I have had so many experience in the last week and the inability to have a moment with web connection to write them up. So grab a sammich and enjoy the post.
Last Sunday was the official opening of our club 'pool', otherwise known as Canyon Lake. With a water temperature in the low 50's, five brave souls donned wetsuits and took the plunge. Actually it wasn't that bad. As this is historically the time of our OW swims, we have swam in the high 40's when the water stung the cheeks horribly. Had it not been my first OW swim in months, and my endurance better, I would have same more than the 1,000 yards I strung together. What followed was the pool opening BBQ with families and kids and lots of meat and beer.
In my ongoing quest to drop the hammer on my run pace for Pat's Run, April 17, I have really been working on race pace and speed drills. I forgot how bad those hurt. On Saturday at Mighty Mo's flag football practice I walked off 100 meters and commenced 8 x100 sprints. Truth be told I was shooting for 16 x 100 but I started dry heaving and cramping up from a fall I took on my back earlier in the day. Regardless it was a good session for me to get my leg turnover up.
I started looking at my training logs and realized that to get the immediate speed I need on race day off the line I need to warm up my body first. So I flipped my workout from run first, bike cool down last, to bike warm up then run. It really helped and I dropped my max HR about 20 bpm right off the bat.
To run faster, I have to run with people who are faster and will push me. I sought out a trainer at one of my clubs that has a 6:30 pace and inquired if we could run a couple times a week together. He was flipped out excited and so was I. On our first run of 4 miles, Pat's Run is 4.2 miles, we finished in 29'35" a low 7 minute pace. Our first mile was at 6'37" pace, easily the fastest mile I have run in five years. At about 2.5 miles I started to see stars. I got tunnel vision. My side started cramping, I was way out of my comfort zone. I loved it. We turned the final corner and mile down, I could just make out the stoplights of our finish line. The last 3/4 mile we ran 10 second intervals at 100%.
Now see, the last couple days my sinuses have been stuffed up and running at the pace I was at, I wasn't able to breath through my nose and my throat was all swollen. At the end I was sprinting had snot running out my nose, two feet of spittle hanging from my lip from a dry spit and the only smile I can affect when I run. The one I call, "I just gut the cat" smile.
I just hit my projected best finish time for the race 6 weeks early. Obviously I am readjusting my projected time a bit lower. It just felt so good to be able to finish a run that hard. I expected to hang on for a mile, two tops and then fade off to my normal pace. But I squeezed the life out of that run. All my runs this week have been harder than normal and I can feel it. My ass is sore from the extra effort, my legs burn with lactic acid, I sleep like a rock at night.