I mentioned in my last post that my training is going well and that my mileage is in the 70s. I'm starting to hit that point in my training where the long-awaited benefits of the hard work are starting to show. It has taken longer this training cycle than I am used to and my patience was wearing thin. I ran a long workout midweek last week of 4 x 1.5 miles with 90 second jog rest and ran faster than I expected. It was fun to be able to negative split the workout, going from 6:15 pace down to about 6:07 pace. My goal range was 6:10-6:15. I finished the week with an 18 mile run late Sunday evening.
This week, I had a rough time getting my shit together midweek and barely got a run in on Wednesday, and even that was only 2 miles with my old dog and former coach, T. I was supposed to run 12 miles with an 8 x 800m workout that morning and a 4 mile easy run at night. After beating myself up sufficiently for delaying the workout, I knew that I needed to get it done Thursday.
I was feeling the fires from the foothills in the air on Thursday so decided to take my workout indoors. I seem to have amazing super powers when I run my workouts on the treadmill lately. I think part of it is that I always feel like I'm cheating on the machine and make myself work a bit harder to make up for that. Even then, however, I never feel like what I did is quite real. What I can accept is that I got in a good workout. I warmed up for 3 miles ending at just under 7:00 pace, then started my 800m workout dialing in the speed at 10.4 mph (=2:53 for 800m). I had done this workout on the treadmill a little over a month ago and started out at 10.2 mph. My goal was to make sure I started and finished faster than that last time.
At the 1/2 mile point, I backed the speed off to 8:00 pace and ran for a 1/4 mile. I then bumped up the speed to 10.5 mph and continued on this pattern until I got to repeat number 8, running that one in 2:42 (11.1 mph). I noticed that my heart rate was barely at 90% by the end of the repeat and hadn't been getting higher for the past few repeats. I also felt great at this point with a ton of energy and noticed that I had about 3+ miles left to run for the workout. I decided I would add at least one more repeat on which turned into two. The 10th and final repeat was at 11.3 mph (2:39) and my heart rate finally climbed to 95%. I finally felt like I had worked hard. I ran for another couple of miles to get to 12 miles total. I felt so energized after that run.
So, maybe the paces that I ran don't equate to anything "real", but I did get a great workout and ran much stronger and farther than I had the last time I did 8 x 800. If I could ever run those paces for a track workout, I would be thrilled. That will be my next goal, though I'm not sure I have another 800m workout on my schedule for the rest of the training cycle. Maybe we'll just have to add that in!
I have my first 10 mile 'wave tempo' workout within my long run this weekend. I don't have very high expectations for that one given one less day of rest between hard workouts and a band gig on Saturday night that is sure to lead to bad behavior. I will have some good company for the run and might even guilt one or two people into running the workout with me. I've already warned them that I might break down and cry part way through.
Even with the lost day on Wednesday I'll still hit another 75 mile week this week. Next week, I'll run my first road 5k in a long, long time. Hopefully all of this training will translate into some fast times on the roads. Fingers and toes crossed.