PP5M Training: Week 5

Last week’s training was a bit messed up. Here’s the log:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 6.2 mi (trail)
Thursday: 5.5 mi (10×400 intervals)
Friday: 4.4 mi, road
Saturday: 1.6 mi trail + 3.5 road
Sunday: 1.6 mi trail + 7.9 road
Total: 30.7 mi

I started the week with 2 unscheduled rest days in a row. Not the best way to start a week, but necessary. Both Sunday night and Monday night I slept horribly (Sunday because I wasn’t feeling well, Monday I don’t know what the problem was), and I even went home from work early on Tuesday and took a 2 hour nap, which I never do. Generally when I nap I feel really sick and horrible, so I avoid them unless I just can’t function. I did yoga both days (after the nap on Tuesday, which helped me feel better) and I walked a couple of miles on Monday, so I wasn’t a complete deadbeat.

I don’t feel guilty about “unscheduled rest days,” to use the parlance of our time, because if they’re needed, they’re needed. Knowing when to give my body or my mind a break from running is important, and not listening to that impulse is going to be detrimental to my training. I just moved everything up by a day and skipped the rest day, and tried to make up the mileage. I made it to 30!

Wednesday I tried out my handheld on a trail run. Thursday I gave intervals another try and kind of sucked at them. I did that run on Park Point (a stupid idea, because while the flat surface was nice, dodging tourists who don’t look when they cross the street and who ride tandem bikes as if the whole street is theirs was unpleasant, and then I got bridged) and I think I’ll do that for the next set of intervals (fewer tourists). My splits were unknown, 10:50, 10:39, 10:49, unknown, 10:45, 10:46, 10:53, 10:34, 10:20. I forgot to hit the lap button for the two unknowns. While those are fairly consistent (with the last one an outlier), they are too fast. Either that or I’m going to slaughter my race on Friday.

Saturday and Sunday I did “doubles” as I did a short hike each day (a dry run and then the solstice hike) and a run. My long run on Sunday went ok. I brought along my handheld and started at 6 PM, trying to avoid the heat. Instead I got full-on sun in my face for a few miles and ended up salty as hell. I used my fantastic water bottle to douse my head and get the salt off my face. I felt really gross after the run, despite sipping water the whole way and despite feeling strong during the run. It was really stuffy in my house and was making me nauseated. I’m not sure if it was the heat, or if it was because I hadn’t eaten enough before my run. I think it was the latter, because after I laid down for a little while (in the grass outside, because I was feeling a little panicky) and ate a granola bar, I was fine and ate my dinner. I also didn’t show any other signs of dehydration or heat illness. Still, that handheld is coming with on all long runs or runs where I’m exposed to a lot of sun, just to be safe.

This coming week, I’m hoping to get back on the training schedule, with a few minor, but planned tweaks. With the race on Friday/Saturday (it starts at 11:59 PM on Friday) rather than Sunday as the schedule says (why do these stupid plans always have the races on Sundays? Saturday’s probably more common!), I’ll have Sunday as an open day and do a long run, and I probably will still only have one rest day (Thursday) even though the plan calls for two rest days in a row leading up to the race. It’s a 5K, I’ll survive on just one rest day.

Even though the training plan went pear-shaped for the week, I still got the important workouts in (long run and speedwork), got the mileage I wanted, and had some fun along the way. I’ll just be over here self-congratulating for this accomplishment.

Uneven Intervals

Wednesday was the hottest day of the week, so naturally that was the day I had speed work on the schedule. I was supposed to do 8×400.

I don’t do intervals at the track, because I am self-conscious about track workouts. I’m not fast, so I would feel a little silly about running repeats around a track at an 11:00 pace. I would probably do my speedwork on a track if it wasn’t for the other reason I’m self-conscious about track workouts. Even though I know people all over the place use local high school tracks for their workouts, I’m always afraid I’d be kicked off for trespassing or something. I don’t like to be places where it’s not explicitly clear I am allowed to be, specifically when I’m working out and already a little self-conscious.

My other choices are to do speedwork on the treadmill or to keep an eye on my watch and do it on the road. I don’t think speed work on the treadmill is helpful to me at this point, as I need to regulate my pace myself. So I did it on the road. I actually drove to school and parked in the parking lot there, since it’s much flatter than the area around my home. I felt dumb driving 2 miles to run on sidewalks, but I did it anyway. I warmed up for 0.85 miles. I know this because I used the lap button on my watch! Eureka!

I’m glad I used the lap button because now I know how fast I really run these intervals. I ran each 400m (well, a quarter mile actually, although I am sure my watch could be switched to metric) and then slowed way way down to recover for 0.1 mile. The plan called for a 5K pace for the repeats, and my plan was to run a little bit faster than that, because I want a faster 5K pace and I want my current 5K pace to be my 5 mile pace. That may be wishful thinking but the plan I had was to run at around an 11:00 pace.

The results were: 10:48, 10:51, 10:46, 10:11, 10:19, 11:02, 11:26, 10:32, 10:44. Yes, I realize that I did 9 400s instead of 8. My counting skills need improvement.

The first 3 intervals were very consistent, but too fast. I knew they were too fast and tried to slow them down, so the pace graph has these big spikes and then a ski-jump shaped drop-off where I tried to slow down. I am really not doing myself any favors by running these intervals too quickly, and I have got to figure out how to back off the pace slowly. A few times I looked like I slowed down a little too much and was down in the lower 11s/high 12s, but that didn’t occur often. I need to find a flatter spot, too, because while the hills were fairly gentle, the intervals were unintentionally spaced so that many of them were downhill, which inflated my speed and hindered my braking. I also need to find a route that doesn’t have a dead raccoon decomposing along the side. The smell was not pleasant.

I have improved with these repeats somewhat, because I am no longer going out too hard and then running out of gas, as I was before. At least the slowdown is intentional now. I just need to work on consistency and evenness of pace for the next set, in two weeks. Oh, and accurately counting.