Thursday, March 27, 2008

Preparing for the Spring Fling

By the way, thats a race! This Saturday will be the annual Spring Fling 5k in Cabot sponsored by the Cabot Country Cruisers and benefiting CASA. This is also a Grand Prix race so all the fast people will be there. I'm not one of them but I will be racing. I don't always like 5k's, but once they get going they are not so bad. At least its over pretty fast. My previous PR was 27:38 set back in the fall so I really have no idea how I will do. If I could beat that time I would be very happy. If I get close to it I will be happy. At least I know the course and it does seem like I may be getting faster. It's just a matter of how long I can run fast. Weather could be a factor but 8am should not be too hot. Humidity may be up with the possibility of rain and thunderstorms this weekend. I am also on the set up crew so I have to be there at 6am. Early!

So, this weeks running started with Monday. Annette was going to Michelle's house so they could run to the Women Can Run Clinic at the High School. I got to thinking about it at work and I thought, why not just ride to Michelle's with Annette and then I would have to run home. I would have them to run a couple miles with and then it would be a little over 2 back to my house. This was one way to get out the door and down the road. Some days this is the hardest part, especially after a hard day at work.

So, my plan worked out. I rode with Annette to Michelle's. We took off headed for the High School. They said they were not going to run fast as they had speed work tonight. Ha.....when they say that look out! Well, they were conservative and we had a great run to the school. We said our goodbyes and I ran on through town. It was kinda cool. I was using running as a form of transportation tonight. A way to get from point A to point B. Wasn't bad till I got on South First Street and there always seems to be traffic. The cars don't really go that fast but there is no shoulder so you have to watch them very closely. A car turned out from a side road and almost hit a truck right in front of me so I thought if they can't see a truck, they probably can't see me. Thats why its so nice to run early in the morning. No one is out!

This was a good run and very consistent. This was a relaxed pace run. Here are my splits:
Total miles - 5.03
Time - 51:04
Avg. Pace - 10:09
1- 10:03
2- 10:08
3- 10:10
4- 10:19
5- 10:06

Tuesday night was our regular running clinic night. Coach Dennis was out of town but had already emailed everyone our workouts so we knew what to do. Tonight we were going to be at the high school track which is nice for speed work. My goal was to make it through the advanced workout without dying!

We started with a 2 mile warm up. I actually did a little less as I knew I would need it for later. We did 4 strides then some high knees. The strides are like running 100 yards but you start off slow, and then when you hit about 20 yards you start turning on the speed. Then with about 20 yards to go you glide to a slow jog. These help get your heart rate up and legs ready to race. They do work!

High knees are kinda like what they sound like. One knee goes up and the opposite arm goes up. Hard to explain really and they take some coordination to do them properly. Getting the right arm and leg together can be a challenge.

On to the speed work. This was an Interval Pace workout. So what that meant was that we were suppose to run 10-20 seconds faster than our 5k race pace. Mine figured out to be about an 8:40 pace or 2:10 for 400 meters and 1:05 for 200 meters. So here is the workout.
2 x 200
4 x 400
3 x 200
One mile cool down

The 200's actually did not feel that bad. My first one was way too fast. 51 seconds. My second came out at 55 seconds. I was 10-15 seconds fast. Thats ok. 400's would get harder. My first 400 was a little fast. I hit it at 2:00. The second one I started feeling it a little and I was dead on at 2:10. Third one was slower at 2:15. By this time I was getting pretty tired. These were hard but kinda fun too. My last 400 was a 2:07 so I was pretty happy with all of them. Considering I was just running by feel, it was amazing that I was so close. But then again, based on my timed mile and previous 5k time, its what I should have done.

The last 200's were off a little but not by much. I finished them with a 1:00, 1:10, and a 1:10. Oh yeah, we had to do strides again, then do our 1 mile cool down. Somehow I managed to get it done. I was happy with the speed work and really enjoyed it even though it was hard. I knew I would be paying for it the next day though.

This was my final mile splits, not sure what the ones in the middle mean since that was all the speed work.
Total miles - 5.26
2.01 warm up /20:55 / 10:25 pace
2.20 speed work / 18:14 / 8:18 pace (interesting, same as my timed mile)
1.05 cool down / 11:00 / 10:27 pace

Maybe I am ready to race and maybe I can set a new PR. I would love to have that pace in the 5k but I know thats not going to happen.

Wednesday night I took as mandatory rest after the speed work. Us older folks need more recovery time and everything I have read says the same thing. Coach Dennis says the older we get the longer it takes for us to recover so I believe it. It just means you have to play smart and understand that rest days are part of training.

I probably should have taken Thursday night off but I knew I wasn't running Friday so that would mean three days off so there was no way. My feet were still a little sore as were my legs and knees. So, I opted to run just a short easy 3 miler. It was 84 degrees so it was pretty warm when I took off. I think I walked half of this run, why I don't know but I was running alone and there wasn't much to motivate me. I tried to concentrate on form and doing what makes me run faster. Then the left brain would kick in and say take it easy, you have a race on Saturday so I'd walk 20 seconds. I still ended up with my 3 miles at a 10:17 pace and negative splits. How that happened I don't know. Thats what I need on race day! Have to make a plan tomorrow.


Susan said...

I bet you're going to have a great race tomorrow! I smell a PR!!!

cheryl said...

You are getting much faster, I remember about a month ago you were bitching about being so slow!! You have made huge strides (pardon the pun). Good luck tomorrow, I'm sure you will PR, it's a fast course and you already know the route.