|Friday||10||Travel to SC|
This was our last week in Tallahassee before we headed up to Greenville, SC on Friday. With all of its amazing training venues, I was sad to say goodbye to Tallahassee for another 11 months, but excited to head to Greenville. Also, during the next few weeks my racing season will start again at the World’s Best 10k in San Juan, Puerto Rico! After nearly three months without a race, I am eager to toe the line.
Since I felt like I was at the beginning of a sickness at the end of last week, I toned the beginning of this week back some. I was able to get a good solid last long run at the Clay Roads, and took the next two days easy. Doing that helped kick any vestige of my sickness, and I felt normal on Wednesday’s run.
Since I felt pretty good on Wednesday, Pete had me do a workout the next day. On paper it doesn’t see that long, especially because the standard ZAP Hill Cycle Workout is 25-15-7 min. But the extra pieces added in, seem to change the workout substantially. Since it has been a while since I have done a hill cycle workout, here is a description of one loop: A hill cycle is a loop that has around 400m of flat, 400m of up hill, and 400m of downhill. Each section does not have be exact, as our loop in Blowing Rock is somewhere between 1050-1100 meters. It also just so happens that the loop in Tallahassee can be made into exactly 1200m! But all the pieces are not all 400m.
Workout: 5 min “snowball”, 3 min rest; 25 min hill cycles, 5 min rest; 3 min “snowball”, 3 min rest; 15 min hill cycles, 5 min rest; 7 min hill cycles
As usual the opening piece is designed to put some “junk in your legs”, as Pete would say. Right from the go, I could tell that I felt flat. Unlike my workout last Tuesday, the surges on the opening “snowball” piece were strained. While I did not fell terrible, I ran a 4:48 mile on the grass, I was struggling to change pace and speed up. That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the workout. The idea of the workout is that each loop is supposed to get quicker, even if it just a couple of seconds. What happened is that I found a pace where I was comfortable and stayed there.
One thing that Pete has told me, especially before races, is he wants me to try and find that 95% effort, where you are comfortable while running fast. Often when running at 100%, you are straining, which will eventually take its toll. I have found that most of my best races have been when I was running relaxed at 95%, rather than straining at 100%. Since it was a workout, I especially didn’t want to be straining, so instead I ran a bit slower and consistent and stay relaxed. This is something that I know has taken me years to figure out and actually implement in practice. During college I would have opted to try and pick it up regardless of how I felt and would have run too hard.
Since I stayed more relaxed, I felt like I got a better workout in. I still benefited from nearly an hour of fast running, even if it was slower than I would have liked. Also the weather was not my best friend. It was cold, around 30-35 degrees and blustery. And the entire loop is grass; so running an hour hard on soft grass tends to leave your legs a bit more tired than other surfaces.
On Friday, Moen and I made the drive up to Greenville and got settled in. But not too settled, as I have some races coming up in the next few weeks! I also updated my Schedule page until the beginning of May. I added three more races. First the Raleigh Relays where I will step down and run my first 1500m in 3 years (first one at sea level in 7, time for a PR!). Then I head out to my first trip of two to California for the Mt SAC Relays 5000m. Two weeks later I will head to the magic that surrounds the University of Stanford track for the Kim MacDonald 10000m.