Wednesday, April 2, 2008

That wasn't easy

In ripping off the recent Staples ad campaign, I'm referring to this morning's workout, a 12-mile run with 7 at lactate threshold (or tempo) pace. From my admittedly limited past training experience, that session intimidated me a great deal when I considered doing this training plan. But, I give Pete Pfitzinger his due, since he obviously has his plan's followers work up to that distance gradually. Because of my bout with the flu a few weeks ago, the longest LT run I'd done so far was 5 miles (should have been 6), as part of a 9-mile run. So, this was a significant step up, but I'd been psyching myself up for this run for days now, thinking how satisfying it would be to notch this one and be done with the lactate threshold segment of the training plan.

My enthusiasm grew as I saw that we'd finally be getting warmer weather this week. Foolishly, I entertained the fanciful notion of doing this run outside. Here's what the National Weather Service had to say about that:
Wind advisory in effect from 11 pm this evening to 6 pm edt
The NWS in gray has issued a wind advisory, which is in effect from 11 pm this evening to 6 pm edt Wednesday.Look for winds to begin increasing across portions of new hampshire late this evening. Winds will gust to near 50 mph overnight tonight and continue throughout the day on Wednesday. Exposed locations and locations at higher elevations will see the strongest gusts, with some isolated gusts approaching 60 mph.Winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. Use extra caution.

It seemed like another cruel twist of weather fate, an April Fool's prank played upon me by the Running Gods, who must eternally be appeased (I thought they got their pound of flesh from me in Chicago last year, with additional offerings during the countless snowy runs this winter). So, I adjusted and made a plan to do this run indoors, as follows:

  • 2 miles on 0.10-mile indoor track at 8:30+/mile pace [followed by well-timed bathroom break]
  • 1 mile on treadmill, gradually accelerating to tempo pace
  • 7 miles at tempo pace, starting at around 7:35/mile and finishing at about 7:05/mile
  • 1.75 miles cool-down on indoor track
  • 0.25 mile run home (yes the gym is that close)

I had slept about 5 1/2 hours, getting up at 3:30-ish to indulge the cat in his new desire to be let out at that hour (he darts around and scratches the bed if I ignore him). I had a caffeinated Gu when I woke up at 4:30 am, chased with a big glass of water. I drank about 16 ounces of Gatorade endurance during the tempo miles and about 4 ounces of water towards the end.

By the time I finished, it was later than I'd planned (thanks to having to wait for the gym to open and the bathroom break), so I rushed home, did some minimal stretching, showered and took my older two kids to school. No time for breakfast, so I grabbed a bagel and coffee as I left town. My wife seemed annoyed at me, but I'd set her alarm for her and had told her I might not be back until 7:00 (it was 7:10 when I walked in).

So, here we are with the hardest workout of the toughest training week out of the way. It feels good. Tomorrow is a rest day (I'll do some light cross-training), with 12 miles again (but at an easier pace) on Friday. The schedule calls for a 5-mile recovery run on Saturday, but since there are hints of spring and I'm crawling out of my skin to do so, I'm going to race a local 5K. I ran 20:19 there last year in my quest to break 20:00 at that distance. It took me three more races to do it, which I did on a rainy day in May in 19:56. Now, I figure I'll either set a new PR (personal record, for the uninitiated) based upon all the miles I've logged in the last year, or I will run slow, which I can attribute to (read, blame on?) the accumulated fatigue in my legs from all the mileage. All of this is a no-lose situation, though Sunday's 20-miler may be slow and ugly. I just hope the weather cooperates so that I can try to run my best on Saturday . . . whatever that turns out to be.


1 comment:

Billy said...

Damn. I got tired just from reading about your training day. Pfitz is no joke.

Good luck on your quest man. Will keep checking in on your progress.