CA. I plan to run the mile there. This will not be a goal race for me, but will be a great prep for my goal races at the Masters National Championship meet July 22-25 here in Sacramento. I will run the 5000m and the 1500m races in that meet. All of this speed work that I'm doing right now is training me to run fast at that meet, and I'm pretty excited to see how fast I can get between now and then.
My goals for these races are:
- 5:00-5:10 for the mile
- <17:30 for the 5000m
- <4:45 for the 1500m