Thursday, July 28, 2011

NYC Marathon Training Week #4: Wed Hill Work

Wow! I couldn't help myself. I did not intend to do this tonight--3-in-1 workout, PACE-HILL-TEMPO.

It was a long day at work and I probably just had all this energy pent up until it was time to do my run.
Wednesday nights are usually my track nights at Cal Poly with the San Luis Distance Club. Since tonight I have to run hills, I had to miss working out with my buddies. I had to do this alone. I picked out a hill closer to home. I went home and had dinner with the hubs. My kid was invited next door for dinner.  I swear that kid has a bigger social life than we do. Anyway, the hill is about 2 miles away. It was perfect since the two miles would be my warm up. So I thought.  When I got to the start of my hill, my Garmin read 9:09 for two miles.  I ended up running my two mile pace run!

The hill is about 1/5 of a mile long with incline at 8% grade. Normally it takes two minutes to crest. Perfect.  That's what I needed. I had 4 repeats to run and the results were:  9:09 / 9:37 / 9:17 / 9:51.  The first repeat was the best time. I ran as hard as I could, only to run out of gas midway through the hill at about a minute into it. It was funny because I felt like one of those Hanna Barbera cartoons I used to watch when I was little called, Wacky Races.  It was as if Dick Dastardly had played a trick on my engine causing me to run out of gas and I could hear Muttley snickering with that asthmatic laugh of his.

I was glad no one was around to witness me run up hard and couldn't get over the crest at a decent speed.  That's the beauty of running at night. The second repeat, I tried to save a little for the end. But I still got tired. The third repeat, I tried not to force a blast off in the early part and tried to run in an even effort. The last one, I told myself, make it count.  But alas, the old Porsche had run out of gas. Anyway, I thought I better change my plans for the next time I do this hill work.  I've come to realize that I cannot do hill sprints as long as this, 1/5 of a mile.  It's just too long and I am not ready for it. I need to work on it.  Next time, my focus should be more on even effort, I don't need to sprint this hill. And guess what?  I'm okay with that.  I'll save the sprints for shorter hills, or even hills that only takes one minute to crest. That, I can manage.

Right after finishing the hill work, I thought I was just going to cool down for two miles and be super sore. But after about two minutes into the cool down, I felt my pace quicken. The burn in my quads disappeared. I didn't force any particular pace and went along with what the body wants to do. In the end, I ran 15 minutes for 8:47 pace--that's my tempo work! Since I ran a tempo, I still needed to cool down. For quarter of a mile, I slow jogged at 10:14 pace and walked the next quarter mile to my house.  On the whole, it was a great night. I ended up doing three workouts: a 2-mile pace run at 9:09, my 4 x hill repeats, and finally 15 minute tempo work at 8:47 pace. Sometimes the best workouts are the ones you don't plan. It's good to be flexible.

Happy running!

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