Ok, so I'm clearly doing better at training than blogging. I'm going to take the advice of my friend Madison and scale back to once or twice a week. Tuesday nights are a good time since Wednesday is the one sacred rest day of the week.
The past week has been highlighted by a hard speed workout, an absolutely awful marathon pace run, the first back-to-back 8 mile runs of my life, and the first mile repeats of the plan.
Day 19: August 21, Speed Ladder
I realized I could make this workout harder by running the recovery lap faster. Seems obvious but it feels counterintuitive to do anything but shuffle around the track after an interval. The previous week, the recovery pace was in the 10:30-11 min range. This week it started in the 9:45 range after the 400 and 800, and got slower after the two 1200s. Even so, the pace for the entire workout was 8:25, well below goal pace. I felt like this was a significant achievement, until...
Day 20: August 23, MP Run
I tried to run 8:45s for 7 miles after last week's rest day, and I knew I was in serious trouble when I could barely keep the pace running downhill for the first 3 miles. When I turned around to come home, it was over by mile 4.5. I had nothing left to run even 9:09s uphill. I had to get back home, so I did the last 2 miles at a comfortable pace and lived to run another day.
Day 22: LSR
The first 8 mile run of last weekend was actually faster than the aborted MP run on Thursday.
Day 23: LSR
The second 8 mile run was even a bit faster than the first 8 miler.
I think the best part of this first ever back to back 8 mile weekend was using my new Garmin Forerunner 610!
I've been using my wife's 110 for the past few months after my trusty 305 USB charger stopped working. However, she's about to begin her own training program for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon, so I was feeling the pressure to find something new. Fortunately, I came across, of all things, a Garmin rebate! $50 off a new Garmin when you trade in your old one. Combined with my $100 in REI gift cards (thanks mom) I got the 610 (w/o HR monitor) for $200! If you want to grab this deal, you need to buy your new watch by Aug 31.
The 610 is noticeably heavier than the 110. It took me a couple of miles on Saturday's LSR to get used to the weight. It has the new Garmin touch screen versus the touch bezel that was featured on the 410. After years of using Apple products, it takes a bit of adjustment to use the Garmin swipe feature.
The main reason I bought the 610 is the ability to configure multiple data screens. I had my 305 configured to show me pace/distance/time on the main screen, and lap pace/current lap/time on a second screen. I used the screen almost exclusively for track workouts. The 110 did not have the feature, forcing me to spend a lot of time doing math during a track workout. "Ok, I just finished my recovery lap and the watch says 4:19, so I need to do hit 8:19 on this 800 to make my 8 minute pace. Or did the watch say 4:22?" Today's workout was a return to normal, hit the lap button, the current lap count resets, no more math, just remember to hit the lap button after every interval.
The other feature I missed is the ability to scroll through the history of a run on your watch. The 110 has basic functionality, meaning you can't see your splits or any other data until you download it to your computer, or upload it to Garmin Connect. The 610 has this feature, and pretty much every other feature of the 305, in a nicer form factor, and as a bonus, it syncs a lot faster to the GPS satellites. I'm a little concerned about the charging interface, and I'm not convinced that transferring data via the ANT WiFi dongle is the best thing, but it's comforting to know if I encounter any issue, I can always exchange/return it to REI.
Day 24: Mile Repeats
Can't say the 610 made the first mile repeat workout of the training plan easier, but it was comforting to see the 0:00 at the beginning of each interval. We made the workout a little less daunting by walking the recovery lap between each mile. The best thing about this workout is you know it will be over soon.
On a final note, I want to mention that I skipped Monday's recovery run. Maybe this is why the mile repeats weren't awful. I woke up Monday morning and had a weird pain on the top of my foot. It had not hurt at all after Sunday's LSR, so I figured I slept on it wrong, and figured it would go away after my day got going. But as I was walking to the gym at lunch to get ready for an easy 4, it was still bugging me, so I reluctantly bailed on the run. This was hard because I just hit 30+ miles last week and was excited to repeat the mileage this week. Losing 4 miles on Monday was a bummer. But I woke up this morning pain free, and had a very successful track workout. One of the underlying tenets of the HB plan is to not worry about a missed workout. I didn't and it was a great decision. Of all the workouts, the recovery run is the most expendable.