Sunday, April 3, 2016

Back to the Track...and some hail.

I'm pretty sure today was my first track workout since 2013.'s been awhile.  Can't say I've missed it...but it's time to add some speed work that isn't just running hard up a bunch of hills because by now my body has more than adapted to the hills and it doesn't really work for me anymore.  And given the lack of flat-ness here in Lewisburg, the only real way to do a flat speed workout is to go to the track.  I've known for awhile now that I needed to start going to the track, but my return was delayed by that silly sprained ankle.  I didn't want to do any speed work until I was sure it was strong enough to take the extra pounding.  Today seemed like a good day.

It was a very eventful week of running...recap of each run after the week's summary...

This week : 
M : 6.6 / 7:47 / 476 ft
T : TRX arms & abs 18:25
W : 9 / 7:54 / 853 ft
R : TRX arms & abs 18: 25
F : 6.2 / 7:32 / 472 ft
Su : 4.9 / 7:10 / track workout
total miles run : 26.8
I found out mid-afternoon that WVSOM was finally going to have their memorial for my friend and running buddy Daryn at 5:00, so I went running around 3 instead of going to the Pub Run at 5:30.  My legs were sore/tired and it was really windy so I didn't try to push the pace at all.

I decided it was time to try a long(er) run.  And I really wanted to run hills, so I looped through just about all the best hills the neighborhoods of Lewisburg have to offer.  One of those great hills is in a neighborhood I rarely get to, so it was nice to go somewhere "new."  And I ran a hill near the end that I "enjoyed" so much I looped back and did it again.  It was a warm sunny day and I loved being outside to enjoy it with a run!

Rain was in the forecast for most of the day, but after a bit of rain in the morning, nothing much seemed to be happening.  The sky showed both brilliant blue and some ominous dark gray, so there wasn't really any telling exactly what would happen. I decided to ignore the clouds and count on the sunshine.  My last check of the weather a few hours before my run showed no more than a 20% chance of rain.  I started hearing thunder in the middle of the 4th mile, but it wasn't particularly loud or scary sounding.  Then it started raining lightly at the end of the 4th mile.  I knew that thunder and rain in the springtime was a recipe for hail.  It started raining harder.  I prayed it wouldn't turn to hail.  It was really windy, and I was getting pelted.  It didn't take too long to realize that rain doesn't sting quite that much even when the wind is driving it into you.  It was hailing.  I prayed the hail wouldn't get big enough to hurt me.  Luckily, it didn't.  But the wind got stronger, and the raindrops got bigger.  The sudden onslaught of fierce wind and rain had water rushing everywhere.  I could barely see where I was going.  I prayed no cars would come because I doubt they would have been able to see me any better than I could see them.  Standing sill didn't seem like it would be any better than continuing to move forward, so I kept going as best I could.  Of course the whole thing was over within about 5 minutes.  Probably the scariest 5 minutes of my life, but only 5 minutes.  Soaked to the skin, I finished my run through giant puddles while trying not to get sprayed by passing cars.

I felt like a drowned rat, but I guess I didn't quite look like one.
I just ran through a hail storm but I am still smiling...because what else can you do?!

Back to the Track.  I thought about various different workouts.  Should I start with a 1600 and descend in distance, or should I pick a distance and repeat it?  Eventually I decided that the torture of the day would be 800s.  I was hoping for 6, with a switch in direction halfway through.  I ended up doing 4, because I was really struggling to maintain the pace on the 3rd one, and I wanted quality over quantity.  My infrequent training over the last few years has lost me the ability to judge my pace very well, so I switched the display on my watch to show pace, and used that to stay as steady as I could.  The goal was to do the 400s at a 6:20-6:30 pace.  I did a 1600 warm-up jog, then 4x 800 with a 400 jog in between, then 1600 cool-down jog. My 800s ended up at 3:17, 3:20, 3:21, 3:15. I did push a bit harder on the last one,  knowing it was my last, and not wanting it to be my slowest.  Didn't realize it would end up my fastest... Breathing was my main limiting factor.  Holding a consistent pace was also hard because the wind was strong enough to effect my effort differently on different sections of the track.

I'm pleased with the workout, especially knowing it is my first in so long.  As I get further into training and my lungs get stronger, I will be able to start feeling my pace better, and I won't use the pace setting on the watch anymore.  I do prefer to run by feel, but I felt I needed the watch today to make sure I didn't go too fast while my lungs were still working and then lose the pace too much when they stopped.

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