Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mile Intervals

On Saturday of Sunday of each week, i work to figure out what I'm supposed to be doing for the next week when it comes to my training. I know I should be better at this, and plan at least a few weeks ahead, but it's kind of like Christmas. It takes a little bit of work to open the presents, and it's always a surprise to discover the plan. Sometimes though, once you've deciphered Daniel's code, you almost wish you hadn't.

So, for this week, two Q workouts. Q1 was written this way- 20 min E pace + 5 X (5-6 min T pace with 1 min rests) + 1 hour E pace. This translates practically to: run two miles slow and easy, run moderate/hard (7:45 pace) for five minutes, rest one, repeat four times, then run for easy another hour or so.

Not too bad.

Q2 was like this- Run a mile at I pace with 5 min recovery for up to 6% of weekly mileage.

Turns out, according to the charts, my "I" pace is 7:02.

Right. My earlier intervals in the preceding weeks, running "hard" for four minutes turned out to be a 7:03 pace. On clean pavement. And not suffering the effects of overindulgence during the weekend.

Luckily, 6% of my weekly miles turns out to be about four miles, so that leaves me with only three intervals. Not so bad. And there are times you just have to shrug and deal with it. Trail is slippery and snow covered. I'm going to try to run faster and longer than I have in months, possibly all year. And my throat feels kind of sand blasted from vomiting four times Sunday night.

It'll be okay.

So I did my little warm up, hit the lap button to start the intervals, and started running hard. it went well. The snow was difficult, and I watch pace slip away as I tried to run uphill with poor traction, but I persevered and finished the first interval in 7:06. Not exactly what I had hoped for, but not too far off. I thought to myself- if I can keep myself from slipping much slower than 7:15, I'll be happy.

five minutes of easy jogging flew by. then the second interval. Bits of twists and turns, but no hills, and I hit the mile mark in 7:02.

Nice! Technically, according to Garmin it was 7:01.85, but I won't quibble about 15 hundredths of a second. Again, and five minutes flying by. Final interval.

I start off too fast, and look down to see a 6:35 pace for the first tenth of a mile.... bit too fast. I dial it down, let my mind unfocus hit a hill and think: "oh, am i glad I don't have to do this during an interval!" Then I realize- um, oops. So I see my pace has fallen off to 7:25, and figure I have a lot of work to do, starting by conquering the hill.

I kick it up, happily take advantage of the downhill on the other side, and try not to let me mental focus slip again. My breathing gets ragged. I lose my rhythm. And my throat hurts. But I hear the final beeps letting me know I'm seconds away from the end of the interval and finish something close to strong.

I look down. 7:02. I do a painful sort of shuffle jog for a minute or so, then tighten up my form, do my two miles of cool down, and hop in the car.

It was okay. I have another Q workout this week that should be easier, and a decision on whether I want to do the Fat Ass 50K, or some fraction thereof.

But the week, it has started off well.

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