return to speed!

This Tuesday was our first official Tuesday Track party/ speed night.

Dan and I recently moved in together (yes, it’s exciting; except the introducing of our cats). One cat was under the bed hissing angrily, as the other purred affectionately (and loudly) in my ear. I got about an hour sleep Monday night. In the morning, Dan and I trudged out of bed, and did a head count of the cats. One was missing, so we called her name several times. We could hear she was responding, but we couldn’t find her. We eventually decided she was in the kitchen, and between two cabinets (ugh, I hate cats for reasons like this. A dog is never like “Gee, a small nook, I want to go there!” …). Still, poor girl- she had gotten the best hiding spot- in between the two corner cabinets. The entrance was about 3 or 4 inches wide, by about 2 inches wide. I could barely squeeze my hand in there. Yet, the tard-cat (she’s sweet really…) had decided I want to be in there!

About an hour later, we had gotten her out. So I was about an hour late to work, and running on little energy

****SKIP TO HERE IF YOU HATE CATS AND CAT STORIES (me too) *****

So track night…

I got to the track a little late, so everyone was warmed up and ready to go, but I had to run around once to loosen my legs up a little. The boys ran together and Sarah and I ran together. It felt like a happy reunion for Sarah legs and my legs (she and I often worked the track together for speed workouts in 2012’s Spring training for Nashville).

It has been a while, so we eased into speed night with 4x400s. A year ago, Sarah and I would aim for 2:00 or more since we were doing a lot of reps at 5K speed. This time, we aimed for 1:50s.

After my legs were a little loose, I met up with Sarah; and we were off. We kept meeting each other’s speed, which meant we were picking up the pace more and more with each stride.
(1:39)
First one done, and we decided 1:45 would be a better goal as we walked the recovery (I’m still coming back. I would otherwise lightly jog the recovery). We prepped for our next one, which felt much easier.
(1:44)
Honestly, it felt much easier than 1:44, and I could have maintained that speed for several more reps. With only two more left, we agreed to ‘maintain’ for the third and go balls to the wall for the last one (to beat the first). Our next felt okay.
(1:41)
And now for the final. Sarah and I had been step for step, but the last one youre always a little on your own (trying to beat the person next you). We did laugh though… The boys were so serious- lining up as if they were racing and then pulling single file. Sarah and I stutter stepped as we lapped our watches, laughing at each other. The straight-away at ~200m, we picked it up, and never let up. I was struggling to keep with Sarah. And in the last straight, I let her have it when she sped up for the final ~50m.
(1:38)

It felt like a good return. I actually haven’t lost too much speed. And my legs are responsive. My problem is in my breathing. My abdominal injury has left my breathing more labored than in the past. Still averaging 1:40 for 400m makes me happy. I still want another PR 5K this fall. It gives me something to strive for; something to train for and concentrate on when training.

HAPPY HUMP DAY (said the camel)

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Push it (Salt N Peppa flashback)

This week ended up being more about speed for me. Dan and I went snowboarding last weekend, and it was great! Beautiful, fun, etc. etc. But, it left me missing running a little; and feeling like I didn’t do enough (The slopes were super busy, so we only went a few runs).

So… Monday, I decided to run intervals again. Of course, I got off work a little late, and it was raining and dark, so I decided *treadmill style*! No one was in my little apartment gym, so it was perfect. 400m is about 0.25 miles. I know my 400m interval is generally 1:40-2:10; so I was aiming for sub-2:00s. And I wanted to do at least 4 repeats. And somehow I knocked that our of the park with:

1:54/ 1:55/ 1:44/ 1:27/ 1:32

I don’t track my intervals too much, but I don’t remember ever hitting a sub-1:45 on a 400m interval. So I was so ecstatic with my 1:27, I wanted to see if I could do it again- almost!

I then had a mentoring (easy) training run Tuesday with my 10-11’s group at Fleet Feet. We ran the hilly Wade Ave. On this run, you are literally going uphill or downhill, no real recovery/rest of a flat stretch. I pushed my ladies up the last few hills at respectable 10:10 pace. I could tell they were really pushing as hard as they could. And then, I turned around to catch the stragglers at the bottom of the last hill, and push them up it as much as possible. It was a good run, and afterward, I was nice and loose and just wanted to run another 3-4 miles. But, I had to get to Dan’s for dinner…

So then, Wednesday, I wanted to run a easy mid-distance, but was exhausted and it was dark, so I cut it shorter- 5.5 miles. I sprinted it in as I was finishing up. I kept glancing down to see how fast I was going- 9:15… okay. 8:36, that’s better. 7:25 (for a good 2-3 minutes)- Woo! I glanced down as I was losing steam and at the end- 6:45. Hell yeah! I was super excited. And soon after dropped to a 11:00 pace to cool-down.

So, yeah. Speed. it’s good. Also, I always envision Salt N Pepa at the end of speedy workout, telling me to Push It…

Oh, and beer review- Because it’s been a while.

I grabbed a Southern Belle (from Olde Hickory). The guy at Triangle Wine even said it was one of his favorites. So last night, Dan and I popped it open (and watched Macklemore’s Thrift Shop waaaay too many times).

I poured the 22 oz. into two separate pint glasses. And smelled it. It smelled fruity and floral. I couldn’t really decipher much more than that from smelling it. Upon tasting it, I didn’t know what to think. There were a lot of flavors. Honestly, too many. It was confusing. Hoppy, grapefruit, honey, malts; it was all too much to concentrate on one flavor. However, the more I drank it, the more I liked it. And I was intrigued by trying to figure it out.

It was like a ADHD bisexual with magnetic powers. Something that made me keep drinking, and the dysfunction even made me want another sip as soon as it was gone. Dan, however, said he wouldn’t kick it out of bed; but wouldn’t be able to drink more than one in a row. Go local NC beers!