Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Big Chicken

I just couldn’t get myself out of bed this morning and out for my run. I’ve got a ton of things to get done before the end of the year (which is hurtling towards us) and I knew if I stepped out that door it would be 8AM before I could start to get down to business. In the end, I slept in until 6, slipped on my sweats, worked for an hour, dropped my youngest off at high school and then glued my butt to my chair until 4:30 this afternoon, changed into my running gear and headed out the door.

I will admit that I stepped out onto the street for a 5 mile warm up with a certain amount of trepidation. I’d just run a hard 20 miles on Sunday and here I was on Tuesday warming up for set of 5x600s. The last time I’d run 600’s I’d ran consistent 2:30 splits so I’d already set the bar pretty high for this work out.

I have to say that running in the afternoon is down right strange. It seem to take forever to get to one mile mark, but when I look down at my watch, I was right at 9:00. I could have read half of Les Misérables on mile 2, but my watch claimed my time was under 18:00. Things sort of continued this way all through the warm up. I ened up with an average 8:45/mi pace over 5 miles.

I dropped off my black lab at home and headed over to Paradise Valley Community College to run intervals on their track. After a couple of confidence building laps around the track, I put on my head lamp (it gets dark early) and started the first interval. I felt really good through 200m and was still running a nice steady pace at 400m. I rounded the curve again and headed down the far side of the track trying to keep my hands low and my shoulders relaxed. In the glow of the head-lamp my watch read 2:24 – 6 seconds faster than my target. I then jogged around to the start line and ran in circles until I completed the requisite 90 second break before the 2nd interval.

The second and third intervals were more or less repeats of the first. However, on the 4th interval, the grounds keeper came by to lock up the track for the night. I passed by him 300m into the interval and although I was running as fast as I could, I tried to act real nonchalant when I asked him if I could have 3 more minutes to complete one more interval. Of course, I’d just signed up to run my 5th interval with no recovery jog. I passed the 600m point on the 4th interval and continued running. Having an audience (even an audience that could only see a dim headlamp bouncing in the darkness) helped me keep going. I finally got around to the finish line hit the stop button on my watch and walked off the track.

I didn’t even look at the time. I was pretty sure I’d lost a lot of time on the 4th chatting with the grounds keeper and the 5th couldn’t have been all that good with no rest. I also felt rather humbled thinking about the fact that I just run a 1200m somewhere around a 6:30/mi pace and was ready for a break when many of you that read this blog have a marathon paces considerably faster. Boy, it really puts your accomplishments in perspective.

In the end, the splits weren’t too bad: 2:24, 2:26, 2:26, 2:25, 2:27. That translates to an average pace of 6:31/mi.

Have a great week running.

Training for the week:

Mon: Rest Day
Tue: 7.7 miles w/5x600m @ 6:31/mi pace


Anonymous said...

This happens to the best of us with good intentions, but you sure made up for it later didn't you?. Nice job!!!

ZappoMan said...


I just found your site. I am impressed. I would love to run as much as you, but I keep ramping too quickly and injuring myself. Any suggestions on how I can get to a point where I can safely run on 5 days a week?

Anonymous said...

What are you embarrassed about? Sure, guys like Mike or Duncan do those paces while jogging along, but you're still faster than the average runner out there.

You're not supposed to run intervals faster anyway, somewhere between 3k and 5k race time is the recommended pace, and I'd say you're spot on.

Deene said...

what kind/brand of headlamp are you using? I've decided to get back with my evening run groups which will require a headlamp. I tried just my flashlight during a previous night run but that didn't work out too well.

tb1 said...

Good job Phil. Improvment is good no matter what the increment.

Anonymous said...

Not too bad??? I say those splits are great!

Anonymous said...

Amazing how just knowing anyone is watching makes you pick up the pace.. haha! I'm trying to start evening runs here as it is in the 20's in the morning and 40's at night. Of course, I won't be doing any running for the next day or so... will be taking it day by day. Would love to get out and walk phase one of my neighborhood tomorrow. My goal right now is to read a couple more blogs before I go back to sleep - haha!

Great job on getting your workout in even though you had to throw off your schedule! :)

Phil said...

Thomas --- I wasn't embarrassed. I was just in awe of anyone that can run at that pace for 26 miles. I read their posts, but didn't really appreciate how fast a 6:30 pace was having never run any faster since my lack-luster high school track days.

Deene --- I use a Petzl Tikka head lamp. Very light weight and produces a nice uniform white light.

Love2Run said...

I see you weren't slacking off by sleeping in but were saving yourself for the track. That's a great workout and still in the dark too!

bapp said...

Some people have a last call for drinks before they close the bar, you have a last call for some more intervals and close the track! Nice work.