I think the last thing you want to hear on a hot, humid as hell day is that the evening’s workout is gonna be a continuous tempo run. But you know what…on the other hand, it’s good dress rehearsal for those hazy, hot summer races (Mini 10K, anyone?)
So the evening’s mission, should I choose to accept it (of course I did!) was 2 lower 1.7 mile loops, no break inbetween at around 7:33 pace. No choice, just get ‘er done…yeah in a way, I still feel I need to prove I belong in group 2. 7:33s…hmmm that may be doable, but the humdity was gonna have fun with us tonight.
So off we went, and I just tried to keep things nice and relaxed…3.4 miles of continous tempo running is a long time, and I was hoping to be somewhat consistent! Me and 2 others sorta took the lead…but the other 2 pulled ahead and with about a half-mile to go in the first loop, I got passed by 2 more. My first loop was 13:15 (7:40 pace for 1.73 miles)…I think I know what happened there. The first mile was right on target at around 7:34, but that last .7 mile is a sneaky uphill and I think I gave into that…or was too conservative? As we passed by the start/finish of the loop where the coaches were, I think I had a look on my face that I didn’t seem too happy, and one of the coaches encouraged me to “stay with them!” (meaning the 4 or 5 that were ahead of me.)
One loop down, one to go. I passed by a couple in the first mile…which came in at around 7:35…as always, I am nothing if not consistent!! 🙂 But this time, knowing I don’t have too much longer to go, I can give it a little bit more on that uphill portion…hey, I only have .5 miles to go, right? Wrong. The heat and humidity was messing with my head as I got the lower loop and reservoir distance mixed up! I tried playing mind games with myself for the last half mile…not even 5 minutes to go…tried playing music in my head…anything to make it feel like it’s going by quicker!! It worked…I had 72nd Street in my sight and the coaches encouraging us to “close strong!” Which I did…finishing neck and neck with another one I was able to catch up to near the end of the 2nd loop!! And even better, negative splits for the workout…second loop being 13:03 (7:32 pace for 1.73 miles.) And I didn’t get passed in the 2nd loop…so I think I paced things just right!!
We all just hung around for a bit…waiting for everyone else to finish and cheering them on…discussing how crazy crowded the park drives were that night, thanks to a certain group who seemed to own the rec lane and pushed us out into the bike lanes…which totally explains the 1.73 mile reading on Mr. Garmin!! But also couldn’t wait to get home, take an ice-cold shower and down an ice-cold Blue Point Blueberry beer…ahhhh sooo good!!
So I was pretty pleased with the workout, especially given the conditions. Just for fun, I did look back at some of my old logs to see how I had fared on previous workouts that were 2 x the lower loop…and apparently, there were some that were done faster. However, I saw one had a major positive split, another one had 2-3 minutes rest inbetween loops…and I think they were all supposed to be done at harder than tempo effort (just an assumption based on who I was doing speedwork with then-didn’t have it noted in the log…) But after this one…I gotta feeling that my 10K and 3.5 mile PRs just may go down this month. (well, definitely the 3.5-mile one!! Extrapolating this tempo run to the actual Corporate Challenge race distance…would give me around 26:30 for 3.5 miles, which would still be over a minute PR, and I didn’t even run this all-out.) Oh, and I am still loving those Saucony Fastwitches…they just may do me some good at the races this month! 🙂
And even though today is National Running Day, I am actually NOT running today 😛 I think I’ve earned an off day after a couple run days in a row…