Saturday is normally a long ride, short run and an outdoor swim for me. I threw that out the window on Saturday. My new coach (and workout routine) start Monday (today) so the weekend was "freestylin'".
Jen Harrison invited me to a run boot camp with Dave Walters and others. Since those folks are great runners and I am relearning how to run competitively now (coming back from a severe bout with achilles tendinitis and plantar fascia issues) I took her up on the opportunity. The workout was a warm up and then hill workout. I love (and hate) hill workouts but there is no better way to get stronger quickly as a runner. It is also the quickest way to get humbled.
After a fine warm up run we started on the hill. My first couple of repeats were to be at warm up pace as directed by Dave. (This I have used with my own athletes to a high level of success.) The next two were to 80% and the next two 90%...and then two more for the really strong runners. I thought I'd do six because I hadn't run much and didn't want to get hurt. Fair enough. The first two go off fine but the heart rate was 186 and 190 (95 and 97% on the warm up - and I was TRYING to keep the HR low, good thing, huh?) This is a tough hill with three distinct increases in incline. Number 4 hurt a little less than the others at 93% or 183 heart rate...easy right? Number 6 had me at 196 heart rate - my age predicted maximum. (Don't tell me I wasn't working!) I took number 7 "off" and walked around at the bottom of the hill. (Hey, the plan was for 6.) Then I lined up and did number 8 and hit 197 heart rate. So much for age predicted heart rates! The boys high school XC team falling behind and I was catching those in front of me near the top of the hill - this "old guy" still has a wicked kick when the finish line is there. The next part of the workout is proprietary so I won't divulge the secret here but the strategy did seem to work. I shortened the workout a bit (because we were already 3 miles past my longest run since February) and walked and stretched a bit.
I'm re-learning how to be an athlete myself. Learning what my body can do is one of my favorite things about this sport and I think I've re-found myself in learning. Who cares what the times were as long as I know I gave my all.
As we were leaving the guy jogging over to the hill for repeats with a different high school XC group....Bob Scott - Ironman Hawaii age group champion, great guy, and 75 year old.