It was hard to get up this morning; I somehow (miraculously) managed to sleep until 8 am yesterday, even with 4 kids in the house (we had a sleepover), and so it was that much harder to get up to meet Kelly at Liberty Park at 6 am. But I made it, and my legs were feeling really good and rested, which was SO nice.
The conditions were a bit iffy. It was 12F (-11C), pitch black, and snowing lightly. The roads were OK so I figured 600 East would be good for our 1Ks. We warmed up on the park sidewalk, which was slightly slippery but not awful (but no good for speed work for sure), and we took a look at 600E but it was too slick. However, the park ROAD (next to the sidewalk) was fine, and thankfully we were able to use that for our 1Ks. It worked out well, and didn't have any traffic so early in the day. Besides, in the park cars are more attentive.
I took my first 1km somewhat conservatively because of the conditions (which I wasn't sure of the first time) and because it was the first of 5. I was still fast, doing a 5:18.6. We rested 2 min and chatted; Kelly said she was feeling lousy, but I felt good. We started the next one and Kelly stayed with me until very near the end; I screwed up my watch and said "stop" but we still had a bit to go. Then I pushed stop instead of lap and so I had the time for 0.93km. Grrrr! But extrapolating that out for 0.07km we did 5:11.0 for the second km. Nice! But Kelly felt worse after that and I gave her a pep talk during our 2 min rest.
Sometimes during an interval workout you wonder when/if your legs will give out. I wondered a little, but channeled my thoughts back into a little mantra, "Tuck your hips low" which is shorthand for tuck your butt and bring your hips through low. I focused on exhaling with my left foot push, and I felt really strong and smooth. And yes, my knees were straight. At least I was thinking about it, and pretty sure it was all good; Kelly looked and said they were fine on the 1st km but after that she didn't look.
The last 3km all felt pretty good, considering how hard I was working. My average HR for the last 500s of each was 169, 171, and 173, so I was going hard! My last 3 splits were: 5:15.9, 5:11.2, and 5:12.5. That's my fastest set of 1kms ever. Total time: 26:09.
Kelly was hurting on the last 3km and was about 15-20 sec behind me on most of them :(. I tried to encourage her as best as I could, telling her that I was Maria Michta and she had to chase me. She worked as hard as she could and gave it her all and didn't quit. I think she's still suffering a bit from her cold.
My coach and I have been talking about the possibility of me qualifying for outdoor nationals in Des Moines in June. We agree that it is now within the realm of possibility, though it will be tough. The qualifying times needed are 5K 26:00, 10K 54:00, or 20K 1:52:00. We are shooting for the 1:52:00 20K in March in Huntington Beach, CA, but if I don't get that, I think a 26:00 5K could also be within reach? Hard, but maybe possible. I'm going to train like it is possible and see what comes out.
Garmin data here.