As promised, my summer/fall training program started on May 1st and at this point is off to a good start. Although, I am hesitant to say such things because previous expressions of confidence have resulted in broken bones and twisted back muscles. Below are a few highlights:
May 1 (long run at Davidson trails) -- A big group of runners met to run at one of my favorite local running spots. I had 18 on the calendar, but only to prove to myself I could do it. Common sense prevailed and I ended up doing 16. After all, no marathons are in my near future. Plus, finishing the run sooner meant getting to Summit Coffee sooner, and that is the best reward for a successful long run.
May 3 (1,000s at JCSU) -- This was the first time I had stepped out on to a track for a planned workout since October 19, 2010. The absence did not go unnoticed by the gods of the oval. My plan called for 5X1,000 at 3:15 to 3:20 pace. Paul, who was preparing for a race, was kind enough to slow down and guide me through the first four. My legs felt ok, but my stomach reacted poorly to the hot, humid weather, the evening hours (I have become primarily, a morning runner) and of course, the intensity. I did hit all the marks, although my fastest interval was my second one and my slowest was the last one. I'll have to work to turn that around.
May 6 (8 mile tempo at the Landsdowne Loop) -- I walked away from this workout confident that I might not have lost as much as I feared. The plan called for an eight mile progression starting at 7:00 and working my way down to sub 6:00. I met a big group well before sunrise at Old Bell. Billy, Mike and Stephen had planned to do a 40 minute tempo at sub-6:00, while Paul, Alex and I would lag behind. Secretly, Paul and I had schemed to try and catch them. We started at 6:20 while the others took off. In no time, we were below 6:00 and descending. Landsdowne is a tough 2.35 mile loop, which I have noted in other blogs. Still, we were clicking off 5:45s through the hillier sections. Around 6.5, we spotted Billy drifting toward us. At this point, Paul dropped me on his way to 5:30s. I picked it up to 5:40 and set my sights on the unknowing target. Honestly, I didn't expect to catch him. Billy is fast and in good shape. But my will pushed me through. Around mile 7, I pulled up along side of him. We matched stride for stride for 100 yards or so, and then I took off. Billy ended up extending his tempo and doing the 8 miles as well.
For the first week back (Monday-Sunday), I logged 72.1 miles. Included in that total is the CRC Birthday Tequila 400, which I continue to not be good at.
The early assessment is that the endurance remained in tact better than the all-out speed. It will continue to be a week-by-week process, but for now, the summer looks like it will be a lot of fun!