All day today I was thinking about track practice and figuring how I would tone it down enough to keep me from any stupid injuries. You see I tend to push it a bit and always seem to be racing at the end of the intervals. Normally that is great and a lot of fun but right now it could be a problem as I haven't been training for speed.
The other thing that was nagging at me was a slight twinge in my right ham.....that could be a problem if I over do it.
I planned on doing the same as last week to get my milage up and run a 3 mile warmup before track. The workout this week is 400-800-400 x 3 with active recovery, I was figuring my tone down splits when I got called out into the yard for a problem.
The sun's warmth hit me head on and wrapped it's essence around me. As the rays tingled against the skin, my mind went into vision mode and I imagined a nice comfotable jog in the woods. Nothing too strenous, just a nice easy jog (ultra pace) for 5 or 6 miles while soaking in the sounds and smells of the maine woods.
This vision and it's underlaying feelings worked on me all day long. By the time 5:00 rolled around I was in total trail withdrawal and decided that I should be training on the surface I am racing. it seemed a flat round surface would do little to help me prepare for the uneven terrain and rolling hills of Pineland. As I remembered back to the 25K, it dawned on me that the constant down hills were my biggest enemy last year as my quads cramped up severely causing me to slow to a crawl in the last 5 miles.
At that moment my mind was made up, I needed to stay tuned up on down hills to assure no repeat of last year. I changed and headed to Pineland. Upon arrival I reminded myself that this was not a hard workout but just an easy tune up run. It seemed that a run of 6 or 7 miles similar to last Saturday (but not quite so hard)would work well and figured to keep my heart rate below the 140 range if possible.
I sucked down a gaterade (not sure way I chose to get that and drink it because I haven't been training with gaterade only water and perp.) I was a bit winded in the beginning mile and actually thought about cutting the run short to 5 or 6 miles. Because of shortening the run, I decided to run all the hills but at a shorter stride and very slow pace.
I fell into a nice rhythm and didn't miss the nano at all. I don't usually bring it for track practice but often like to enjoy some easy listening on the trails. Unlike Saturday, my heart rate was very stable and I had no trouble keeping it between 130 and 140 for the first 4 miles. I actually didn't adjust my pace at all.
In mile 5 I ramped up a bit on the down hills to stretch out the legs. I crossed paths with two large whitetail deer and followed a fox for about 200 yards. He must have thought I was chasing him but he kept looking back at me then running down the trail instead of heading into the woods. Finally he kicked up the speed and was gone.
When I got to mile 6 I was feeling very comfortable and decided to continue. I crossed the street and ran on the east side trail. I started feeling real good and my heart rate was stable so I ramped up the legs a bit and enjoyed a little more speed.
It felt great as I caught and passed a couple of runners. Once past them I guess I just kept speeding up and suddenly found myself going much faster than my planned ultra pace .....and I was feeling soooo good. The breathing was heavy but not forced or labored and the muscles felt tired but at the same time strong (if that makes sense at all).
My peak Heart rate was in mile eight after I passed the runners and then in mile 9,10 and .2 of 11 the rate dropped even though the speed increased. This was odd as usually with increase effort and longer distance, the rate works against me.
It was hard to believe I ran over ten miles and still felt pretty good. I guess you just never know how the run will go. Overall a great run, I felt strong, comfortable and definately did not feel I pushed too hard being this close to race day.
10.2 miles....1:50:12....(10:48 pace) average Heartrate 137