Friday, June 1, 2012

Speedwork and a Kinvara 3 review

I only have a few readers here on blogger. I mainly post on Runners World Loop and then I re-post the good ones here. But I've been slacking lately. So I'm going to post a bunch of stuff all at once to catch up.

Here is one from May 12th.

Saturday, at the Track. You'd think it was the 4th of July.
Because there were fireworks coming out the backs of my shoes!

Today's workout was 10x400. I haven't done 400's in 3 years! And back then I ran them in about 102 seconds. Well, I am faster now, but I wasn't sure how fast. I decided to shoot for sub 90 and see if I could do all ten under 90. It seemed like a stretch goal.

I jogged the 1 mile to the local high school. There was a random collection of people working out, but no big teams or games going on. About 6 girls from the HS track team were doing an easy workout with their coach as they prepared for State. They have one of the best track programs in the country. They were doing 200s and other short exercises. There were also a few joggers and walkers, and one old guy doing speed work like me. Still plenty of room and no real traffic problems.

So I took off and checked G after 150 meters and it said 5:21 pace, so I took it down a little. Hmm, this fast running isn't too hard. Although G always shows a little faster pace on the track, due to the curves.
#1: 86
Second one I was more conservative and then picked it up in the 2nd half.
#2: 89
I was jogging 400 meters between sets in approx 2:20 (or 9:20 pace). Plenty of rest
#3: 88
Starting to get pretty tired now. Did I say 10? Hmm.
#4: 91
Darn it!
#5: 87
That 91 motivated me to work a little harder. After #5 I took a short water break and a walk and an extra jogging lap. Felt pretty good, like I could get to ten without dying.
#6: 89
Ugh, that extra cool down was no help. I think it threw off my timing.
#7: 87
More like it
#8: 86
OK! Working hard, but feeling good.
#9: 87
And now to push it hard and see what I have left.
#10: 83!
Phew! Not bad. Not bad at all. Averaged 87. I felt like I could have done a few more! But I cooled down and jogged home. I thought about the famous interval scene in "Once a Runner" where the guy does 20x400 and then is told to do 20 more 400s. And then 20 more. Crazy stuff. Love that book.

So I'm feeling really good lately. The mojo is back! Aches and pains are mostly gone, and I am anxious to do some hard work. Looking to do 10 miles tomorrow. But first I am meeting up with Alice, Atom Buddy and IMustbeBananas at tonight's Dodger game for junk food, loop talk and general camaraderie. There may be beer involved too.

Life is Good.

A week later, more speed work:

Round and Round We Go
Back to the track today. I have committed myself to Saturday track sessions for 4 straight weeks to get ready for a 5K assault on sub 20. Last week I did 10 400s and felt pretty good - averaged 87 and finished strong with an 83. Followed that up with 10 miles on Sunday and it kind of wiped me out for the week.

This week's runs were a little more sluggish - achey and painy and less pep in my step. Tuesday was hilly trail day - 6.4 miles almost all on trails as I prep for Double Dipsea. Thursday I did 6 and it was just... meh. My left knee hurts. My right hip hurts. My right outside shin hurts. I'm wishing Kinvaras lasted longer because I feel like blaming the mileage on my shoes. But I went out to the track today anyway and hoped a day off would help.

Today I planned 12 400s at sub 90. 400 meter jog in between. I felt Ok on the mile jog to the track, so the plan was on! The track was almost empty. Just one other old guy jogging laps at 10 minute pace. Later two other old guys showed up, also doing slow laps. I don't get it. Maybe they like the soft surface.
It was a little warm (65 - don't judge - it was sunny) so I decided to go topless. The other old guy was topless and no one else was around so what the hell. Besides, I looked better than him.

First lap was 90. Dang, it felt faster. Next five were 89, 90, 90, 89, 90. So I was at least consistent! But it was a little disappointing. I guess I was just a little more tired this week. I couldn't have gone much faster. After the fourth one I started walking 100 and jogging 300 for the rest lap. Plenty of rest, but I felt I needed it to get through 12.

Well I kept plugging away. Each one was painful as I ran out of oxygen every time. But after regaining my breath I was ready to hit it again. Next 6 were 91, 89, 90, 91, 90 and 88 in a final blast of speed! So I averaged 89.8 and met my goal. We'll call it a good endurance/speed workout. Took a slow jog home and was surprised to see a total of 8.4 miles. Those laps do tend to add up! So I'll give myself a little clap. 
So I'm thinking only 7 tomorrow and hope I feel better next week when the assignment will be 6 800's under 3:10.

Meanwhile I was reviewing my race history. My next 5K will be my 52nd. My PR is the first one I ever did at age 18 in 17:27. (Although I had done a 3 mile race in 16:05, so I probably could have done 16:40 or better) But there were not many 5K's around back then. Most races were 10Ks. For comparison, by 1990 I had done 38 10Ks and only 3 5Ks.

My 2nd fastest 5K was a 19:13 at age 33, and that is my ultimate goal.
35-39 my PR was 20:36
At age 40 I ran a 20:09
Age 41-46, my best was 22:42 (the fallow years)
In the last three years (the Loop years) my AGPR has improved like this:
21:40, 20:54, 20:39, 20:20, 20:06

So I am ready to bust out 19:xx this summer. On June 9th ShaunP45 will be in town so we found a fast 5K in Anaheim. Other local Loopsters will be joining in too. While Shaun runs 18:xx, I will try to use Loop mojo and coast in his wake to set my 50+ AGPR, and it WILL start with 19.

Pushing my Limits
 It is still Speed work month, as I work on my fast-twitch muscles. With weekly speed sessions, I have been cutting back on the long runs and trying to rest more. Tuesday I did my hilly 6.4 mile trail run, and then I took 2 days off. (Although I did manage to fit in two weight room sessions this week) Friday was an easy 7. Saturday was just an easy 9 mile bike ride. So I hoped to have a little more zip in my legs for Sunday's track workout.

The plan today was 6 x 800 at under 3:10, or a little faster than goal 5K pace. Considering that I had to work hard to do 400s at 88-90 last week, the idea of going twice as far at nearly the same speed was a little intimidating. But I figured to just do my best and see what I had in me.

I got to the track at 8:30 and had it all to myself. It was 65 and sunny and I wore my slutty shorts and took my shirt off. It felt great to be nearly naked out there. I visualized myself as my 18-year old self, weighing 120 and doing laps at 70 seconds instead of 95. Thankfully there is no photo or video evidence to prove otherwise.

#1 - Started out a little slow. Checked the watch and realized I had to pick it up. Over-compensated and busted my butt. Finished with a 3:03! Holy cr@p! That was painful, but..., holy cr@p! It is kind of amazing that what feels like almost full speed for 1 lap can be maintained for another lap without dying. I learned today that that is the point of long intervals - to teach the mind what the body is capable of.
Had one lap between sets which I walked about 100 meters and trotted the rest. Rest times varied from 2:50 to 3:40.

#2 - Went out a little faster this time and just maintained. Another 3:03! The second laps are tough. My muscles are requesting oxygen faster than my lungs can deposit it into my bloodstream. Usually by 300 meters I am breathing like a locomotive every other step, and just trying to hang on. 500 to 600 is the worst, but then I push around the curve, and the last straight always seems a little easier, because the finish is in sight.

#3 - 3 minutes rest doesn't seem enough, but off I go. I backed off a little more this time, thinking I was way ahead of schedule. A little more controlled, but still tough. 3:09
Took a little extra break and got a drink, but then right back into the next one.

#4 - The last one was too close to missing my goal, so I pushed a little harder again. Muscles filling up with lactic acid a little earlier each time. We called it the dreaded "Riggy" back in high school (for rigor mortis). It's how you knew you were pushing it hard enough - when your muscles just turned into cement slabs. Both my legs and arms were feeling it. 3:06

#5 - Only two more - I can do this. Each time I was feeling wiped out after one lap. And yet I was able to keep going and maintain pace. Great training for the 5K. My best 5Ks I feel like I am totally spent during mile 2. And yet somehow I get through mile 3, usually even faster. After a while you learn not to trust your body's messages. You trust your pace and your training, and the body will respond. 3:08

#6 - Last one. A little extra adrenaline. I go out faster than normal and then just hang on. Somehow I feel Ok down the last stretch and kick it in to a 3:05. Phew! Success. Average of 3:06 for all six. As I get my wind back I feel like I could do a few more! But I call it a day and trot home.

So I surprised myself today. I wasn't sure I could do 6 under 3:10, but I managed with relative ease. Next week I plan to do two 1-mile intervals at 6:25. And my race plan is 6:30, 6:25, 6:20. Sounds frickin' hard, but I nearly did that last month, so i am going to trust the training. And a taper.

Afterward, DW and I got to go to a brunch party with my running group. Always fun to party with runners! And tonight we have another BBQ party to attend. So life is good.

Taking the K3 for a Test Drive
My Local Running Store hosted a Saucony rep yesterday for our regular group run. She came with a truckload of shoes to test. I arrived early to be sure and get some of the new Kinvara 3's, and, sure enough, they had some in my size! Oh my, they were pretty too! I got this color.

I quickly tried them on and the Saucony rep gave me all the details on how the K3 was better than the K2. She knew her stuff! Lots of info about adding density in specific areas, but maintaining the low weight. I can't remember everything, but it was impressive. She said their main goal was to improve the durability of the shoe, with a goal of 450 miles instead of the 250 that the K2s tend to burn out at. Music to my ears! Because the DW's patience runs thin when I get a new pair of shoes every 6 weeks!

If you want a great detailed powerpoint on the improvements, click here!

So then we did our run. 7 miles to test a shoe! Well, it was just wonderful. No problems at all. Comfortable as heck. And fast! I normally start out easy and work my way up the pack. But this day I went right to the front and was just cruising. The shoes just make you want to go, go go!

We had a new runner join us who was 25 and fast, and the two of us ended up running together. He was pushing the pace, and I went with it. Total run averaged 7:55, with the last 3 about 7:30 - 7:40. Much faster than usual.

So, I'm a big fan. I have two pairs of K2's to get through first, but then I will be looking for a deal on some K3s. Sadly, I did not win the raffle for a free pair. But a guy won who needs the free shoes a lot more than me, so that was cool.

The Running Gods must like me
 So my last bloop was all about the Kinvara 3's that I got to try out. They gave away a free pair, but I didn't win the raffle.

Today, the Saucony rep was at our other local running store with the same deal. I normally don't join in the Thursday run, but I went to take another shot at it. Had a nice 6 mile run. And then another raffle. My odds were about 30 to 1.

And I won!!!!!

A free pair of Kinvara 3's will be mine next week! First Asics decides to put me in their LA marathon video. And now Saucony is throwing shoes at me. Someone up there must have liked my last blog and all my Kinvara preaching on this site, and willed my ticket into the right hands. I figure with all the free publicity I've been giving them, it is just good karma that I won.

Woo Hoo!

No comments:

Post a Comment