For you numbers geeks, here are my annual totals. I have always kept track, but some years got lost due to computer crashes or what have you, so some are estimated. 1979 is documented however, hit 2,000 exactly!
And for the graphically inclined...
Obviously I peaked in high school and the first year of college, and then had a long period of not really running a whole lot. But I never stopped for long! Then my renaissance started about 2009, not coincidentally when I joined the Loop. This should be my 8th straight year of increasing miles! Shooting for 1,500 this year.
And here I am in 1980...
Anyway, let's talk about this week.
After the 5K on the 4th I took Friday off, 6 on Saturday and 9 on Sunday for a solid weekend. Monday I got back to the gym after missing the last two weeks (I skip my weekly gym workouts on race weeks). Then Tuesday I did the 6 mile hilly trail run with my LRS group. And Wednesday I went to a new group for speed work.
This group is called Club Ed, and is coached by a guy named Ed, natch. All of the local fast runners are in the club (over 100 members). They have their own racing singlets and can be seen dominating all the AG awards at local races. Kind of intimidating because some guys are REALLY fast. But there are also guys at my level and plenty that are slower too. I know some of them from my other local group, so I finally got up the nerve to join in the fun.
Every Wednesday they have interval workouts at the high school track. Coach Ed (who is also a very fast runner in his 60's) determines the workouts - same for everyone. He lets us know piecemeal what we will be doing. So we don't know what is left on the plate every time we step to the line. He tells us to run "at 10K pace" or "at 5K pace" or mile pace, and everyone just figures their own pace and goes. He then reads off the times every lap. I barely checked my Garmin all day other than the first 100 meters of a few runs to make sure I was in the ballpark.
So I chatted with a few guys and got a general idea of the protocol. They said we generally do about 6000 meters of speed. We warmed up for about a mile (after I already warmed up for a mile). Then we did "straights and curves" which means we accelerated the straights and jogged the curves for 4 laps, with the accelerations going from mild to fast. It was a nice warmup to get ready for intervals.
There was maybe 50 people there. I turned out to be near the middle, a little faster than the middle. After a while you get an idea of people that are in your speed range and tend to run near the same people each time. It certainly was easier to run faster with a group than it is by myself. All my speed work since college has been by myself, so this was a fun change. I really liked it! Memories of high school...
First we did 400 at 10K pace. I figured 7:00/mile for my 10K pace, but I got sucked in by the speedsters and went out too fast. not used to a 400 so slow! I eased back and cruised the 2nd half, but still ran 1:40. A short cooldown and then another 400, this time at 5K pace. I figured 6:30/mile for my 5K pace. But again I went out too fast and ran a 92. Another short cooldown and then another 400 at mile pace. I figured 6:00 pace (I wish) and ran it hard. Too hard again, and ran 84! I can't remember running a 400 that fast!
So I was beating my times and told myself to be careful because I didn't know what was coming. Well next up was a 1600 at 10K pace. OK, a mile repeat at 7:00. I can do that. I restrained my pace, found a good groove and used the other runners to keep me honest. I negative split each lap and finished with a 6:43. Felt good! Then we got two laps to cooldown.
Next up: 2000 meters! First 1600 at 10K pace, and then kick the last 400 very fast! Phew, OK. I took the 1600 about the same, a tad more conservative. Came through in 6:50, and then kicked like it was the end of a 5K and hit the last 400 in 88! Nice! Then it was two more cooldown laps.
Next was 1200 meters. First lap at 10K pace, then he said the next lap had to be faster, and the last lap faster still. How much faster was up to us. Lots of negative split practice! I ran my laps in 104, 95 and 90. For all of these intervals I was passing people and finishing strong. Beating my "rivals". It was fun.
I figured some 800s next, but no, we were done! Just 3 more laps of "straights and curves" to cool down. I thought "hey, that wasn't too hard at all!" Until I reviewed it and realized we covered 9.2 miles total. Yep, it was a solid workout. But I left feeling like I could fit in really well with this group. And if I did this most weeks, I would definitely get faster.
So today I rest.