Tomorrow is the Cardinal 5K, and I'll be racing in it. I'm viewing it as a tune-up race that I have a chance to win. I'll of course go for a PR if possible, but I'm not sure what I can do at this point on a hilly 5k... so my focus will be going hard but NOT emptying the tanks. That time will come next weekend. For now I'll just enjoy the race and competition and get my mind in the right place for Veteran's Day 10k. My left hamstring is a little TENDER so I'll listen to it carefully.
Training the past 2 weeks haven't been much to write home (or blog) about, as it's mainly maintaining swim fitness while trying to get faster for the 10k next weekend. Biking has taken a backsaddle and is mostly consists of isolated leg, spinups and 60-90 minute easy (one tempo) rides with Michelle mainly as a recovery mechanism for my running. But yeah, it's been mainly about the run. I've done a long run every weekend for the past 4 weeks, a Wednesday track attack and a Friday hill or tempo/progression run. These are my last couple of weeks of hard run training before I back off a la Dirk and pound the bike and swim for the coming several months.
My track workouts have been awesome. I have to thank Jake for coming out to each workout just to shout out times and go over strategy with me, that kind of help can't be appreciated enough. And except for my first workout in early October (4xmile), my workouts have gone nearly flawlessly. So his workouts + encouragement have helped me reach a pretty good level of fitness that I think will push me to a sub-33 10k. I'm confident in that!
Last week I did 6x1200, negative splits (cutting from 3:56 down to 3:48, all under my expected 10k pace), and it felt solid. This week I did 12x400 (:75, :74, :73, :72, :71, :71, :70, :70, :69, :68, :66, :67), starting at 5:00 pace and ending around 4:24 pace. It's nice to see I have speed... that'll help me when I need to pick up the pace or am getting tired.
I guess most of all, I'm finding that my pacing is really coming along well. I can race smart, but I often go out too fast, both in races and workouts, as Dirk is quick to remind me. But the past several track workouts I've started out slower and ended up with negative splits. That's really encouraging to me! It's how I want to race. Jake's wisdom plus being able to get back out there with the team at B-CC has been a key to my most recent growth spurt as a runner. Now I just need to show what I've learned on race day.