I have not blogged about specifics of training in a while and since I am up without coffee while I patiently wait for my iron to be absorbed through my gut I thought we could talk numbers. Oh come on! You LOVE to talk numbers!
Confession: I used to put a lot of importance on the numbers of each individual workout. What? You knew that? Who told you? I did? Oh. If I had a great workout then the sky was extra blue, the birds sang right at that sanctuary level, and the trash was always taken out and not by me. But if I had a terrible workout then the cap stayed on the sunscreen, the crows squawked their murderous chatter, and the garbage was always taken out by me. Hey, this is the world as I see it.
For the past month, workouts have rolled along close to as good as ever. I would dare to say better because the effort has been more controlled and the consistency is solid. Yeah. My teammate Joy has steadily improved and we run most of our workouts together. I have not run this consistently with one other runner in a very long time. She is so much always there that I have almost forgotten about Halo! Is Joy the new Halo? OH MUYGAWD that’s it!
A few Saturdays ago, we ran a six mile tempo traversing the Shoreline climb, the Cliff Drive drop, the Cliff climb, and the Shoreline drop. I had instructions to run the first half at marathon pace (6:20) and the second half at tempo pace (feel). This wasn’t exactly the easiest of courses to play with the pace specifically as the climbing was a touch dramatic- but nothing is impossible and I did a fairly good job and averaged 6:05 for the set. It was a smooth effort. I took Cliff the way I always do: settling down and not fighting it, recovering quickly at the top, and then letting my legs turnover quickly into the downhill. It felt like hey I got this!
“Seems like you found your sweet spot lately Drea,” Mike told me as we finished up. That left a huge smile on my face. No one has ever complimented me on control. You get called control freak all the time! Uh-hem, that’s not a compliment! Oh.
Tuesday I walked into a test. It was a threshold workout of 20 x 400 meters with just 30 seconds rest between. Joy and I consistently ran each set, but on the last one we both stepped outside our box. Yes it was only one fast 400 and it was the last one, but I grumbled about it because I have worked very hard to NOT get caught up in throwing down the hammer in workouts where there was no mention of Hammer Time. We put that last 400 away and it did not make my day. Who am I? This is seriously so weird it’s like I’ve had a lobotomy. Maybe I have? How would I know?
Saturday was a chance to run the numbers again and don’t worry about holding back because: 2 plus miles at 6:20, 2 plus miles at 6:00, 2 plus miles at 5:40. When we line up to begin, Rusty relays the workout again, but sort of breezes over the 5:40 with a or close to it. I don’t often get the green light to run 5:40 pace. We cruise into the first round and I pull myself back to a 6:15 pace. That was easy! We punch into the second set and again I pull myself back to 5:55 pace. That was pretty easy! Rusty gives the nod and says OK have fun. Joy and I look at each other as we line up for the last set. Carl and Mike join us and T Biddy takes it out hard. We punch into this set and I am thrilled to find that the rhythm is there. Joy and I seem to be one unit accompanied by Mike. I register our breathing, our arm swing, and our foot strike, they are all sounds that my mind plays with while it works to keep my body in the game. We take the last corner and I am happy to find a new gear still waiting: 5:39 average. That was not easy!
Monday I ran a lovely slow 8 minute pace and felt my left hamstring freak out. There hamstring, you had your attention. I mentioned it in black and white. Happy?
Tuesday the oval waits again. ”I taste vomit,” Mark states. Yep, that’s what they serve on the breakfast oval! It’s a shorter workout with a little more intensity: 3 x 1mile at 5:32-5:34 with 3 minutes rest in between. Joy and I perfectly run this workout: 5:33, 5:33, 5:34. Beautifully, it did not feel gut busting intense- it felt hard, but smooth. I played with the miles a little bit by starting off the first lap as my slowest lap and when it came to the last lap, I just stuck the pace. No punch, no bust a gut, no nothing, but a good workout. I left the track feeling as though I could have done one or two more.
Great. There are the numbers. What’s it all mean? It’s just the digital report.