Saturday, March 11, 2006

Signs of Spring

There are many signs of spring. The buds on a maple tree, red-breasted robin, blades of green amidst the straw, and of course the early morning light. However, the first sign of spring that I lend any credence to was spotted this evening just as I finished my 3 mile shake out run in 28:17. It's got four legs, is fairly black, and has a white stripe from its head to its tail. It plodded out into the road as I approached the house. It literally looked like it just woke up from a long winter's rest. Its hair was all a mess, it moved with an exhausted amble, and didn't appear to be happy to be up and about this early. I swear I saw it yawn.

A sure sign of spring is the frowsy-headed skunk.

My 3 mile shuffle got the kinks out again except for a slight soreness in the right inner thigh. Looks like Ibuprofin will be called upon for that. The main workout this morning was the LT workout scheduled for Saturdays. Here was my plan I cooked up for purposes of training at threshold pace:

1.5 mile warmup
.75 mile threshold
.75 mile recovery
1.5 mile threshold
.75 recovery
2.25 mile threshold
.75 mile recovery
3 mile threshold
1.5 mile recovery.

In the end I was able to do the workout through the 2.25 mile threshold run. My left lower calf muscle started getting tight on the hard airport surface and I dared not put it through any more. So I ended with a 1.5 mile recovery run after the 2.25 mile threshold run for a total of 9 miles. 4.5 miles at threshold pace (90% maxHR) and 4.5 miles at recovery pace. The good news was I was capable aerobically to finish another 3 mile threshold but lucky for me, I found a good excuse not to. In case my chosen mileages seem odd to you, the airstrip is .75 mile long - so I'm basically doing laps.

Everybody and their dog were out today. No plane could have landed for fear of squashing a canine and its handler. Courtesy was the word of the day as I saw more than one set of dog owners leash their dog when they saw me running by or approaching. That was much appreciated.

The wind! Lucky I had the HR monitor or I would have been hard pressed to figure out threshold pace on 1/2 of the run. A steady 20 mph headwind from the west really turned down the pace on the inbound legs, but I kept the heart rate right at 90% and figured the heart didn't know the difference. Perhaps in terms of leg turnover I lost a little bit but nothing to worry over. You'd think I could make up the difference going out with the wind at my back, but I suspect that is not the case.

The hardest thing about LT workouts is getting the pace up to where it belongs. Once I am there it is generally easy to keep the pace there - although it does take concentration, so I can't let my mind wander. I look down at the monitor and can't believe I'm not there yet at this pace! I wonder how much faster I can go considering this is not an interval. But sure enough, once I get into the groove I can stay with it. Considering this is the pace that I am supposed to be able to maintain for an hour, it should come as no surprise that I can handle it for 15 minutes. LT workouts are hard, but they sure make you feel good when you're done.

This week's training: 94.1 miles. The breakdown:

Recovery: 28.1 (30%)
Aerobic: 42.3 (45%)
Long: 19.2 (20%)
Tempo: 4.5 (5%)

Looking forward to tomorrow's 20 with the group. Word has it Mike will have us running MP for most of it.


Blogger Robb said...

Ouch, that's heavy mileage. You really push it Andrew. Spring has come to Nova Scotia this weekend. It's nearly warm enough to shake off the touque. Looking forward to more sun. I love reading about your adventures in Maine. Take care.

3/11/2006 9:51 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Wow, great mileage Andrew. I'm glad to hear the skunks are back, I've missed reading about them. Enjoy the 20 miles with Mike

3/12/2006 8:54 PM  
Blogger Dawn - Pink Chick said...

Heh Andrew, just read about your run with Mike. Thanks for posing for the picture. You guys are too much. I'm glad to hear despite being fast runners that you guys take time for a little fun.

Enjoy the spring like conditions. We are still waiting for them but our winter has been weird so who knows...

3/12/2006 11:35 PM  
Blogger D said...

Skunks are actually cute critters as long as they don't get too close! Your running is impressive as always.

3/13/2006 9:44 PM  
Blogger Thomas said...

I know what you're saying about the threshold pace. Before you get to it, you think you'll never manage it, but once you're in the groove, it's allright (and sometimes even enjoyable).

I agree about spring. It's even getting sunny on the morning runs (no skunks here in Kerry, though, at least non of the four-legged variety).

3/15/2006 9:17 AM  

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