Friday, April 27, 2012

Pep in my step: Race Week Ready

This Sunday is the Pike's Peek 10k (note the spelling, not Peak) - my goal race of the month.  I have spent all of 2012 so far putting all of my running energy into 2 races: the Scope it out 5k, which resulted in a PR, and this, the Pike's Peek 10k.
For someone who started off as a marathoner and has since focused on shorter distances (certainly the reverse of the normal plan), it is odd to have the big race, the goal race to be a 10k, not a half or a marathon.  But, this is my big moment of the spring racing season, and I've put a lot of time, and about 150 miles in the past month alone getting ready for this race, plus ample cross training, strength, and core training.  I have about 16 weeks of consistent training under my belt, and I've done a lot of other races getting ready.
I had 2 good workouts this week that really clinched everything.  Last week, I had a cold that didn't have the best timing - it was my peak week of training.  I was supposed to get in 50 miles, and I got in 48 instead.  Pretty good.  But I took a lot of time to just focus on resting.  This semester, even though schoolwork has been so busy, I have really tried to make it a priority to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night.  Sometimes it is hard - there is always more work to be done, but I know my running has benefitted from it.  It is just much easier to knock out these hard workouts (and recover from them) on more sleep.  Now, I understand that I am lucky to be able to do this - I am not a mom who has a baby or young kids, and I only answer to me.  But I may as well take advantage of this opportunity to sleep more while I can!
On Saturday, I had my last run on the Capital Crescent Trail.  I haven't run there since the end of February (since most of my Saturday runs in March were turned into races), and it felt great to be back on it.  This was the workout, known as the "In and out:"
  2.5 mile warm-up;  “In and Out” Miles; On a marked trail (of course!), run your first mile about 6:55, immediately turn around and start running back at about 7:45 pace; go out for the third mile in about 6:50, run back to the start in about 7:35; run your fifth mile in about 6:45 and run the last mile back in about 7:25; 2.5 mile cool-down.  Total= 11 miles
 This is a really neat workout, because the out miles, the slower ones, are not actually that slow, so you don't really recover, but it gives your legs a chance to work on switching gears.  I found a nice shady (as in cool, not shady creepy) part of the trail, and really just locked in on the run.  I wasn't sure how good I would feel, because I was still getting over this cold, and I had just felt like I was running on 85%.  But Saturday's run was the best run I had had in about 10 days.  6:52, 7:40, 6:45, 7:31, 6:39, 7:27 for the in and out.  I felt so good, 100%, and like I had more in the tank, which was the goal.  I texted Sarah all excited about it, and she was glad to here it.  Sunday was a 12 mile long run that was fine, but the other workout was my Tuesday track workout.
 2.5 mile warm-up; 2K cut-down; 1x 1200, 2 x 800, 4x400.  Start the 2K at 7:15 pace and cut down 3-5 seconds per lap, jog 2 laps; aim for 4:55 for the 1200, jog a lap; aim for 3:12 and 3:09 for the 800s ( 1 lap jog in between); aim for 89-92 for the 400s (200 jog between);  2.5 mile cool-down; Total=10.5 miles
I ran the 2k in 8:08 (6:30 pace), 4:52 for the 1200, 3:10, 3:09 for the 800s, and 91, 90, 89, 89 seconds for the 400s!  Sarah said I had pep in my step, so taking things easy last week and readjusting means I am ready!
This is a busy academic time of year, though, with the semester wrapping up.  Lots of grading to do, and I am even presenting a paper at a conference on Saturday.  So, while physically, I am trying to take it easy this week, this is a mental race too.  
While my goal time seems a bit scary, my training shows that I am ready.  I need to not think about the pace that seems fast, but know that my running says yes, I am ready.  I've got pep in my step, I am amped, and I cannot wait to run!

1 comment:

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