|Dead legs. Dead Garmin. Dead shoes (almost. That's 496 miles there. I'm putting them over 500 today).|
But perhaps - perhaps a breakthrough in speed?
After a couple of workouts in which I really struggled to hit paces, mostly missing, I finally had a good workout last Tuesday. The previous week I'd showed up to track in the midst of a stomach infection, and the week before that our workout had been mid-monsoon, so really, almost any workout would have shown improvement.
It helped that our workout was a little shorter: 2 miles at 8k pace, 3 minutes rest, 4x800 at 2 mile - 5k pace with 2 minutes rest each, 6x200 fast with 60-90 seconds rest. The total was a manageable 5 miles, and to make that even better, it was low 70's for a change.
I started the two-miler, and right away I felt better than I had in ages. I wasn't gasping for breath by the first turn, and I almost felt comfortable. My second 1600 was just a second slower than my first. Starting out like that made the rest of the workout fast and easy. I don't love 800s, which were up next, but I got through them, despite almost running a little kid over. Several groups use this track, and one parent lost their pre-schooler - he dashed in front of me, then did that annoying back and forth thing as we both tried to avoid collision. I am proud to say I both managed to stop, and managed to stay upright!
Then I wrapped with fast 200s. The long rests made these easy as pie. While 200s have always been pretty easy for me to complete, I think adding strides in has helped me with them. Two strong runners I follow, Dolly and Cris, both recommended adding strides at the end of my runs, so I just started that. I'll be - they do improve leg turnover!
I hoped to see that workout translate into a speedier race on Saturday, and while most people said the course ran short (my opinion: curvy sections with tangents were measured on one side of the street only, but the course had both sides open), I was still faster: I ran 21:41 last 5k, 19:41 this time. I would have been at about 19:55 on a full course, and that's a good speed for me. I'm not a fast 5k runner anyway! In fact, I remember being elated over a 19:59 a few years ago, when I ran the Crescent City Fall Classic right after hip surgery #1, and before I realized my right hip needed surgery, too. I've been back running for longer now, of course, but that race was an easier race, too. The race plus better workouts have boosted my confidence a little going into the CCC 10k, and despite the 83F temperatures predicted, I'm excited to see how I do!