Fall Training Week of September 15

Before a day-by-day breakdown:
Used to be deeply attuned to the world of running shoes on a very nerdy level, mainly because it beat doing homework or accomplishing anything of actual value. That interest fell by the wayside during college, especially as my dissatisfaction of the swoosh began to manifest.

Even when I wasn't running, I stayed connected to what was going on at the professional level. Liked what the Hanson's were doing and stood for, so I stuck with Brooks for awhile, most recently with a long string of Adrenaline 12s (exacerbated when I got about four pairs at DSW for stupid cheap).

I spent this spring and summer in a pair of New Balances that I got for free last year, mainly because I had them around and I thought that the Adrenalines contributed to my inflamed tendon foot woes of the spring. Fairly worn and not really providing the cushioning I feel like I needed, I knew it 'tis time for something new.

Enter my first pair of Newtons. Many folks SWEAR by them, which makes me nervous that I'm entering some sort of cultish world. But I type this wearing a Ragnar sweatshirt, so perhaps its too late for me.

The ridge isn't obvious when I tried them out, which surprised me. Nice and light shoe, and I was sold on the notion of this being an entry (...gateway?) model to grow accustomed to the different structure. I'm a bit lighter and run more efficiently than when I first started back running consistently last winter, so I'm happy to see how these work out. Only concern is making sure the bone chip in my left ankle doesn't feel jostled. Gotta keep our broken pieces appeased.

I will say this: I have not spent this much on a pair of shoes since whatever model of Nike Air Max was released in 1999. Damn feet, why does it cost so much to house you in things.

Criminy, so garish. I love them. 

Week 2 - September 15-21, 32.4 miles

Monday AM - 3.24 miles, 9:11 pace. Stretch, Myrtl. 

Tuesday AM - 45 minute Tempo Run, 5.49 miles.  
Hard to get moving. 10 minute warm up, 25 min tempo effort, 10 minute cool down.
8:47, 7:53, 7:50, 7:41, 8:33, 4:30 (.49)
Sort of morning where the cool tingle takes awhile to leave ungloved hands and you are reminded that you can see your gasping breath for part of the year. 

Wednesday AM - 4 miles, 8:21 pace. Stretch.
Woke up super early for no particular reason, so waited for a tinge of sunrise to head out for some easy miles.

Thursday PM - 3x1600
1.5 mile warm up, a trio of four laps around the track with a 400 jog inbetween, 1.5 cooldown.

Well shit. Sorta didn't want to do anything after a crapfest of a day. The lack of hills in the immediate vicinity is giving me creative license in changing up the three workout sessions that call for such into other speed sessions on the track. Flipped a coin between 1200s and 1600s, but four laps will always have the upper hand in my heart.

Decided to drive to the track and warmed up there, which worked out as I got things moving a bit quicker compared to running over to Concordia. Feel like I get right down to business when contained within a specific area for repeat efforts. Different mindset than aimlessly wandering on the roads, for certain. Used the last lap or two for some strides and remind myself what quicker turnover is. I've been liking the way my stride and turnover has been feeling this summer, more running than shuffling.

I didn't really have much of a time-focused plan heading in, especially after my previous session of low 1:30 400s and an opening mile of 6:53 at my 5k last week. Figured 6:45s would be a good point pace-wise to aim for.

Mile 1: 6:36 (1:34/3:14/4:53)
Mile 2: 6:39 (1:39/3:18/4:58)
Mile 3: 6:25 (1:34/3:10/4:49)

Felt controlled but pressed myself pretty well throughout. Didn't really think to set up my lap splits on my Garmin, so I wasn't living and dying by whatever numbers were being displayed or buzzing upon every passing by my starting point. Based things more on feel. I think I'll give the workout creation option on my watch for next week, seeing as I never have used that feature, so why not.

Looked at my wrist upon finishing the first one and felt sorta non-responsive. "Uh, ok I guess." Should I be ecstatic? Scared?  Not sure if that was going to be a dastardly starting point that would doom the remaining two 1600s. Felt more conservative for number two, but not by much.

Final go around was in the pristine post-sunset blush with minimal stadium lighting and I sped up for the final 100. It felt good to be moving quickly. Cooled down, over-thinking what this means/what I should be aiming for. No idea. I'll take myself out at 7 in next week's 5k, and then keep pressing. Or more likely go out far too quickly and die.

Looking back, the last time I did mile repeats was last June. 7:03/7:21/6:58. Glad I didn't look that up prior to this workout. 

Was so close to stripping down to just my sports bra for the final repeat, but too damn self-conscious. What would all the walkers THINK?

Would love to get a solo mile in now and see how it stacks up to the end of this training cycle. Will make that happen next week where applicable.

Friday - Off. 

Saturday AM - 9 miles, 8:34 pace.
Not sure why I felt so off. Weather was wonderful but I was sweating as if it was about 85 degrees and 90% humidity out, which was very much not the case. Felt like I had no energy, even though I gave myself time to completely digest a Clif bar. Hip started feeling a little tighter than I felt comfortable with, so I reached a nice round number and walked my remaining mile home.

Sunday PM - 4 @ Pace, 7:26 pace.
7:26, 7:29, 7:26, 7:23
TOO FAST (I think). Like a skittish small animal, I bounded about on my first run in my new shoes, feeling fleet of foot and strong. Haven't run in a shoe so light (7.9 oz) in a very long while. On the plus side, I didn't feel too strained in maintaining a pace that is about 10 seconds faster than desired, and the hardest part was the ever-present starting/stopping of an afternoon jaunt. Again, need to utilize the bells and whistles on my wrist and set up pace things. 

Next Week: Park Ridge Charity 5k. Claims to be the fastest 5k in Illinois, never been. Breaking 22 is the expected outcome, close to 21:30 is the goal. Trying to use smaller (and cheaper!) races + workouts to regain a sense of confidence when racing instead of swearing at myself for being a head-case.