I don’t want this blog to become the long form version of my training log. The theme is supposed to be how running interacts with my everyday life; relationships, career, etc. But, right now, running is the only aspect of my life I think I can discuss in an open forum. So, at least one more entry will be a recap of workouts and an assessment of how things are going. My apologies for the lack of depth and substance.
I am nearly three weeks into my training plan from Mark Hadley and Maximum Performance running, and feeling stronger with each run. Hold that. Let’s go with ‘feeling stronger with each workout.’ I’ve felt like pure death on a couple of recovery runs, which means I am working hard. With each week, the workouts become tougher, yet I continue to complete them and gain confidence that it won’t be long until I race again.
May 7 (16 mile long easy run at Latta Plantation) – This was the first time in a long time Aaron, Caitlin and I ran together. Just the three of us. There’s something special about getting in a run with my two fellow Charlotte Running Club founders. You might think all we talk about is the club when we’re running together. But, you’d be wrong. We don’t talk about the club at all. It’s very refreshing.
May 10 (20X200 with 200 rest at JCSU Track) – I’d have to go back many training logs to find the last time I did 200 meter repeats. But, I am going to see more fast, short intervals this time around since no marathons are in the near future. On paper, 20 by 200 sounds pretty simple. They’re just really long strides right? Wrong. 200 meters is a long way when you are sprinting and I am not sprinter. I want to exceed my expectations in every workout, and in this one, I simply met my expectations. My fastest was 32 seconds. My slowest was 35. I did have lots of horses to try and keep up with. Aaron, Paul, Eric and Alex, who has quite the kick.
May 13 (4.5 mile progressive tempo from 6:10 to 5:50 from my house to the Booty Loop) – One more mediocre workout. I promise the good stuff is coming. Actually, of all the workouts I am going to write about, this one is the worst. I woke up feeling sluggish, not looking forward to doing this one on my own. I was moving slowly during the two-mile warm-up, and dropping down to 6:10 was a shock to the system. I should also point out it was pea soup humid and I was sweating before I got off my front porch. I hit the first mile in 6:06, but quite taxed. By mile two, I was actually on the Booty Loop and clicked off a 5:57. I didn’t think I had much more to give, but somehow hit 5:55. It did not get any better. My last mile, which even though was all uphill, was a disappointing 6:07 and my last half-mile was 5:58 pace. I trudged home, drenched in sweat and blood. Yes, blood. My socks would not stay up during this workout and the friction from the humidity tore up my heels something fierce.
May 15 (14.6 mile steady state run at McMullen Greenway) – What happens when you put Aaron, Paul, Stephen, Matt and I in the same work out? We crush it. We couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather on a Sunday morning. We started out on the Great Harvest course, navigating the hilly 5k at roughly 6:45 pace. The goal was to average somewhere between 6:30 and 6:45 and I could tell early on, we’d be much closer to 6:30 than 6:45. As we headed back into McMullen, the pace slowly descended. By midway, we were in the 6:20s, and moving down. At one point, I mentioned I was going to shut it down at the prescribed 14 miles, but when that point came and went, I was still going. It was Stephen who kept us all going, throwing in surges and pushing the pace. When we finished, it was a real sense of accomplishment and I was happy to hang with such a tough crowd for such a long run. We had averaged 6:25 pace.
May 17 (5X1 with 400 rest mile at Providence Day School Track) – I was concerned that this workout would suffer because of its close proximity to the steady state, but it did not. It was raining pretty good when I met up with Paul, Mike, Billy, Stephen and Nathan at Old Bell. We immediately ruled out doing this at McAlpine, and considered sacking it all together. Fortunately, we chose to stick with it and just moved the workout to the oval. Paul was nice enough to slow down and guide me through the first three right on target. My goal for the whole workout was somewhere between 5:20 and 5:30. We went 5:29, 5:27, 5:23. On the fourth, I was pretty much on my own, but was still able to knock out a 5:20. On the final interval, I was able to manage 5:18. Sure, these aren't blazing fast times, but they are respectable and comparable to some mile repeats I did early last fall.
Riveting stuff, right? Don't get used to it. I have a feeling the next couple of entries will have some real meat.