Thursday, April 8, 2010

Stormy weather

Sometimes you gotta change your plans a little. Last night (this morning) I woke up around 2 a.m. to hear rain pounding on the roof and blowing against the windows so noisily that I peered out the window, Lena Horne-like, to see what was up. I didn't spot any hail or anything but rain and wind, though.

Instead of bursting into song, I was able to get back to sleep despite the disruption, until I woke up again around 5:30 shortly before my alarm. The rain had stopped by that time, I am pretty sure, but the wind was gusting more wildly that ever. I decided that this was not a good morning to head out for a run!

I don't usually run on Thursdays anyway, but was going to substitute in this Thursday for Friday to allow my legs an extra rest day before the half marathon on Sunday. But not only was the weather almost dangerously unfavorable for running (there are a lot of trees along the streets where I run), my legs were still aching in a way that seemed slightly more severe than the usual morning stiffness. Probably the remaining effects of my speedwork efforts on Wednesday morning.

So I decided to go back to my usual Thursday routine of going to the Y, and possibly/probably do my run on Friday morning after all.* That would still leave me a rest and recovery day before Sunday, and I'm not trying for a PR or anything on Sunday, so I probably don't need to be in tip-top shape. Even if I don't go out tomorrow morning (a three day rest?), I'll still be over 30 miles for the week after the race on Sunday, so I'm in good shape that way. I'll probably make the Friday run shorter than usual (6-7 miles instead of 10-12) because I have less free time tomorrow and I really don't want to be too hard on myself two days before a hilly half.

Yesterday, Wednesday, was speedwork day, of course. On Tuesday night I looked at the calendar to see what I had in store and it said "6 x hill." I said, "no, thank you." I decided to change it to 6 x 400 (my hill repeats are a quarter of a mile as well). Then I thought maybe I would do two hills plus 4 x 400, just as a kick start for Sunday.

On Wednesday morning I did a little over five miles warm-up sloooow, which put me at the bottom of the hill on 23rd. My plan was still to do a couple of hill repeats then head to the track. But even before I started I realized that I was cutting the time pretty close, and began to consider just doing the hills instead of taking the extra time to get to the track a half mile away. At some point I had decided to do the downhills as speedwork as well as the uphills. So I would run up as hard as I could, jog another block and back, then run down the hill fast. Then repeat.

At first I was going to do three up and three down (total of six), but quickly decided to tough it out and use the time I had saved by not going to the track to do one more up and down. Each lap four blocks) was .25 mile, so the distance was the same as a track interval. Of course, the uphills were much harder and so even my hardest effort was slower than a track interval. On the downhills I didn't run as hard as I could have (I didn't want to trip and fall), but instead tried to take advantage of gravity to run at a good pace without expending too much energy. I went a little faster on the last one, though.

1 - UP - 2:07 (8:35 pace)
2 - DOWN - 2:00 (8:13 pace)
3 - UP - 2:06 (8:29 pace)
4 - DOWN - 1:57 (7:57 pace)
5 - UP - 2:05 (8:25 pace)
6 - DOWN - 1:58 (8:05 pace)
7 - UP - 2:04 (8:21 pace)
8 - DOWN - 1:55 (7:43 pace)

Although those times don't look especially impressive, I felt it was a good hill workout and my legs have certainly been feeling it. The next hill workout will be Sunday on Whidbey Island!

*Or I might possibly run today after work...after the terrible night and early morning the sun has come out and it has been quite pleasant, though still windy, all day. I'm just not sure, since I really don't like running after work....

No comments: