Tuesday, May 14, 2019

W2W Week 2 of 13: First Pancake Workouts

So here we are in week 2 of 13 and my body is like

For most of March & April it was a few easy miles here & there, karate when I felt like it & wasn't too busy with work (read: almost never), & I hadn't touched a dumbbell since nigh on February (maybe? Let's go with February). Now here we are in Week 2 & it's back to semi-real mileage, karate twice a week, & regular weight training, & my body has no idea what is going on.

~*~*~ WHARF 2 WHARF: Week 2 of 13 ~*~*~

Grand Total: 44.5 miles

    * 23.8 easy
    * 3.7 speed
    * 4 threshold
    * 13 long

Monday 5/6: a.m. strength / afternoon 6 easy / p.m. karate

Tuesday 5/7: 2 warm up, 4 x 5:00 @ 5K pace / 3:00 jog, 3.8 cool down = 9.5 speed

    The first speed session of a training cycle is always a bit like the first pancake, eh? It's been over a month since I did anything that could even *remotely* be called fast running, and nearly two since the last time I did a proper track session. So I was not shall we say optimistic about hitting the paces to begin with. And then, I got to the track and found it was closed for a soccer game, including the upper concrete track that they sometimes leave open for runners when the field and real track are closed.

    Of course, I pouted about this briefly, because the whole thing about the track is that the surface is smooth and flat and predictable and mostly protected by wind and not full of pedestrians and dogs and baby strollers and traffic lights to negotiate. It is much, MUCH easier (in my experience) to run 5K pace or faster on the track than it is to do it on the sidewalks in Golden Gate Park, for a lot of reasons.

    But, since there was nothing to be done, I decided to try to be positive about it, and that positive thinking went like this: "Your big-hair-audacious goal is to try to run current 5K pace for 6 miles at the end of July, on a not-particularly-flat concrete course. Is it the worst thing in the world to try doing some 5:00 intervals at that pace in a setting that's a little closer to what that will actually feel like (ie, concrete rolling hills & potentially some wind)?"

    Ironically, part of I think what made it not feel so scary was the fact that I was already feeling so pessimistic about being able to run 6:50 pace right now at all! Like, "Eh, it probably would have sucked anyway, why not go ALL THE WAY IN with the suckage?"

    And, suck it did. First and foremost there was my out-of-anaerobic-shape ass, though I did manage to run the first interval at 6:44 pace. To be fair though there was some downhill involved. But secondly, there were the hills, and also a pretty severe headwind going west, and both of those intervals were pretty slow (7:08 pace). The other (uphill, tailwind) was somewhere in the middle (6:58).

    So, I'm not really surprised this workout was as hard as it was, but at least I ripped the bandaid off & got that first speed pancake out of the way!

Wednesday 5/8: a.m. strength / p.m. karate

Thursday 5/9: 8 easy

    Aaaaaand right on cue, there it is--one hard workout, and suddenly easy runs aren't so fast and effortless anymore! It was still fine but definitely some fatigue in the legs and I was NOT feeling the thin-soled Altras today.

Friday 5/10: 2 warm up, 1 @ MP + 0:45, 2 @ HMP, 1 @ MP + 0:45, 2 cool down = 8 threshold

    I was a little nervous about this run given how tired I felt in Thursday's easy run, but ultimately just kind of said, "You know, maybe you'll try to do those two HM pace miles and it'll be awful and you'll barely manage marathon pace, and if that's what happens, OH FRICKIN' WELL." You try and do what you can.

    Ultimately hitting the paces in these intervals was no problem AT ALL, though parts of it felt a bit dramatic.

    Mile 1 was uphill and into a fierce headwind, so mentally I'd already decided "Let's call that 8:45 mile 9:00 or maybe even 9:10ish," but in the end, due mostly to the numbers on my watch jumping around like crazy pants and my sense of pacing being really thrown off by the wind, it actually ticked off in 8:26, which, okay. Whatever.

    I don't know why I always have so much trouble pacing HM miles in workouts. Either I feel awful and like I'm going to die the whole time and can't hit the pace to save my life, or I find myself hitting the pace or faster with a reasonable level of effort and then immediately start panicking about when the numbers are going to start creeping up, so I end up nudging just a bit faster and a bit faster, then freaking out because suddenly I'm running 10K pace. In any case these were 7:22 (so really more than a little too fast when you consider the headwind) and 7:24 (tailwind but also some uphill, so ????).

    Mile 4 was just mile 1 in reverse, so downhill AND tailwind and honestly I hit that mile in 8:05 (instead of 8:45) without even trying.

    So, bottom line, no problem with the paces, but pacing (especially with hills & wind) clearly out of practice.

Saturday 5/11: Rest

Sunday 5/12: 13 long

    Legs were definitely tired, but got it done. First run over 10 miles in a while!

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