Tuesday, June 10, 2014

long trail run and mile repeats

Yesterday (Monday), it was warm and steamy, so I headed to the shady sanctuary of the Gordon, Essex and Manchester Woods. I decided on an out and back and felt good early on staying to the less-travelled single tracks through Gordon Woods. When I came out to Chebacco Road (Pine St. in Manchester) I went over the guard rail into the Manchester-Essex Woods and followed the main trail to the Spruce Swamp Trail to Cheever Commons Loop to Ancient Line to Millstone Hill to Prospect Ledge. Ran the Prospect Ledge Trail further than last week (so further than I ever have). Turned around at 6 miles (56 minutes) and came back. A bunch of miles in the 10:00 range on hilly, rocky single track. Lots of pollen and inchworms in the air. Great time in there - 12 miles in 1:55:26.

Today, I had a track workout in mind. With the Ribfest 5-miler coming up this Sunday and a long hiatus from any kind of structured speed, I figured it was about time for something like this. I'm also holding onto the hope that I might log an outdoor 5k for the All-Terrain series, possibly at the Bay State Games regional race? Anyway, I hoped I might be able to see the fast side of 5:00 for at least a repeat or two.

I warmed up to the track (.3 miles) then did 10 laps on the track. Switched into spikes for the repeats. The first mile started discouragingly, with the first three laps each slower than the previous and all slower than goal pace (76, 77, 78), finished with a 76 for a 5:07.7 first mile, then realized as I was jogging the 800m recovery that I felt pretty fresh. Maybe the compression socks were doing their job, but I got it into my head that I would try to run each one slightly faster. Mile 2 was about 2 seconds faster in 5:05.6 and it seemed possible. Mile 3 I worked the middle laps a little more and got in just under 5:03. Mile 4 I dipped under 5:00 and the last one was a 4:55.7. I should note that the 800m recoveries were getting pretty slow after the last two (8:00 pace). Still, I was pleased with the workout, especially after starting out slower than I had hoped.

Goal for the weekend: sub-26, which I've never done at a Grand Prix 5-miler. In 2009, at the Ollie 4.91 miler, I ran 25:21, which would have been under 26, if I had held the pace for another .09. I ran 26:13 in '05 and '06 at Ollie. In '05 I was excited with that time, in '06 disappointed. Carver in '11 was another slightly disappointing performance of 26:05, especially after blitzing the first mile in 4:50 with JJ. And last year I ran 26:15 at Carver, unable to find a faster (sub-5:10) gear. Feeling pretty good after the past few weeks and today.

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