Sunday AM Dirk and I rampaged to Wards Masters swim practice, which was empty except for us, because most of the other regulars competed at the Albatross meet the day before. Fine by me since my compatriot Dirk was there. We did lots of drills and then a main set nugget of 15x100 (as 5 on 1:30, 5 on 1:25, 5 on 1:20, averaging 1:13/100y), and a 12x50 (4 on :50, 4 on :45, 4 on :40). The 15x100 was great and I felt really good throughout the whole thing. If I can average 1:13s at Columbia, that'll put me in a very good spot, and way better than last year (I guess anything is).
Not long after we dried off, we stampeded to the Capital Crescent Trail for another one of Todd's creations, a long/tempo run, 7 miles out @ 7:00/mile pace, 6 miles back @ 6:00 or faster pace. I've done this twice before, but this version would be a lot longer. And after a pretty tough swim, I didn't know what I could do, but I hoped I would at least give Dirk somewhat of a workout. We went the 7 out on the downhill toward DC at exactly 7:00/mile pace, which felt pretty easy. We turned around and began our fast ascent back to Bethesda. First mile was fast, 5:51, but my legs seemed to say "We're cool... let's keep going." So I said "Ok...really?" And they responded "Yeah, what, you chicken?" And I said "No, no... but Beastman just sai--" But they interjected with "Shut up." So I said "Ok." And just kept going.
Legs were right. 5:51, 5:54, 5:52, 5:40, 5:50, 5:41 were my splits for an uphill run. Faaantastic. And it didn't feel tempo-y even... just a little below that level. I'd say that's what I was shooting for... supposedly you take off 10-15 seconds and that's pace on flat road. And Dirk seemed pretty tired at the end, so that made me feel a little better about the effort. It was uphill so that's good practice for him. Anyway, a fine confidence builder 2 weekends out from Cherry Blossom, and it's showing again that all this cross training is working and making me a stronger runner.
Or maybe I ran fast because this guy was next to me: