3 x Tough
I was completely undecided where to run this morning when I was pondering it last night. I wanted to run my first speed session of this training cycle and was unsure where to do it. I wanted to have a least a mile or maybe more for the distance. The causeways are flat and stretch for a mile or more but they are 4 miles out the road. This would mean a healthy warmup but a killer cooldown and time would be a factor as well. I could take the car I suppose but for some reason I didn’t feel like it. In town the flat stretches aren’t really flat and they’re about ¼ mile long. So run any distance and you’ve got hills and corners. So naturally, I decided on this.
And I know why I chose it but I’m not sure if it was very wise. The main reason I chose in town is because I like to be close to home when doing these horrid workouts. There’s something about just being down the street that provides a little comfort knowing that if I blow up, I can crawl home. Plus doing a loop course in town means a nice central location for my water and gear. If I was on the causeway I’d have to leave water at both ends of the interval distance.
Anyway, I tried to choose a loop that minimized the hills and corners as best as I could. I wanted to end without cornering or climbing so that meant the start of the interval was straight up a hill. Then it leveled off and rolled for a mile with some sharp ups and downs but nothing drastic. The final .7 goes down a nice hill for ¼ mile than gradually climbs to the finish. Normally, this grade is not even noticeable until you’re trying to run it hard. The distance = 1.7 miles. And it produced enough lactate to last me a few days.
Loop 1: 9:11 (5:25 pace)
Loop 2: 9:32 (5:37 pace)
Loop 3: 9:32 (5:37 pace)
I ran loop #1 way too fast. I charged up the initial hill and then ran as hard as I could for the rest. I slowed down quite a bit in the final stretch and was feeling poorly when I finished. I recovered by walking, drinking water, and doing some drills (skipping, bounding, high knees etc.). After 10 minutes, I went out again. I wanted to go fast but found the initial hill was much harder this time. I struggled through the loop and knew I was much slower but at least I didn’t feel quite so bad at the finish as I did during the first one. Same recovery and then #3. For some reason this loop was my best. Not the fastest but I felt more in control of my pace, my arm carriage was better, and I felt all around good. I credit even pacing for this. I finished and felt relatively good and could have done another. But I decided to quit while I felt decent figuring I could run myself into the ground if I wasn’t careful.
As you can see, speed work is not my specialty. I don’t look forward to it, I don’t enjoy it, and I feel all wobbly when I’m done. I’d rather run a hard 20 miler any day.
2.1 mile warmup / 2.1 mile cooldown. 9.3 miles total.