Another twofer, as I’ve remained quite busy with work and personal projects. And it promises to get busier: I’ve got the Mini 10K coming up this weekend (and, I hope, interviews to do with the participating elites). Then next weekend the Green Mountain Relay is upon us. I am purchasing massive quantities of Nutella this evening to outfit our team’s two vans with high energy, chocolately and hazelnutty goodness.
The last week in May was low key. I did two workouts — one a general aerobic run, for the purposes of facilitating heat acclimation. I hate running in the heat, but I do notice the difference later in the summer if I’ve made an attempt to ease my way into it. I also will be doing a fair amount of racing this summer, which is new. So I’d better get used to being hot and uncomfortable.
Then on Friday I did a speed session that was so so. I had to make it a short one since I was so busy with work. It was on the hot side at the track and I did okay for the first few repeats but toward the end of the fourth one I was working way too hard and decided to end the speed session there. I have a feeling I was still worn down from the “easy” run (which was very hot/humid) two days before. I wasn’t freaked out by having what on the surface was a failed workout.
My recovery runs continue to hover in the 10:00 range, an improvement over earlier in the season, despite the uncomfortable conditions lately. This is good news.
I saved my legs over the next few days for what would turn out to be a very strange, but very educational racing experience in New Jersey. As Ewen pointed out in a comment, that recent mile race on the track may have helped my speed.
As for the rest of the week, post-race I applied myself. I did another hot easy run on Wednesday. On Friday, it was baking already at 7AM and I knew that if I went to the track to try to do speedwork there, in full sun, I’d just end up suffering both physically and mentally, and probably running badly as well. So I switched plans and did my speedwork on the mostly shaded running path.
I did a series of five 90 second pickups during 8 miles of easy miles, with the pickups at around 5K effort. The good news is that they got faster as I went along, starting in the high 6:00s and ending at around 6:07 pace. Not going to the track had been a good idea. And I got about 8 minutes of fast running in, with some decent aerobic effort miles to boot, so I was happy. And very sleepy later on.
Saturday I played driver and water girl for Jonathan, who did a hilly 5K in FDR State Park. It was, again, hot and humid. I did 5 miles at recovery pace around the park while he raced. That was enough for me. Man, it was hot. Today was not his best time, unsurprisingly, but he put in a good effort and got 6th overall.
The heat would be worse on Sunday. By the time I got out, it was around 10:30AM and the heat index was already in the mid 80s. It would be in the low 90s by the time I finished a 10 miler. As you can see, I was running at aerobic effort (mid-70%s MHR) and getting a slow pace for all that work. Oh, well. It will get easier.
In addition to the Mini on Saturday, this week I have my second track race, a 1500m race, again at Icahn Stadium. The weather is looking friendlier — 60s or 70s and (yay) very dry. A little wind, but anything’s better than 25mph. I’m feeling pretty good about my prospects.