This week of running was all about intensity. Coming off two weekend races last week, I jumped into an 11k tempo on Tuesday. Sonja and I headed over to Lower Seymour to run along the paved riding/rollerblading/running road that I used briefly last year for my tempos. It was a beautiful night and the colours of the leaves out here are reminiscent of Ontario. As I started my run I hit play on my iPod shuffle, prepared to listen to my podcasts, only to find that the iPod was not ready. Whether it was the battery or just the fact that I had sent it through the washing machine, it didn't work. Oh well. I looked down to my watch to see that it was low battery which means that it would die if I didn't turn off the GPS. Since the kilometers were marked along the road, I shut down the GPS, turning my watch simply into a, er, watch. A stopwatch, but no pace or distance or elevation or anything. Before my first steps I had been rendered technologically impotent.
And I had my best run yet. I hit my pace times dead on (3:40/km for those keeping score at home) and felt strong throughout. I was able to focus on my pace and form, letting my mind stay in the present rather than drifting off to the ideas posed during the podcasts. It was good.
Thursday saw the 4 - 1 - 1 workout again with VFAC. This would also be a good workout, but not feel good. I started the first 4 mile interval with Ynuk, ahead of Paul and Jay. Paul caught us around 1 mile in and I went with him. Trying to match Paul's quick cadence, I hung with him through the turnaround and most of the way home. It was about 3.4 miles in that I cracked. I lost contact with Paul and watched Ynuk, who I had left when I went with Paul, fly by. Jay had passed us like a train whizzing by gridlock traffic just prior to that. Even with blowing up, keeping pace with Paul was a big step. The same workout on October 2nd had me at 22:39 for my 4 mile piece; this week was 21:47. A 50 second drop in a month is decent. The following 1 mile repeats were pretty ugly. I cracked on the first one and ran a 5:17, but pulled it together for the second one and ran a 5:04 (wind at my back this time). A good night overall.
Today was 5 x 800m as I introduced myself to the track again after a prolonged absence; I am not sure my heart is any fonder. I ran consistently, which was good. I held the 800s between 2:24 and 2:26, but not without some discomfort nearing the end of the workout. It was good to be going in circles again, and the speed will help with muscle fibre recruitment prior to heading into my base training in December. This was something that Paul reminded me of on Tuesday; I had been a little concerned about the amount of intensity I had been doing in place of base. Paul reconnected me with the idea that doing intensity allows for the recruitment of more muscle fibres, which means that when it comes time for base training and I will be able to affect change in more of my muscle than if I had not done the intensity. It is a little opposite of most "traditional" training pyramids, but has worked with African runners. We'll see how it works for this Wet Coast runner (yes, Wet on purpose).
All in all a good week of training.