Monday, September 19, 2011

Week 10: I Feel the Need...

The need for speed training. Ouch. Tacky, I know. This was the first week however for speed training, track workouts. So something new for the week. Exciting. I like new things. As noted previously new places and and activities keep running interesting.

Since I had finished up with hockey for a while I now had Monday evenings free, so I decided not to get up early to run. This gave me the ability to keep up with going to more interesting places and I found myself back at Memorial Park for my Monday run. I know it is the same place I have been running a lot recently, but it is still far better than running in my tiny park in the morning. Plus there are people there. While they present obstacles to run around, they are least present a constantly changing scenery.

I went into this run a little overconfident. Having had a really good run this past Saturday I wanted to keep it up. There were however a few things I did not really think about fully. The primary one was the fact that it was actually really nice out Saturday morning. That was not the case this Monday afternoon. The heat had returned in full force and it was pushing 100 again. The second thing was my total lack of being able to pace myself properly. I wanted to run 9 minute miles. That is about what I averaged for 10 miles this past weekend, so I figured that should be no problem now. Unfortunately I started my run at a much faster pace than that without realizing it. I finished the first three miles of my run in 24 minutes, which was a good minute pace faster than I wanted, and it killed me. I finished the next two miles of my run in 21 minutes. So I did get my 9 minute per mile pace that I wanted and I ran just over five miles during my 45 minute run, but I did it in the most ass backwards way possible.

Tuesday was the first track workout. We were going to a high school track north of Houston, so it was a little farther of a drive then I cared for but I wanted to do these speed workouts. It was actually a surprisingly short and surprisingly easy workout. We started off with a 10 minute warm, and drills similar to those that we performed prior to hill training. Then we moved on to the speed training for the day, which was eight sets of 30 seconds sprinting, 30 seconds jogging. So when all was said and done it was an eight minute workout. Kind of shocking after the 50 minute hill training sessions, but the key thing to remember is most injuries happen due to speed training. It is one of the quickest ways to over stress your muscles. So we needed to start off slow and start getting our bodies used to a different kind of running workout, then slowly build up from there. On a side note the photo of the smoke from my last post was actually from right after this run. Fortunately all of the smoke was still up in the air and and had not descended to a level where it caused breathing issues.

Thursday's run was again planned for the morning, and again due to the fact that I had stopped running in the mornings we did not get up. Again we planned to go running in the afternoon and again life got in the way. Our internet was out so I had to hang around the house waiting for the repair guy. We were given a window of between 4pm and 9pm, seriously? The guy actually got there at 4:40, it just took him several hours to fix the problem. On top of that my wife got home really late from work. Another Thursday another missed tempo run. It is becoming a habit and it needs to stop.

The Saturday long run was interesting. We were going on an 11 mile run. This time instead of starting in the middle of the pack I made sure I was with the front runners right from the start. I didn't want to waste needless energy just trying to catch up with people. Nothing to this point is interesting I know, basically learning lessons from the previous week. What made the run interesting was actually the route. For the second  week in a row we had a somewhat convoluted route, which was complicated by running in the dark. You can't always see where you are going. We were running through a park and almost ran into a fence at one point. That could have been tragic. Then we made a series of wrong turns while trying to work our way through the park, one in particular that separated me from the group I was running with. While these made the run interesting, the most fascinating part of the run was the clover leaf portion.
 The clover leaf was the answer to the fact that we had switched from hill training to speed training. We stiill need to get some hill training in so smack dab in the middle of the 11 mile run we did two loops of the clover leaf, basically running up and down the entrance and exit ramps of highway. Because we were doing two loops a lot of the different speed groups got tied up here making it a pretty large Charlie Foxtrot on top of the fact that we were doing hill runs. For some reason, maybe because I had taken to the hill training rather vigorously, this is where I got my second wind. I finally caught sight of the group I had been chasing since getting separated in the park. Myself and one other runner set about at a pretty good clip to try and catch up with them then, an effort aided by the fact that they eventually reached the second water stop and were refilling their water bottles. After that it was smooth sailing back to the start. Some folks pulled away right at the end in the park, but that will always happen. I was just amazed at how much energy I have left at the end of an 11 mile run. I never thought I would be able to run sub 8 minute miles at that point in a run.

Due to the exertion spent at the end of the run and the fact that I was one of the first people back to the meeting location I decided to jump in line to get one of the free sports massages they have there every weekend. Holy hell, that stuff hurts. I almost wanted to say "Stop torturing me, I'll go run more!" but dealing with the pain there really does help. My calves were really tightening up before hand but felt OK the rest of the day. So I might have to do that more often, though the thought kind of fills me with dread. Fun times.

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