Monday, July 8, 2013

A night of firsts

Yet another very humid, on-and-off rainy day here in central Ohio, but I had a track workout on the schedule that I just couldn't skip.  I contemplated heading to the gym and running the workout on the "dreadmill", but when there was a break in the rain, I figured I would gut it out at the track.  

I ran an easy mile (which, in case you are wondering, is 4 times around the track) before I started my workout: 8 x 400 (which is 1 lap).   I did this set 3 weeks ago, and I know it was nowhere near as hot or humid when I did it for the first time.  Here is the comparison in times (column 1 is from June 17; column 2 was tonight):

1 1:55 1:51
2 1:57 1:50
3 1:52 1:50
4 1:51 1:48
5 1:49 1:45
6 1:51 1:46
7 1:46 1:46
8 1:46 1:43

My first time doing the set, I just wanted to get under 2:00 on each repeat.  I really wasn't sure what I was capable of, as it was my first-ever track workout.  This time, based on my new 5K PR from July 4th, I knew what I needed to hold--between 1:45-1:50 for each repeat.  And I *almost* did it!  Just that first repeat was a bit slow.  Considering the awful weather (most of the repeats were done in the rain, and the humidity and dewpoint were both excessive), I am pretty darn proud of this workout!  I finished up with an easy half-mile cool down, for a total of 3.5 miles tonight.

So, why did I title this post "a night of firsts"?  Well, here are the firsts:
  1. First time I truly "left it all out there".  I mean, I feel like I do that every race, but this time, I could barely drive home.  It hurt to even push the accelerator and brake for my car.  My legs just didn't feel like they could even move.
  2. First time pacing someone.  Around halfway through my repeats, a husband and wife showed up with their two children (the kids were probably around 5 and 11-12 years old).  The 11-12 year old girl jogged a bit to warm-up, and then started to race.  Her parents were timing her.  During one of my 2-minute rest breaks, I asked what she was doing, and they said she was trying to run a 7-minute mile.  What a coincidence; that is the pace (almost!) of my 400's!  I was getting ready to run my 8th and final 400, and she was starting her third lap, so I jumped next to her and told her to stick with me. 1:43 is a 6:52 pace, and she did indeed stick with me.  I enjoyed encouraging her during the lap.  She ended up going a 7:20 (her first two laps were a 3:45, so it would've been very hard for her to go 3:15 for the final two), which is still pretty impressive.  
  3. First time taking an ice bath.  I tried to do this after my half-marathon and couldn't handle the cold.  I used a different strategy this time--started out with the tap on lukewarm and slowly turned it until it was on cold, then added in the ice.  I will say, it was heavenly for my legs!  Definitely going to do this after my long runs... hopefully I won't need it for the speed workouts, at least not frequently!   Oh, and please excuse my white legs... I am an SPF-50 girl, so that is their color year-round. 

After the ice bath and a hot shower, I iced my calves for a good 20 minutes and pulled on my compression socks (and took some ibuprofen).  Legs feel pretty good right now... hoping they stay that way! 

Oh, I also did the "exhaustion test" for the 100 push-up challenge that I am currently doing.  I was able to do 60 consecutive push-ups, which is 12 more than the last test that I did.  Not too bad!  I have three workouts left before the final test, and while I will be very surprised if I actually get anywhere near 100, I am pleased with the progress I have made.  I did 21 push-ups for my initial test, which was only 4 weeks ago.  So that is an increase of 39 push-ups, plus I am definitely seeing some true muscle definition in my arms again.  I highly recommend this challenge!  There is a free app for it as well.

Tomorrow's planned workout is Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred, but I am considering just making it an arms-and-abs day.  Jillian does a lot of jumping around, and I think I want to baby my legs a bit after how they felt tonight.  I have a hard tempo run planned for Wednesday morning that I want to be sure that I am ready for!

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