Thursday, May 14, 2009

VFAC Thursday

Having missed lunch today was a cause for a mini-celebration - namely, I don't have to make my sandwich for tomorrow as it is already made!

I also filled a water bottle to take to drink in the car on the way to workout (after having eaten my Clif Bar) and I promptly left that on the kitchen table.

The lesson here kids is to not eat much and not drink much if you want to have a strong workout.

After the soul-sopping rain that we experienced here on Wednesday, I wasn't sure if I would want to go to workout tonight. However, if you don't like the weather in Vancouver, wait a day. Today was beautiful, sunny, and a brisk 15 degrees by the time workout commenced. Paul made it back into the fold tonight after a some time away to heal an injury. He had a heck of a return workout, stepping in just barely a step behind where he usually is (that step behind was behind me for the time being, but that won't be for long). Our new British recruit, Peter, is a welcome addition to the group as I believe both Kevin and John are behind this influx of Brits coming to VFAC.

The workout tonight was an interesting one - 1 mile 5/8, then about 1.95k (we'll call it 2k), and then 1.3k. We run the same loop, but start in different places each time. The last time I ran this workout was in September in similar circumstance to tonight (coming back from a foot injury, still trying to round into form). I ran that workout in 8:31 for the first interval and then 6:24 for the second. The last interval that night was run in a different location due to waning light, so for comparison purposes it won't count (it was also 500m longer, so really no ability to compare).

I felt good in warm up tonight, chatting with Jay about blogging and "then vs. than" and my inability to spell brief (which I always get a red underline on my screen for). Strides and drills felt good and when we began our first interval, I felt like I was holding back. I was concerned coming into the workout as I had only had a green tea latte (with soy milk, no syrup - yes, I have become what I hate), and an apple fritter to eat and drink all day. Oh yeah, and an apple. Then after forgetting my water to wash down my Clif Bar, I was definitely concerned about how my body would hold up throughout the workout.

About 400m into the first interval, I followed Peter outside of Kevin and Paul and stuck on his shoulder. I have been trying to match cadence with my teammates of late, trying to get my turnover to become a bit quicker and more efficient, reducing the amplitude of the high heel kick that Paul commented on during the first section of downhill tonight, so sticking on Peter's shoulder I focussed solely on his turnover. He was very smooth and seemingly effortless as we finished the interval in 8:01. I knew it was fast because Jay didn't catch us (although he ran a flu influenced 7:56) and I was pleased that the effort was hard, but controlled.

The next interval followed the same pattern. Stick on Peter's shoulder and don't let Jay catch us. Again, the interval felt controlled and fast, with me and Peter finishing in 5:59. Kevin and Paul were running very well and finishing just a couple of seconds back, if that. The crew was starting to come back together again!

The last interval was decidedly downhill, which is always a good thing by me. We all started together (usually Jay starts behind us because he is faster), and as there was a slight uphill for the first 500m, I tried to be controlled, knowing that the downhill would be fun. As we rounded the last uphill corner and began the long downhill, I really enjoyed running. Not that I hate running otherwise, but tonight I felt like I was a runner. I pulled alongside Jay in the last 20m of the interval and, although I knew that the flu he suffered from last week was still lingering, it was nice to feel like I was back. Coach John made note of the workout being one of my better ones and I feel confident with my speed right now. I was about 30s faster than September's workout and at around the same heart rate. (Tonight's workout is here if interested http://connect.garmin.com/activity/5440760)

So, I am stating to feel good again. Strong workouts come along often enough to keep you wanting to find them again and again, and yet they still maintain their elusivity (yes, I made up a word.) I think that the back-to-back long runs on the weekends are starting to pay dividends and I am hoping that the tempo runs will get better as I know that is the weakness I need to improve for the Scotiabank half-marathon in June.

But tonight was a good night for running.

(And for getting caught up on the Lost season finale - who is John Locke? I have theories...)
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