Friday, April 18, 2008

Get thee to a track

The title comes (if I recall correctly) from a Chris Russell article that I can't seem to find a link to. The point of the article was about eating peas or doing speedwork to get faster. I can't remember which, so I decide to get try and get myself to a track. (By the way, I find this article of his hysterical and strangely noble. It's definitely one only a runner could sympathize with, especially the exchange with the doctor. I had this one recently: "Your muscle enzymes are high in you bloodwork. How far did you run yesterday?" "20." "Have you been taking advil?" "Like candy.")

The pain around my ankle has become less widespread and I decided to see how I felt after a warmup mile. I could hardly feel it at all, so I continued on to a track a friend told me about. It was perfect. A very nice surface and I had it all to myself. The plan was to do 4 x 1600m w/400m rest. I figured I'd do something a little slower than 10k pace. My 10k pace around 6:40 now (41:30) based on my 10-mile time. That's conveniently about 100 secs a lap. I ran the 10-miler at 6:53, so I didn't want to go that slow.

The whole thing went like this
  • 37 minute warmup -- ~8:45 pace, which is a little faster than normal for a warmup
  • 1600m repeats were 6:32/181 MaxHR, 6:35/184, 6:34/187, 6:36/186 and the 400m recoveries were 2:13/154 MinHR, 2:13/159, and 2:20/156.
  • 20 minute cooldown
  • Total was 90 minutes, 11.1 miles, 160 bpm average. Is it me or does 90 minutes seem like the perfect time for a workout run?
Well, I hit the first 200 meters at 46 seconds and thought, "Whoa, slow down, 6 min/mi is probably my best mile pace!" but it didn't feel that bad. On the second 1600m, I wondered if I could run 10 miles at this pace. Was I sandbagging? On the third 1600, I knew I wasn't. On the 4th, I was ready to be done, but could have done another. It was definitely faster than 10 mile pace, but I don't think it was faster than 10K pace. 6:35 pace is a 41:09. Could I run that now? Maybe. I'm really hoping the 10-mile race was the kickoff to some improvement. The last two times I tried some tempo runs and intervals, I improved rapidly for about 4 weeks and then flattened out and last Fall I think I regressed a few weeks before the marathon. The week before Cherry Blossom was the kickoff this go around. I hope my timing is better.

I snuck in another 30 minutes tonight during my daughter's soccer practice and discovered a new trail! I was running on a popular bike path and saw this sign, saying "Nature Trail." I scampered down the hill and there was this paved path along a nice stream with flowers and even some benches. How cool is that? The path only ran about a little more than mile, but it felt like finding hidden treasure.

1 comment:

Mindi said...

Ah, I miss the track. The closest one to me is a good 20 minutes.

Glad the ankle is feeling better.