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Thursday, April 24, 2008

I Love a Rainy Night: 5K in Slow Chunks With One Speedier 400

2400 warm up
6x100 striders

2000 f (400) - 9:02 (first mile - 7:10)
mile f (400) - 7:38
1000 f (400) - 4:33
400 f - :83

400 warm down
600 warm down

total: 6.375 miles

Wind: SE at 12 mph
Humidity: 43%
course: Wheaton College track

Jim's note: Total time of 5k will be the goal.

With a kids track program on the Wheaton College track, we were headed to Glenbard West High School's track. It is not as nice as Wheaton College's, and has a strange shape, but, any port in a storm. Gotta run though, so GWHS it was going to be. It turned out an even bigger meet was happening at GWHS, so things wound up at WC.

My legs were tired going into the workout. I walked twice yesterday, on my non-running day, with a total of 6.9 miles. Waking this morning, I considered the workout with leaden legs and not a small amount of concern.

When at lunch, my friend Justice Carmon wanted to walk, my legs cried out in defense of rest. The conversation was good, so we walked briefly, and mercifully sat by a murky pond watching a lonely turtle.

My goal was to run 5K pace for each interval. Which 5K pace? The 20:00 I have yet to run? The 22:00 I ran when much fitter? Something slower, but achievable?

I was late getting to the warm-up, and ran short of a full two miles.

Rain dampened the track, though God decided to wait until we were done before breaking it open. Lee, John, and Mike were there, running post-Boston recovery workouts, and telling their tale of Heartbreak Hill and the thrill of Boylston.

My first 2000 was at 22:35 5K pace. I can accept that. Unfortunately, my next mile, at around 7:38, showed me I wasn't ready for that. Not so impressive. My 4:33 - 22:45 pace, though close to where I would end up, should have been faster, given the shorter distance.

Then something clicked. I started the 400 in stride, in front of the group I had been chasing. Brad Webb and I were side-by-side, with Margaret Ford and Dave Christiansen tucked right behind. I felt good, and it was nice not to be trailing alone 50 meters back. Brad was still there with 100 to go and the guy thing kicked in - I couldn't give up, not if he wouldn't. Pride? Probably.

I ended up with an 83? That is my best 400 since re-engaging in running. Stopping a watch after a hard run is not so simple. All I wanted was to do was stop and breathe. Too fast as far as any 5K I'll be running soon. I should have run 105-106 per 400. However, it felt great to run harder, especially after the discouraging mile. What felt even better was the next gear that I never used - knowing I had more speed, but held back.

Next week, we do a bunch of 200s and 250s. I'm not sure what speed we're doing them in, but I need to be smart, not just for the one workout's survival, but to think long-term. I have a long summer to consider. Within all of this, I need to do what I'm asked - Jim knows his stuff, there's no question, and to achieve the results I want, I need to trust him.

Add up the times and it might indicate I am ready for a 22:36 5K, about an 7:17 pace. Is that a reality check? Could be. First try at the distance is May 10, and I expect to have two more weeks of fitness in me. I will rest better, eat smart, all those kinds of things. In a week, I will better know what's what.

I Love A Rainy Night - Eddie Rabbit

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