Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tuesday workout

I have been trying to establish a rhythm of doing hard-ish workouts on Tuesday and Thursday, then do a weekend longish run. Thursday is Thirsty Thursday workout with the boys and is intended to be on the track but high school track has been snowed in for three months and we've either been doing hills or just an easy run with some pickups at the end, although a few of those were done in the snow so we just jogged around trying not to get killed. For the past few weeks I've been trying to get into the pattern of going 10 miles or so with some kind of long intervals or a tempo run on Tuesdays.

I'm dragging myself kicking and screaming back to some semblance of running fitness, basically. March 1st is actually a pretty big wakeup call as the rough plan in my head calls for about 280+ miles in March so that in April I can start actually putting down some good workouts aimed at racing the 5k in May and June.

That being the plan, last night I hit the rack early in order to get out early enough to do 10 miles and be back in time to drive Allie to school for Wind Ensemble at 7am. I got up at 5:11 and turned off the alarm before it could go off, got dressed, put in the contacts (the worst thing about being a morning runner) and sneaked down the creaky wooden stairs. A check of the weather showed it was a little warmer than anticipated, about 30 degrees, but windy enough to rattle the windows throughout the old house.

I was out the door just after 5:30 and got my first big blast of icy wind in the face as I made my way down the walk and out the driveway. It was dark but the sky was already showing a little light on the horizon as we are over the hump of winter now. I tried to warm up easy but it's tough when it's that cold--I always end up running a little faster than I want during warm up.

In my head I had one of my staple workouts--I probably do this one every 3 weeks or so when I'm into my base building. It's a really simple formula: 3 miles or so of easy warm up, then 3 times 8 minutes on and 3 minutes off, where "on" is threshold pace or so and "off" is an easy jog. I never really know how fast I'm going on this one. You can really make it as hard or as easy as you want but invariably I wind up making it a tough workout. 8 minutes doesn't seem like much but it can be pretty long when you've started out a bit on the fast side, especially in the early morning when it's cold out side and your nose is running and all that.

The route I was running is about a 10 mile "lollipop" loop that goes out 3 miles, does a 4 mile loop on the north side of town, then retraces the same 3 miles back to home. I started the 8 on / 3 off business right about the 3 mile marker and it took me all the way around the 4 mile loop and a bit more to finish, so by the time I was done with the workout part of the run, I was just over 2 miles from home. I jogged pretty leisurely for a while, my recovery slowed a little bit by having to go up the longest hill on the whole route, until I was about a mile from home and hit a flat stretch. There I threw in 4 x 20 second strides nearly all out, with about a minute or so of easy jogging in between. That took me almost all the way home and I just had a few hundred yards to jog to the bottom of my hill. The nice thing about those on/off runs out on the roads is time flies--a seventy minute run was over before I knew it and I even had time to start the car and let it warm up for a few minutes before driving Allie over to the middle school.

Onward.

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