Thursday, January 26, 2006

Thanks to Jeff

Well after my rant about the wind on Sunday, it got the better of me. It was windy all day Monday. It really messed with my sinuses and allergies. I had planned on running Monday since I had dinner plans on Tuesday but when I got home, my head just felt all foggy so I scrapped the running plans for the day.

On Tuesday, my wife and I met an old friend from high school for dinner. Jane is about the only person I still have any regular contact with from my high school days. Seems kind of sad to think of it that way. Anyway, Jane lives near Chicago and is in sales. She travels freqently and her travels brought her to LA. We had a really nice time catching up. The last time I had seen her was July 2004 when she talked me into going back home for our high school reunion. She has two sons a little younger than ours. We swapped stories of the frustations and joys of raising boys!

Wednesday I finally got to run with my old running partner and co-worker, Celeste. She's the one that suffered the stress fractured ankle, diagnosed in NYC, the day before the marathon. We ran together 3 to 4 days a week over the summer. Our last run together was nearly 3 months ago. It was good to have a midweek running partner again. We ran our usual route over at the Santa Fe Dam. This was only her second run on asphalt since she was cleared to run again. She did well. We did 4 miles in 35:15, a little slower than we used to go but a good start none the less.

Finally today I signed up for a couple of races. I really need a race out there somewhere to shoot for. I've found that my efforts and motivation are less than inspired without a goal to aim at. I signed up the a half marathon, The Great Race! of Agoura Hills. The half marathon is on both roads and trails. The race was voted "Best Running Event in LA" and "Best Post Race Party in LA". I'll have to let you know about that later. I also signed up for the Puma 5K Run for the Cup that Jesse told us about last weekend. It is four 5K races starting next weekend and ending in June. I don't really have a chance of winning anything, especially with Jesse there competing in my age group, but it will be a change of pace and something new to work towards. I snooped around the internet and found a 20:15 5K time for Jesse, so I've got my work cut out for me. I don't know if I can get there but I do hope to improve my 5K times over the course of the series.

And to that end (and to explain the post title), I did my first speed work session tonight. I've read about speed work and have been inspired by Jeff's accounts of adventures in speed work(see Nov 9), but I've never really given it a try myself. I alway just go out there and put in the miles pretty much at the same pace. I did some research in back issues of Runner's World and based on my best 5K time of 24 minutes, I figured I should do 400 meter repeats at 1:52 to 2:00. There is an old beaten up dirt track at the local middle school within a half mile of my house. I took the long way there for a warm up and planned on 4 laps "speed", with a recovery lap between each. Four laps probably doesn't seem like much but based on what I read it seemed like a good place to start.

Lap 1 1:44 Recovery 2:34 faster than I expected
Lap 2 1:48 Recovery 2:41 slowing down already
Lap 3 1:51 Recovery 2:35 slipping a little more
Lap 4 1:49 Recovery 2:49 pretty consistent after all!

I took a long way home and ended up with 5.7 miles for the day. I was pretty happy with my first real attempt at speedwork. It was a confidence booster to know that I could do 4 repeats in less than the 1:52 prescribed. Hopefully this will turn into a faster 5K time in the future. Look out Jesse, here I come!


jeff said...

that's awesome, d!

those track workouts are a great physical and mental booster. mix it up a little bit with different distances each week, that makes it fun. try some 800 repeats, some mile repeates and huge sets of 200's & 400's. you'll blow him away when the 5k series comes around!

Rae said...

We're going to start doing some speedwork this summer as well. I hear it makes a huge difference!!

Congrats on signing up for the races! Nothing beats a great post race party!