Yesterday, I skipped out on running with my kids because I knew that Clay was going to find some new and tortuous ways to whip me into better shape a little later in the evening. I met him at his office and we did quite an assortment of core and leg strengthening exercises – very fun, but very hard! I wore my heart rate monitor so that Training Peaks would calculate a training stress score. Sure enough, the score was about 20% higher than the scores I had been getting at my official physical therapy visits.
After the workout I headed home, had a quick light dinner and headed over to the mall for a 2 mile walk with my wife!
This morning, I had planned to do some mile repeats with Clay at Joe Walker. He does his warm up by running to Joe Walker so I get there earlier and warm up on my own. I started running at 5:45 and I had a mile and a half completed before I saw Clay and Aurora (his dog) walking up. Unfortunately, Clay’s blood pressure was up and he could not run. Thankfully, he stayed long enough for me to do my first mile repeat. The first two laps felt pretty easy as he called out something like 1:40 and 3:23. Since I was ahead of pace I backed off a little the next lap – a little too much as I dropped behind pace. With the earliness of the morning I was unable to make it up on the final lap and I finished 7:02.
Clay headed home as I jogged a recovery lap. On the 2nd mile I was sure to maintain focus. I made up the two seconds, finishing in 6:58. Actually, I am figuring that it is a matter of breathing pattern. When I started the first one I was able to do those first two laps with a comfortable 2 – 2 breath pattern. As my body transitions into the hard work of intervals it (well, I) resist the necessary change to a 2 – 1 pattern. I race 5Ks and most of my 10Ks in a 2 – 1 pattern so if I am shooting for times approaching my 10K pace, I will have to use the 2 – 1 pattern. On the first repeat I never went into that pattern until the last 100m and by then it was too late. On the 2nd repeat I discovered a trick to ease into it. I did the first lap or more alternating 4 sets of 2 -1 with 4 sets of 2 – 2.
By the 3rd rep, I just started quick, in a 2 -1 pattern and stayed there. This mile came in at 6:50. On #4, I once again stayed in the 2-1 pattern but by the last lap or two my legs were starting to feel wobbly. I hung on though for a 6:54.
So, I did it! 4 miles averaging under a 7 minute per mile pace! I am always happy when I have been able to stick with my plan! Below is a great reminder photo showing the benefit of sticking to your plan. Desiree Davila (USA) was more than 30 meters off the pack at the 15km mark in the 2011 Boston Marathon, came back to finish 2nd place overall. Then, last month she made the U.S. Olympic team along with Kara Goucher (also shown in photo at far left in red top).
After school I went ahead and ran a 4 mile recovery run with my kids. Then I let them play some sharks and minnows!
Looking ahead, I am planning the first of my 3 “Fast Finish Long runs” this weekend. #1 – on Saturday will be a 16 miler. The first 10 are supposed to be run at a nice easy pace. At mile 10, I will jump up to my Marathon Goal Pace of 7:30 – 7:35 for 4 miles. The final two miles I will attempt to speed up to the 7 minute mile vicinity. I am hoping for some of my faster friends to accompany me on those last 6 miles.