Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Around and around I go

I took up Mike's suggestion and found a 400m track to run my intervals workout. I had used a treadmill last week and he suggested that I might do better to use a track to start to get a feel for my pace. As I suspected, all the local High School tracks were locked up as tight as a drum; but one of the local Community Colleges (Paradise Valley CC) has a nice track that is not only not locked (sorry about the double negative) but also has a sign welcoming people to use the track.

Even with a Welcome Sign, there was absolutely no one on the track at 5:30 AM when I arrived. Were is everyone? This town has close to 2 million people rattling around in it. Besides the maniacs yaking on cell phones at this time of the morning (see my whining entry from yesterday) they can't all be in bed. They must be somewhere, they just weren't here.

This is a very nice track as tracks go. It has a small aluminum framed bleacher on the west side, otherwise, it is wide open. It looks the college uses the field in the middle for soccer (aka football), but not much else. It also borders a golf course on two sides, so it has the appearance of endless grass. But I digress.

I ran the same workout as last week's treadmill event.

1 mile warm up
4x800m @3:33 minutes w/400m recovery between intervals
1 mile cool down

Actual Performance:

Warm Up: Ran 4+ laps in lane 8 as a warm up. According to Mr. Garmin, I covered 1.16 miles on this warm up. Since I'm not use to running on such a nice surface, I ran the warm up a bit faster than desired, averaging 8:44 ... just excited I guess.

Intervals: This was a real different experience. I had a goal of 3:33, which meant I needed to get around the first lap in something close to 1:46. Only my feeble brain couldn't run and divide 3:33 by 2 at the same time. Instead of thinking I needed to get around in 1:46, I set my goal at 1:16. Needless to say, 1:16 had already passed by the time I rounded the second turn and was heading for the line. A few seconds later, my head cleared and I updated my mental calculations as I cross the line at 1:48. Not bad for a first lap I thought. The second lap of the first interval went along smoothly, now that I was no longer panicking about hitting 1:16 per 400.

Interval Times:

1 - 3:40
2 - 3:36
3 - 3:39
4 - 3:37

Recovery: Just how does one slow down to a recovery jog after running a couple of fast laps. My intention was to get my pace down to the 10:00-10:30 range. Although I did slow down more on each recovery lap, the first recovery lap averaged 9:20.

Cool Down: Like a good boy, I scheduled a 1 mile cool down. I over achieved a bit and ran 1.4 miles at 8:57/mi pace. Again, too fast.

Overall impression: Mike was right. These are a lot more fun to run outside than on a treadmill. I was happy that I kept my average pace close to my desired pace. I was a bit slower than desired, but at this point I'm looking for consistency. And after running nothing by easy and long runs for the past 2 years, I felt as if I was flying around the track.

Aches and Pains: What good is a running blog without a pain report? I experienced a bit of soreness under my right knee cap (this is a common problem with me, it has been going on for years), but nothing acute. On the fourth interval I also felt a slight twinge on the inside of my right knee. Both went away during the cool down. My arthritic big toe let me know it was still attached a couple of times, but remarkabley, it didn't start throbbing as it has done in the past, nor did it hurt at all during the cool down.

Today felt so good that I wanted to immediately do it again. But I know better. Next week I'll start adding reps to this workout.

Keeping running

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Training for the week

Sun - 7.0 miles, easy, 9:06/mi pace
Mon - 6.2 miles, easy, 9:12/mi pace
Tue - 8.3 miles, easy, 9:12/mi pace
Wed - 5.3 miles, 4x800, 7:19/mi pace

1 comment:

Mike said...

Nice job on the workout, I'm glad you found a track! You might consider running your warm-up and cool-down backwards; err, not backwards but clockwise in order to even out the stress that constantly turning an oval does to your body, which might help with the second pain (doubtful it would help with the first one). It's easy to do this when no one else is on the track.

I wouldn't stress too much about the recovery pace, as it seems you didn't slow down much as the reps progressed. Bummer about the World Cup.`