Tuesday, November 15, 2011

4 x 1600

I got out of bed a few minutes before 5 am this morning and went to the track.  I owe some of this to Mindy, who called me last night to ask what time I was going to be at the track in the morning.  It would have been really easy to hit snooze and go back to sleep had I not known that she would be there.

I could hear the wind blowing outside the bathroom window as I brushed my teeth and thought this could be ugly.  Running mile repeats is hard enough, but doing it in the dark, when it's cold and windy might just be too much.  It turned out not to be that cold and the wind had mostly died down by the time I jogged out on to the track at 5:50 am.  It was still dark, but the gibbous moon was high in the western sky and the first hints of sunrise were visible to the east.  With all my excuses gone, I jogged a few laps, ran some strides and lined up for mile #1.  My plan was to run four 1-mile repeats in 6:15 with a 400 m recovery.

Mile 1 started out okay, but got tough in laps 3 and 4 and I finished in 6:17.  I had said that I'd take the first one easy, so I shook it off, jogged a lap and readied myself for #2.  Mile 2 was hard, but I stayed on pace for the first 3/4 mile and then dropped off a bit at the end finishing in 6:16.  I jogged the recovery lap with Mindy, and we commented on the beauty of the morning and the difficulty of this workout.  Mile 3 didn't feel terrible, but I couldn't hold the pace.  I finished in 6:22 and almost quit right there.  I'm not sure if my slow times were because I didn't push myself hard enough (got to HTFU) or I just wasn't having a 100% morning.  I walked/jogged a recovery lap and lined up for one more.  I credit Mindy and you (my loyal blog readers) for making me feel accountable to finishing the workout that I had set out to do.  I ran mile 4 in 6:32 and felt good about getting it done and dissapointed about not running faster at the same time.  I ran a couple laps with Mindy before she headed home and I jogged across the field to my classroom to start the work day.

I have mixed feelings about this workout.  It was great to get up and enjoy the morning, watch the sunrise and do the run.  It was frustrating not to run the times I wanted.  I think I have the fitness to run 6:15 pace it just didn't happen today.  The sum of my mile times from this morning is 25:27.  If I can run that next Thursday, that would be Thanksgiving Day 4-mile PR which I would be happy with, but I'm not ready to give up on sub 25:00 yet.


  1. I'm looking at this workout for the weekend, depending on Towers (which will also be a good workout, and a good correlation point), as I opted for a 1x3M today.
    If you have time for it (after an easy day), my belief is that a solo 1x3M or 5k workout is going to be a good predictor.

    I don't know about you, but I have noticed my speedwork is regularly a tick slower in the early AM, and is best in the afternoon. That's not when the T-Day race is -- but it's also past sunrise, at least!
    Yes, way to finish up the workout: unless it truly risks sabotaging a future workout (you feel sick or injured), I think it's better to finish up a hard workout than to abandon it, for the mental part of how the end of the race is going to feel.

    Way to get out there and get it done!

  2. I'm not sure I want to tackle 1600s yet, but I'll be heading to the track in about an hour to do something. I didn't decide on my exact workout until I was jogging to the track last week, tonight might be the same. Thanks for the push, Alex.

  3. I have a hard time imagining doing track work before sunrise on a chilly morning. I've just never been able to pry myself out of bed for one of those. A long run in the mountains...no problem getting up early. Kudos for getting out there and getting it done.