Mid-April Workouts

>> Saturday, April 17, 2010

I’ve been ramping up my workouts lately. I’m trying to improve my biking for the Cannon Falls Duathlon on May 1st, and then the Liberty Triathlon on June 12th. And I’m building my running miles for the Pine Line Half Marathon next weekend. Here’s what’s been going on:

• Tues April 6:
10.5 mile run in 1:08:02, and some weights.
Ran it all at a decent pace, and then ran miles 6-9 harder. I threw in the 180ish steps near the Franklin Bridge around mile 3 for some added “resistance training.” Overall, felt pretty good!

• Wed April 7:
Easy 20:00 on the trainer.
Just trying to get in another day of my #30daysofbiking.

• Thurs April 8:
33 mile ride in the AM, 6x800 on the track in the PM.
The ride was the cold ride that I posted about here. I’m pretty sure it was my coldest ride ever (36 degrees with a below freezing wind chill).

Cold, empty Gateway Trail

I went to the Y just before teaching (just after the bike ride), and I stretched and foam rolled pretty good. Then, after class, I hit the track for 6x800 with 90 seconds rest. I think I may have started off just a bit too easy with the first one. Once I finished my 5th and realized that I was ONLY getting faster, I wanted to see if I could still do that one last time for my last interval. Those last 2 were rough. Here are my 400 splits and my total 800 times:

1:21 + 1:22 = 2:43
1:16 + 1:19 = 2:35
1:16 + 1:17 = 2:33
1:16 + 1:16 = 2:32
1:16 + 1:14 = 2:30
1:14 + 1:14 = 2:28

2:33.5 average.

• Fri April 9:
Under 10 miles of bike commuting, and some light lifting.
A pretty low-key day.

• Sat April 10:
5.5 mile tempo run in 32:01.
This one hurt. Bad. One of the ideas that Kevin O’Connor shared with us at the duathlon clinic a few weeks ago was to run your tempo runs SO HARD that you feel like you won’t be able to finish. So I thought I’d try that idea for this run. Normally, I run my tempo runs HARD, but I tend to “ease” into the run a bit. With Kevin’s idea in mind, I’d be pushing harder from the start. Here were some thoughts from the run:

- I got down to Summit Ave in 3:59, which is my fastest ever (I think).
- At the 2.5K mark, I was right at 9:00 (18:00 5K pace).
- Right at the 2.5 mile mark, I was at 15:00 on the nose.
- I hit the 2.75 mile turn-around in 16:23, which is just under 6/mile.
- This isn’t official, but I think I ran the last full mile around 5:33.
- I ended with a solid negative split of 15:38 back.

This run really hurt. I didn’t know if I’d make it back without having to stop (which is the point, but it’s mentally draining). It was ugly. But it worked. It was a darn fast run. (If you haven’t already, check out my notes from the Gear West duathlon clinic where Kevin and Jason gave us some multi-sport training advice.)

• Sun April 11:
44 mile bike with the boys.
This was a great long ride with Matt and Borsch. Click here to go to the post with more photos from that ride.

Matt, unknown friendly biker, and Borsch

• Mon April 12:
Lift weights (upper body).

• Tues April 13:
3100 yard swim in the AM, 12 mile run in 1:18:15 in the PM.
In the morning, Kelly, Julia and I met for a “Jen Harrison” swim. Those are the worst kind! ;) (Just kidding Jen!) We did longer set intervals. The workout called for 3300, but I skipped 100 of the kick drills (because I’d be left in the dust), and I skipped the 100 cool-down (because cool-downs are for old people). Actually, when I finished my last set and popped out of the water huffing and puffing, Julia was standing there already finished with her workout AND her cool-down. Ms Speedy-Pants.

We all chatted for a bit, and then I needed to grab a quick post-swim group photo (of course):

Kelly, some guy with bad goggle-marks, and Julia

Then, later that same day, I went on a 12 mile run. I THOUGHT I’d do one more long run after this one before next weekend’s half marathon. But because this run ended so well, I called it good for the long runs before the race.

I started the run at ABOUT race pace, and I told myself I could ease up about half to 3/4 of the way in. But I should have known that that wouldn’t happen - I have a hard time slowing down on a run. So I just held a SOLID pace. It wasn’t that hard, but it was no cake-walk either. I didn’t think much of my pace until I was nearly finished with the run. With the exception of one “long mile,” every mile was under 7!! (I don’t run with a GPS or anything, so when I run along the river, I just have loose landmarks that are near the mile marks; so I often have “long” and “short” miles.)

I finished the run (which was later mapped at 11.94 miles) in 1:18:15. That’s about 6:33 / mile! And I ran a route along the river where there were no stoplights, so I wasn’t getting any breaks during the run! If, if, if, if, if, if, if, if, if, I can hold that pace during the race next weekend, that’d be a MAJOR half-marathon PR!! My current PR is 1:28:05, but all 3 half-marathons that I’ve run have been in the dead of our MN winters - that means I’m wearing lots of extra clothes and I’m not as well trained as I am when the running isn’t so slippery.

• Wed April 14:
Lift weights (upper body).

• Thurs April 15:
15.4 mile tempo ride (TT effort).
This was my first “all out” effort on the bike this year (outside, at least). I did the Summit Ave / River Road / Shepard Road loop that I like to do. There’s little for stoplights for the first 11 miles so it’s a great chance to push hard.

I took a photo as I was getting ready to go, and I wanted to ROCK IT HARD:

That’s as hardcore as I get. Sorry.

There was a strong wind from the west, so I knew the last 4 miles would be STRAIGHT into the wind and hurt my final speed. But that meant I should be looking for big speed in the first half. (As soon as I got home, I saw the news say both MPLS and St. Paul had sustained winds of 18 mph, and I FELT that!) So here were my averages at different points along the ride:

- 21.6 mph at 35E (mile 7). Mostly downhill overall at this point.
- 22.1 nearing downtown St. Paul.
- 22.0 at the end of Shepard (mile 10.5).
- 21.4 after a few blocks of residential riding at base of Ramsey Hill.
- 20.5 at the top of Ramsey Hill (that hill sucks!).
- 20.0 at home (which JUST dropped down from 20.1).

I like to push up Ramsey Hill, and then “gut it out” for a few more miles as I try to push hard going down Summit Ave. But heading into that nasty wind, I felt like it was all over. It was a good push overall, I just wish I could have held a higher average. I got home and collapsed on the porch as I was still trying to catch my breath:

Oh hi, vein of approval! I haven’t seen you in a while!

• Fri April 16:
Good weights session in the AM, easy 3 mile run in the PM.
I wanted to do some 1600 intervals on the track in the PM. I BARELY convinced myself to head out the door to go run them. But once I got to the track, I saw there was a track meet going on. Oh shucks. *sarcastic wink* So I just did an easy jog around the neighborhood instead of running intervals. An easy 3 miler is ABOUT the same as 3-4 1600s.... right? Right?... ;)

(Oh, I also weeded and “cute-ified” our blvd garden yesterday, so I spent 3 hours bent over. So that counts as some sort of cross-training, right?... Jeez, I’m looking for anyway to feel better about skipping those intervals.)

• Sat April 17:
Some gentle stretching, yet to be done.
I spent all morning and most of the afternoon helping judge a big state-wide high-school art competition, and I’m hashed. I planned nothing for today, so I’m just going to stretch a bit this evening and call it good.

• TOMORROW Sun April 18:
MDRA 4 Mile “Mudball Classic.”
I’m treating this as a hilly tempo run. This should be fun!!! Pharmie, Steph, and I did this race last year (check the link in my sidebar for LOTS of photos), and I’m heading back to it tomorrow morning. It’s a hilly 1 mile loop that we do 4 times. I was 4th last year, and I’d LOVE to be in the top 3 this year. It kinda depends on who shows up. I’ll bring my camera, so look for a race report in the next few days!

Wish me luck!

If I do well, I might FINALLY treat myself to this tattoo that I've wanted for years:

Happy weekend!!


Leslie Swann 5:11 PM, April 17, 2010  

Amazing! I couldn't bike to my mailbox. Thanks for being an inspiration!

P.S. Please get that tattoo.

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot 6:34 PM, April 17, 2010  

That might be the coolest tat I have ever seen. Robocop riding my little poney? amazing, u must get this.

Steve Stenzel 7:33 PM, April 17, 2010  

A "UNICORN" My Little Pony!! Even better!

EZnJ 8:04 PM, April 17, 2010  

holy crapcakes dude... you're so going to PR. i'll cheer my arse off for ya... if i see ya speedy! e will be taking pics

read your GW DU write up... thx.. that KO wo will be on the list for next week!

I'm so inspired! see ya at cannon falls - if weather is good :) jh

Mollyapolis 8:39 PM, April 17, 2010  

Awesome! We'll be seeing you out there at the bog. Last year my husband and I dredged the nearby swamp to "make" a mud puddle in the middle of the trail. Most of the running pussies out there just ran around it though. Bring a bucket with you this year so we can make it larger and less easy to avoid!!!

Nat 9:27 PM, April 17, 2010  

I like the tat except your unicorn should be pink. It screams manly.

Runner Susan 10:23 AM, April 18, 2010  

OMG, I love that tattoo!!!

Kirstyn 2:48 PM, April 18, 2010  

Get the tattoo anyway. It's amazing.

CoachLiz 9:54 PM, April 18, 2010  

Why are you so successful at making me feel pitifully slow as a runner. I was really stoked about my 13.5 miles this morning that I finished in 2 hours.

You will do incredibly well at your half. My Magic 8 Ball tells me a PR is in your future.

Excellent tattoo!

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