Two Yearly “Firsts:” Tempo Ride and Running Intervals

>> Saturday, June 16, 2018

The last 2 weeks held 2 “firsts” for 2018.

First, I did 2x2 mile running intervals about 10 days ago. I’ve been talking about working on getting some speed back, and this workout is a good “gentle ease into intervals.” I did them at my normal spot along the river. I truly had no time goals, as I just wanted to run fast for a few miles.

Here are half-mile splits:

- 2:56, 3:05, 3:04, 2:58 = 12:04.85
- 3:00, 3:08, 3:07, 2:59 = 12:14.67

Last Spring, I (wasn’t trying and still) set a PR for this workout with a 11:38 and 11:24. WAY off that. Something to work towards. (For what it’s worth, that PR workout was on totally flat trail on the Greenway, and this most recent workout had a few hills along River Road: Lake/Marshall Bridge down past Shriners Hospital and back up for each 2 miles.)

Second, I did my “go to” 15.x mile hilly tempo ride through St. Paul a few days ago. It’s a loop I do that is River Road which curves and turns into Shepard Road which goes into downtown, then up Ramsey Hill, down Summit Ave, and back home. It was the first time I did this ride this year, which is SUPER late - last year by this time, I’d done it 4 times already. Here’s a post where I list previous PRs for this ride: I broke 20.0 mph in Sept of 2014, I broke 21.0 mph in April of 2017, and my lifetime PR is 21.9 in June of 2017 (which was the 4th time I broke 21.0 mph in those few months).

Really, my only thought going into this hard ride was “Try to break 20 mph? Maybe?” I had 22.2 mph at downtown before turning off the trail and heading up Ramsey Hill, but I hadn’t looked back at my “usual” splits to know if that was good or not by that point. I was happy to see I still had a 21.1 mph average once I climbed Ramsey, so I felt pretty good about myself! I dropped to 21.0, but then climbed up to a 21.2 mph average before home.

So comparing to last year, that puts me in mid-April 2017 shape in the middle of June 2018 (I rode 21.0 in early April 2017, and 21.3 later in April 2017). That’s actually not as bad as I had hoped. Last year, I was in great shape right away because of a “mild” winter, and this past winter SUCKED so I KNOW my bike fitness has suffered. (I didn’t train well on the trainer. Despite its name.)

Sidenote: as of a few days ago, we now have a 7-year-old in our house:



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