All three of my typical 3 Northfield co-workers were down for the count this week. Actually, one is travelling and the other two are racing a half marathon on the weekend – so needless to say, they didn’t want or need a hard workout (at least what I had written) during the later part of the week.
I thought about doing my hard workout alone, but then my thoughts drifted to Chap Achen who works at the Shoe with me. A very, very good triathlete and speedy runner (I did one of my first runs with him after the Trials – where I had allowed myself to get out of shape & slow – and tried to hang on until I literally had to ask him to slow the pace down. He hasn’t tried to run with me since, ha!). He said he was game. How fun!!
We ventured out over our lunch hours for a fun 4×2 mile @ tempo workout (2 min rest in between). My legs are starting to come around (this is a down week for me), but I could tell on the second mile of the first repeat that they were working pretty hard for the paces we were running. Wish they could get back their low 5:40’s spring, but oh well, guess I don’t really need that until November 4th :).
We managed to average about 5:52ish almost every mile. Amazingly consistent. I forgot my Garmin, and after bumming out for a minute or two, realized it was probably the best thing for me (in the way that not eating that cookie is the best thing… or finishing an interval on an uphill is the best thing for you :)). I looked at my watch a handful of times in the interval, and instead of altering my pace to get the watch to read a time I’m happy with, I was judging my pace on effort, breathing, and how the legs felt. I really should do this more often. Chap had a watch and yelled out our splits at the mile and 2 mile. Perfect.
Times: Rep 1: 5:52, 5:54. Rep 2: 5:50, 5:53 (I think?). Rep 3: 5:48, 5:52. Rep 4: 5:49, 5:52. Chap did the 1st mile of the last interval and left the second to me (no watch! yikes!). It was great to practice finishing something as hard as I could without someone right there.
Those paces are closer to my goal paces than I’ve been in the last couple of weeks when I’ve been running tired. Getting back to where I need to be!
One fun story from today: After my run I walked past a young construction crew. One guy rushed out from behind his machinery and told me he did a 5 mile run in his neighborhood the other day and nearly died. “I was thinking about you, though! And how you do this every day!”, he said. Guess that crew has been there for a couple of weeks… and I probably have been running over lunch quite a few times… guess it never really occurred to me that people might see me day in & day out. I replied something like “It really does get a lot easier the more you do it, promise!”. I told him I was training for a marathon, trying to run a bit every day. As the conversation ended, he said, “Well, whatever you do, please try to put those legs in a magazine or something”. It was so unexpected, so random that I laughed about as hard as I’ve laughed in a while… “Ha, these short legs?!? What?” I walked away smiling. He just made my day. I think that is the first time, EVER, that my legs have been complimented (I am barely 5’1″, and my legs are not helping me much in that height measurement).