Happy Thursday, we are beginning to get away from our arctic temperatures today and will actually see a high of 55* today- a little rediculous that 55* is warm now!
I have been enjoying the cold weather this week, and am kind of sad that it will be warming up to normal (68/45) this weekend. Don't worry, we are getting our arctic temps back on Monday with lows back in the 20's and highs in the 40s, lets pray the 40's stick around for my half next weekend.
After another successful and painfree run on Tuesday I knew that I needed to throw myself back into my normal routine to make sure my IT band could handle the higher intensity of training that it is literally about to be thrown back into. So yesterday (Wednesday) I got up, went to the gym to weights (including legs) and some time on the arc trainer and stair climber (which I have avoided like the plague since the ITB thing). I felt great, put in a hard effort, and was left still nervous and excited to go to the track after work.
I hadn't been to the track in 3 weeks, so I knew no matter how my knee felt that I would be dying out there from the effort. Since everyone in my group is racing either this weekend, next weekend, or both, he kept the workouts relatively light: 1600,1200, 800, 2x400, expected times (8:05, 6:00, 3:58, 1:53, 1:50)
I was planning to get there early to get in a few extra miles before we started, but I left my Garmin at home :( John was so wonderful and brought it to me at the track. Since I wouldn't have time to get in the extra miles I needed to hit 6 for the day I opted to just swap today's 4 mile run for the 6 and do 6 today.
The weather was perfect, 48*, a little windy and dark, I am really going to miss the cold weather come summer, it seems so conducive to my speed. The workout went down like this:
1.25 Mile warm up- 12:16 (9:12 pace)
1200- 5:55 (7:56 pace)
800 - 3:49 (7:40 pace)
400 - 1:43 (6:54 pace)
400 - 1:39 (6:38 pace)
1/2 mile cool down- 4:52 (9:42 pace)
4.5 Miles total- 38:12 (8:29 average pace)
First of all, I love how fast this actually makes me look, but I'm really not. I was surprised how easy the warm-up felt, I just kept getting faster, and was under 9:00 for the last half mile of it, maybe it was the cold, but I felt good. Since it had been a few weeks and we didn't know how my knee would feel, my coach wanted me to take it easy until I saw how my knee felt, so he told me to start at about 8:05 and then drop about 5 seconds per mile for each interval.
With the 1600 I was determined to make it in under 8:00, that is my standard, and as hard as it was and as much as my lungs were burning, I paced it well to finish just under 8:00. The 1200 was tough I felt like I started to quick and so when I back off it lap 2 it made it too hard to get my speed back in the last lap, but I still dropped my pace some and that is ultimately the goal. By the time we got to the 800, I was ready to start dropping the paces, my knee felt good, and I wanted to start trying to hit my normal times. The last time I did this workout (2 weeks PRE-marathon) my 800 time was 3:49. Boom 3:49 like cake, I probably should have pushed more at the end, but 7:40 pace was my aim, and I hit it.
When we started the 400's I was told to try and hit 7:10 for the first and 7:00 for the 2nd. 1st 400- 6:58 pace, and it felt good. After my coach saw the 1:43 he told me to try to hit 6:40 pace for the last one, I took off with one of the faster guys who pretty much pushed me the whole lap, he was great, and even though I totally was dying in the last 100m I hit 6:38 and was elated! My knee felt great and I was hitting my pre-marathon track times after a 3 week hiatus, so refreshing!
It feels so good to be able to run hard and fast again, and hopefully even with only 2 weeks back at my normal level, it will be enough to bring good things for my upcoming races. In the interest of staying healthy through my training I have another massage scheduled for next week a few days before my half to make sure everything is in working order and to break up any lingering scar tissue before jumping back into my longer runs the following week. I am excited to get back to the 18 and 20 milers, I have missed my long weekend runs! It seems there has been a lot of rebounding on the injury front this week amongst many runners, and I am so very happy that everyone is getting back to healthy and running, myself included!