27 May 2010

Who Fartlek'd? The Steep Learning Curve Of Mile Repeats

A little fatigue set in on Tuesday following a brutal introduction to mile repeats by my friend Vanessa. My legs were a little bit on the jello-y side for the rest of the evening, but I managed to squeeze in some much needed rest. 

Tuesday's workout called for a bike/run. I ran to the track to meet my buddy Vanessa, who just came off of an impressive 3:38 at Boston. She thinks she could have ran it faster, and I have no doubts that next time around, she most certainly will. The plan was to do mile repeats on Tuesday. The run from my house to the track is almost three miles. I had to leave a little later than I wanted to help get the boys off to school. When I arrived there at nine, I was already  sweating fiercely. If I have not already mentioned, it went right from mid-50's to 88 degrees in the matter of a day here in western New York. What is up with that? Anyway, the humidity Tuesday morning was right around a bazillion percent. (funny, spell check recognizes the word "bazillion.")

Here is Vanessa trying to convince me that mile repeats are a good idea.

This is me NOT buying it.

For those of you who do not know what mile repeats are I will give you the skinny: Basically,  you take your the average of your best 10k times as a base for your first split. So, if your average 10k time is somewhere in the 48 minute range, you want to run your first mile split in about 8:00. With each consecutive  split, you want to run 5 to 7 seconds faster. In between splits, you run a slow recovery lap around the track before you delve back into the fiery furnace of pain. 

It was time for my first go. Eight minute mile. I got this. Run Forest run. I crossed the finish line in 7:35—waaaaaay too fast for a morning with a bazillion percent humidity. 

I took a swig of GU2O and did a recovery lap. As I was running the lap with Vanessa, I expressed concern that she might have to resuscitate if I run any faster. She said that I ought to try and run at least the same split, or 3 seconds faster. Okay, second time around, I finished right at 7:33. So, I ran over to my water, poured it on my head and started running my second recovery lap. It seems so easy. Here we go, third time around:

This is me feeling completely dejected after my miserable attempt at mile repeats.

We planned on running five mile repeats this morning. I am embarrassed to admit that I only was able to do two. I got less than a quarter mile around the track on my third repeat and the body said, "Excuse me... what are you doing?" I had to shut it down. I did, however, run it back to the house with Vanessa talking about medievalist nerdy stuff (she's a nerdy medievalist,) although, she is not really nerdy, but supercool. I learned some valuable lessons as a result of my feeble first attempt at a track workout:

1) Do not go out past 7:00 a.m. to start mile repeats. 

2) Don't believe Vanessa when she says she "I am not trying to kill you," then laughs hysterically as she turns around and heads toward the track.

3) Try NOT to run in bazillion degree heat with bazillion percent humidity. 

Later on that afternoon, I hopped on my bike and did a ride out to work. I made sure I went the extraordinarily long way, because it is not that far to work—only 11 miles, but I made it fifteen. I did some work and rode back a couple hours later. The legs were a little fatigued Tuesday evening. 

Today I had my first swim lesson with Coach Jack. That's right, you heard it here. I decided I did not want to go on being a less than average swimmer. Coach Jack is awesome. More on my lesson and progress later. This evening i ran my 8.35 mile course in 1:05:36, completely shattering my old course record (set on Sunday) by four minutes! Think I am steadily getting the nutrition part down on my long runs. No lower g.i. issues today—thank goodness!

Breaking News: Stella got her first hair cut yesterday. 
Here are the before and after pictures:

Isn't she cute?

Rig Update: Rig is being built by the only cat I trust to do it. I will be taking some pics and movies of the build and sharing them on my blog. Very excited for the build. More excited to ride it!

More soon. Train Smart!


Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

Heat w/ humidity just sucks! I think I would have cut it to two repeats too!

I loved the pics of your daughter's first haircut! Both of my boys screamed bloody murder when they got their first hair cut. Now, at 3 and 5, they are pros. They climb right up in the chair and sit quietly the entire time...it's awesome! Of course, they get a lollipop afterwards so that always helps! :)

RockStarTri said...

#3 is always the hardest mentally. This is followed be "second to last." You were smokin' early on.

Next time (and you know there will be a next time), hold back a little early. It'll still suck but it will make you faster.

Mark said...

Aimee—one can never underestimate the power of the lollipop. My daughter received one too, and was eager to show it off to the rest of the family when she got home.

RockStar— thanks for the tip. I know you are right. Hope you enjoy bachelorhood this week.

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

I'm glad Vanessa doesn't live anywhere near me. Mark, you look like you are covering your face and crying. It was that bad, huh? Stella's hair is gorgeous and she's a beautiful little girl. Looks like a princess. Have a great weekend!


Thanks for explaining the one pic (dejected). I thought you were "snorting" something.... Gu??

Kelly said...

Sounds like things are going well, Mark!! Can't wait to see the new bike!!!!!! (extra, just for you.)

wendy_kresha@charter.net said...

How cool! I found your blog through RunnerDude. I am the female version of you. Your daughter is very cute, love the pics : )

Running Diva Mom said...

Just found you through your spotlight on Runner Dude's blog. Great store and great advice. I'm a mom of two and love that others can find a balance too. It's so important to carve out some "me time" for yourself. And endurance athlete daddys are super awesome!!!!! Keep up the great work!!!!!!!!

Alexa said...

hi Mark! I wrote a blog about swimming in Kershaw and running into Crank Skin boys and then my teammate Kelly said that she knew you and that you had a blog! 5 mins of cyberstalking later here I am!

Julie said...

Hi there,
What the heck? I know that I left you a comment...must of not saved:( I read the post about you that Runner Dude posted a few days ago:) Just wanted to stop by and say hi!

I have to hand it to you for balancing family life with training...that is something that will always be hard for me. Your family is gorgeous and I am looking forward to reading more of your adventures:)