Yesterday: Rest day. Today: 10K fartlek!
Last night I got the pre-workout jitters. I knew I hadn't done one of these in a long time, and I was nervous. I looked up how long it had been...drum roll...the last time I did one was Dec 18, 2012. Wow. That shows you just how sick I have been and for how long. I should just feel really happy that I can do the workout again now, but I'm also sad for all the lost time. Not that I could do anything about it - I tried everything I could think of to get better sooner, but the illness remains a mystery.
Anyway, I was really nervous, and chatted a bit with my coach, who reassured me that it just didn't matter how I did on the workout. At this point, it's just money in the bank, so to speak. I was still apprehensive, but felt a bit better reminding myself that there was no pressure.
I had a hard time waking up. I have forgotten just how much extra sleep I can need when training hard, and I have been shorting myself a little on sleep. I had gotten into the habit of reading a lot more, but recently I have also played the piano more and have kept reading just as much, which means that I have been staying up too late. I'm writing this to remind myself that I need to prioritize sleep when training hard.
I arrived at the track and there was a big concrete truck there (see photo at left). They have been doing construction on the south end of the track, building something. New stands? More restrooms? I'm not sure, but I'm curious. So today they were pouring concrete, and I had something to watch for the first bit of my workout that wasn't so hard. Once it gets hard, watching them pour concrete is the last thing on my mind.
I was very glad I'd chosen the track, as I needed the pacing help. It's easy to know your pace when you can check every 100m. I'd have started out too fast otherwise. Jim wanted me to do 6:30/km pace for 2.5km, then 6:20, then 6:10, then all-out. 6:30/km is 39 seconds per 100m - easy to monitor on my watch. 6:20 is 38 seconds, 6:10 is 37 seconds, and then...well...I'd see what would happen. When I started I felt really good; my legs recovered perfectly from the 15km and were not sore or tired at all on Saturday afternoon or Sunday.
My first 2.5km was right on target at 16:13.7, and it felt easy. The second 2.5km also felt fairly easy, and at 15:43.2 was slightly faster than intended (15:50 was the goal) but in the ballpark. The third 2.5km I was definitely working, but not too hard, and did a 15:20 (goal was 15:25), so my pacing was pretty much right on. Then I just prayed I could hang on for the last 2.5km! I did 2:57.5 and 2:58.6 for the first two 500s, and felt my legs flagging a bit, then did 3:00.2 for the next one. I told myself I had this in the bag, and willed my legs to move faster, and finished with 2:59.1 and then gave it my all for a 2:54.7 for the last one :). Total for the last 2.5km was 14:50.1, and I am very happy with that for my current level of not-very-in-shape-just-yet. That predicts about a 59-min 10K, which seems about right for my level of fitness.
Jim called me after the workout (hey, it was only 12:15am there :) but he likes to stay up late) and pointed out that my last 3K was under 18:00 (it was 17:55.2) and that my last 5K was 30:10 (on the nose!). I'm pleased with that since my 8K fartlek FIRST 3K was over 18 min last week... yeah, I was on tired legs from the half marathon, but still, doing the last 3K of a kickdown workout faster is much harder in many ways. The kickdown is deceptively difficult because your legs get complacent and then it's hard to move them faster. Anyway, I was glad for the phone call and it was so nice to actually have good news for my coach.
Total time: 62:07 with average HR 154 and max 171. I averaged in the upper 160s on the last 2.5km, so I was definitely working it hard.