14 September 2011


Mile repeats was on the agenda again for today. James initiated the idea of us all refocusing our training and reintroducing speed work into our weekly schedule again. Having been chasing a sub 20 minute 5K for almost two years, I didn't object at all.

Richard and Mike, both pushing for a 6AM rather than a 6:30AM start decided to wait until both James and I were ready to go to call/text us that they were indeed not going to be joining us. So I jumped one of my "vintage" road bikes and pedaled the 2 miles to Redstone FCU. There is a great 1 mile loop there consisting of an asphalt/concrete/cross country course, giving you just enough varying terrain to make for slightly challenging mile repeats. James was there waiting for me when I arrived and we decided to do one warm-up loop. By the time we completed the first loop, I felt ready to push for the sub 6 minute mile I had announced last week. James was having some hamstring issues as the result of part of the recent swim training he started to get ready for his first tri. Therefore, he decided to run an easy pace but to push me for a while when I'd catch up to him.

When he took off on his first lap, I decided to jog/walk another .14 miles before taking off on my timed mile. About .5 miles into my lap, I cuaght up with James who proceeded to pull/push me along for almost half a mile. Just before the final stretch, he dropped off to give me more room to push to the finish. My heart rate was definitely up and my lungs were burning in my chest. When my watch finally went off to signal the completion of my lap, I was almost afraid to look. When I finally saw 5:50 minutes on my watch, I raised my arms like I had just been the overall winner of an actual race. I felt silly, but only for a moment. It actually felt pretty cool to get excited like that about a training run.

When repeated this process for two more miles, with me getting slightly slower on each mile, but I really didn't care. Instead, I started planning next weeks repeats. I plan to add another mile repeat every two weeks and I am going to try to reduce my pace every week as well. The new goal, a 5:3anything mile in the near future. I know, I know, I haven't even managed to break the sub 20 minute 5K, but one can never have too many training goals, right?

I'm not sure what I'll be doing tomorrow. Maybe rest? Maybe cross train some more on a bike? Maybe hot the gym? Who knows. I do know that we will be running our favorite uphill trail run from Pratt Ave to the Ranger Station on Friday, so I can test the used trekking poles (LEKI Makalu Ultralite Super Lock) I ordered on Geartrade.com and just received in the mail. I am thinking about using them for the middle section of the Georgia Jewel 100 with lots of climbing. Since I am not really trained for the Georgia Jewel 100, I think I am going to try some new things, both logistically (e.g. better and more strategic use of drop bags) and tactically (maybe some form of the run/walk method to save my legs for as long as possible). I am registered, so I might as well try. I have nothing to loose, maybe I should focus on just having fun, while I'm at it. That would be nice. Don't get me wrong, I always strive to have fun at any race, since that is the reason i do them. However, sometimes it is hard to remember during a race, when you are pushing and pushing, just trying to make it to the finish. We'll see, I'm excited and scared.

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