Deliriously fun!

Half way through today’s workout I literally used those words to describe the workout :). 

I’ll recap the week, even though I still have two more days, 3 runs, 33 miles to log, and 1 strength session to log before I’m done with it.

Week 12 before NYC:
115 miles (highest EVER!)
4 doubles
2 hard workouts:
1. 15 miles total with 20 mins tempo, 4 min rest, 15 T, 3 min rest, 10 T, 2 rest, 5T
2. 22 miles total with 2x(4 miles at MP, 1 at T)

First, Tuesday’s workout was a little rougher.  My legs were tight, a little “bound” feeling.  I could tell the spring in my stride had disappeared. Sigh.  I knew it was going to happen sometime, but it was still sad to realize that it had gone (and I probably wouldn’t see it for a while).  We had a great group for the early morning workout (3 other guys!), which is absolutely phenomenal.  How lucky am I?!?  Only in Northfield :).  Love this town.

I did each segment to the best of my ability, wasn’t negative about my pace
or how I felt.  I concentrated on trying
to make my legs work better, since I wasn’t moving fast enough to use my lungs
as much as I should have been.  Sort of a
frustrating feeling.  Craig was much
farther ahead of me than normal.  Darn
him, getting into fast running shape.  Paces
were 5:54 for the 20 minutes, 6:13 for the 15 minutes (rough one), 5:55 for the
10 minutes, and 5:40 for the 5 minutes (latched on to Craig and told myself to
hang on as long as possible).  So, as far
as workouts go, not great… but also not bad either considering what I’ve been
putting myself through lately.  It was my
first day where I had to set new expectations – this is likely going to be the
way your legs feel from now until mid-October. 
Just roll with it, do the best with what you have, I told myself.

But then fast forward to today (Friday) – the workout that inspired the blog
post :).  I came into the day thinking that it’d be
similar to Tuesday.  Luckily Craig was
able to meet me for the hard stuff, which makes the workout that much easier
from a mental standpoint.  Tom from the
shop stopped by for the first 6 miles (seriously, love Northfield!) and then
Craig and I started… oh, this is going to hurt, I thought as the watches
started…

Except it didn’t!!  I was flying,
effortlessly, not breathing much at all. 
I watched the pavement under my feet curiously.  It was passing quicker than I’m used to for a
MP effort.  Check the watch:  sub 6 minute pace?  What?? 
I checked myself.  Does it feel
like you’re reaching?  Or is this a true
MP effort?  The scary answer that came
back was that this felt about as perfect of a MP effort as I’ve ever done
(there have been multiple, multiple MP workouts where I’ve just forced the pace…
maybe not the best).  The last mile was a
little more effort, but not by much. 
Glorious.  4 miles in 23:50,
5:57.5 pace.  

Next tempo mile: 5:40.  Yeah!  Now, repeat…

The next 4 miles of MP were a little more effort, but still went really
well.  We finished in 24:04, 6:01
pace.  Not bad at all! 🙂  And then we capped it off with one last tempo
mile, 5:38.  I found myself smiling half
way through that last mile.  This is just
downright FUN!!!!
Deliriously fun, even :).

Now, the challenge is to keep myself at this spot, healthy and feeling
fit/fast.  I’m carefully watching my Achilles,
paying attention to my hamstring and hips (can’t wait until Jim Patterson is
back from vacation!  Nate can’t wait
either, ha!), and anything else that might creep up.  I know that I’m pushing limits with mileage
being as high as it is – but hopefully being smart about it all!! J
Onward!

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