Nobody really felt like heading to the track this holiday week, so when I showed up at 5:30 am, I was the only one there. Knowing the chance of cancellations was high, I came prepared with my own workout, which is what I ended up doing .
It was four sets of 400m with a 200 jog between each and a 400 jog between sets - a continuous workout with only active rests (except I did stop for water between each set).
The goal was to run the first set at 1/2 marathon pace, the next at 10k pace, the next at 5k pace, and the last at mile pace. Tough! But doable.
I just finished reading Meb for Mortals, Meb's book on training, and he puts great emphasis on stretching (I usually don't). Since I was alone and no one was waiting on me, I started with some stretches, then did a mile warm-up. The first set, of course, was easy. Nothing about a quarter mile at half-marathon pace is hard; the hardest part was attempting to get the pace right in the pitch dark (my Garmin battery life is pretty bad lately, and was on low when I arrived, so I didn't want to leave the backlight on. I'd hit it at the half-way point if I could, though).
Times for set one:1:47, 1:40, 1:41, 1:43. Starting set two, I realized that set one was a bit fast, so sets one and two weren't all that different:1:40, 1:37, 1:36, 1;38. As I did my 400m jog before the next set, a guy showed up at the track to walk, so I wasn't alone anymore. I don't mind being at the track alone, but as I mentioned, Harrell is in a somewhat rough neighborhood, and I kind of wanted to be able to tell David that someone else was there! Set three:1:34, 1:33, 1:32, 1:33. Finally, the sun rose, and I could see for my last set. This one was a little tough: 1:31, 1:29, 1:31, 1:30. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't break 1:30 for these, but all in all, it was a good workout, and I ran 8 miles total with a short cool-down.
After the cool-down, I did form drills, stretches, and some lower body strengthening before heading home. I took Leonidas Street back, and on the way, a guy waved me to the side of the road. He asked for a jump, so I pulled over. I know. Terrible neighborhood, girl alone in car with window rolled down and hood up, I'm asking for a carjacking. But dude's truck looked rough, and sure enough, it was not starting. I looked out my window just as he was opening his door to turn the key - and saw that his door was riddled with bullet holes! Oh, dear. I decided that it might be a good idea to tell David where I was, but I didn't want to reach for my purse (I thought it best to leave it out of sight under the front seat). Anyway...his truck finally started and I wished him a good morning, but the shot-up truck had me laughing all morning. New Orleans might be gentrifying, but some streets have really kept their...charm.