Friday, April 6, 2012

Beast of a track workout - unstoppable

Mile repeats are such an interesting workout.  Each interval is long enough that you need to make sure that you are able to sustain the pace - you cannot go all out with mile repeats if you have 5 of them to do.  But the pace is also still fast enough to come close to race pace.
My next big race is at the end of this month - Pike's Peak 10k in Rockville, MD.  It is a point-to-point course that is supposed to be a fast race.  I looked at the winning times for the women, and the top 10 women ran between 32:05-34:04 - what?!  For 10k!  The winner gets $1000, so obviously there are going to be a lot of fast people running.  And that is great - I am aiming for a big PR (current 10k PR 41:26) and hoping to run around 40:30 at the end of the month.  While I am doing a 5k next Friday (Crystal City 5k), it is not a big race, and all training is in prep for this 10k at the end of the month...which brings me to Tuesday's beast workout.
Last August, I had a very tough workout of mile repeats, where in the heat I averaged 6:48 pace for 5 repeats.  Last September, this was my redemption workout, where I ran 6 repeats and averaged 6:42 pace.  Both of these workouts were in my mind as I laced up for Tuesday's workout: 2.5 mile warm up, 5 x 1 mile (500m recovery in between), 2.5 mile cooldown = 11.25 miles.  Sarah said to start at 6:55 and knock 5-7 seconds off her interval.  The weather was great: sunny and cool and no wind.  But it was about 38 when I started, and 50 when I ended, so while I started with pants over shorts, a hat and arm warmers, they all slowly came off.  After the warm up, the pants were gone, and it turned into a slow de-layering process all morning, which I thought was pretty funny.
1.  6:54 (arm-warmers came off) - this felt so easy, and I definitely felt like I was holding myself back.
2.  6:44 (this still felt easy, and while it was faster than the goal, I still felt comfortable
3.  6:36, (hat came off) - this was when I really felt like I was starting to push...and hoping that it wouldn't bite me in the end.  Took a GU after this one.  While I normally don't take a GU for a run under 2 hours, I have taken one during a long track workout and have found it to be helpful.  I could tell my energy was getting a little low, and even if it was in my head, I knew I was getting an extra boost of energy, which helped push me in the final two sets.
4.  6:26 - was really hoping that the GU would help me push in the final one - I have blown up so many times in the final interval, and did not want that to be the case this time around.  And to really get hot for the last one, the shirt came off.
5.  6:19 - last one, fast one!

I averaged 6:36 pace for this workout - and was completely psyched.
I am digging the new compression socks!
This was my best version of mile repeats I've ever done, and as I was finishing, I kept replaying the other workouts in my head.  They were fine, yes, they were my best back then, but in the here and now, I had reached a new level.  And I also knew that I would remember this version, the new version for a long time.  This was after I got back to my apartment (and put in a few of the layers).  If you can't see the Asics shirt, it says "unstoppable" 3 times, and it is one of my favorites.  And that's how I felt on the track - unstoppable, and I kept repeating it as I was going - I was going to do all I could to knock this one out of the park.  This cycle is going to be a hard one in preparation for the 10k, but I am ready to take the bull by the horns and meet it head on.

1 comment:

  1. Holy cow! Those really were some unstoppable times you ran! Your focus on speed at shorter distances really seems to be paying off. Keep up the amazing work.