PP5M Training: Week 6

Tune-up race week!

Monday: 4.6 mi, road
Tuesday: 5.9 mi, trail
Wednesday: 6 mi, paved trail, 9×400 intervals
Thursday: rest
Friday: 0.5 + 3.1 mi, warmup + race, paved trail
Saturday: 3.9 mi, trail
Sunday: 5.6 mi, road
Total: 29.5 mi

This week ended up being a bit of a step-back week, which is fine, since I gave a pretty strong effort for the race. I slept pretty horribly after I came back from the race, as I was physically tired but my mind was racing, no pun intended. It was pretty humid all weekend, so it wasn’t good sleeping weather. I don’t have air conditioning, so all I had to combat the stuffiness was a couple of fans.

Because I hadn’t slept well, and because it was fairly warm (for Duluth) on Saturday, I kept the run short and easy. I brought my hand-held even though I was only going to run for an hour. Most other places in the country, it’s been hot long enough for runners to acclimate a bit, but here in Duluth we haven’t strung together many hot days, so I’m still trying to get used to running in heat and humidity. It was kind of a sluggish run, but I didn’t want to push it.

Sunday, I thought it had cooled off. I almost didn’t work out at all on Sunday because I thought we were going to get significantly more rain than we did. It poured while I was out to a late lunch with family, and it seemed like more bad weather loomed, but it held off long enough that I marshaled my spirits enough to get out there. The sun returned and it ended up being a lot warmer than I thought it would be; the coolness brought by the rain had been short-lived. I didn’t have my hand-held with me because I hadn’t put it in the fridge as I’d thought, but I was still able to push the pace a teeny bit and ended up finally doing a medium-long run under a 15 minute pace (14:58! But still!) despite walking the hills at the beginning to prevent getting overheated.

This was a pretty strong week of training, although it lacked a long run. I didn’t have one prescribed in Hal’s training plan, but since my race was on Friday (technically Saturday, but logged as Friday), I had two post-race days to play with and could have stretched Sunday’s run to 7 or 8 if I’d planned better. I am starting to chip away at my race pace, and my training paces are starting to drop, too. I was right that the interval paces I was naturally hitting indicated I could run a faster 5K. I’m pretty pleased with the progress I’ve made in a short time. It won’t always be that way, of course, but I’ll enjoy the rapid progress that comes with the beginner phase of running while it lasts. Eventually I’ll be working my butt off to improve a PR by mere seconds.

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