My Lenten Sacrifice Part 3

As I reported in my last post on this topic, I did not manage to run every day during Lent. I have managed to run almost every day, which is close to every day, but of course, close only counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades, as my uncle Lawrence likes to say. He’s a one-legged man who’s very good at horseshoes (and a paralympic silver medalist in volleyball), so he’s probably right on that one.

Anyway, I have been running. I wouldn’t say I have been training, but I have been running. The least I will do is 20min or so with Miriam (although last night we did 5.1k in 35:30, a new PB for her, I think), and the most I have done is struggle through an 80min long run. I have been doing the core and hills on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. My legs are very heavy most days, I have to be honest. I’ve taken three days off in the 34 days since I started this “project” so that’s not bad.

What I haven’t really done in that time frame is a workout. I have done the morning hills (4×5-10-15sec sprints uphill), and twice last week I did a few 400s, but as painful as they were, I can’t really call those sessions “workouts.” Monday I did 3×400 in 71,69,72, and then a 200 in 35, all with 70sec rest, in an attempt to see how bad my pacing would feel on Friday. Friday I did manage to pace Ryan with a few (3) 71-72s (but Didier and Monette did most of the work). So today I decided to try something real. Ish.

The workout was to be 3x900m with 3min rec. 900m because that is the distance of the Jarry Park loop, 3min rec because that would be about equal rest and 3 because that’s how many I figured I could do comfortably for now. I did not really have a set time in mind for these. I was just going to run what I felt was “faster” pace. At this point I feel like I have three gears: jog, faster and sprint. So I just let my body find its groove. I did not look at my watch after each of the first two intervals. I wanted to keep going by feel, and I didn’t want to demoralize myself. What I did do was check the decline of my HR during the recovery. I checked it at the end of the interval, 1min, 2min and right before starting again. Here’s what the HR was at:

x,112, 100, 92 (I didn’t take it right after the first one)
152, 112, 100, 100
164, 112, 104, 100

This is probably a pretty good spread. I don’t really have anything to compare it to, other than usually, when I’m doing a workout, the HR right after the interval is between 160-180. So I didn’t quite venture into real workout pace. But it was the first one back.

The question you are all waiting for me to answer is “how fast were they?” The results:
3:04 (3:25/k)
3:04 (3:25/k)
2:58 (3:18/k)

I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at my watch after the last one and saw that it was under 3min. The last time I did 900m loops at Jarry park, here’s what the workout looked like:
10min jog
4×900 in 3:09, 3:07, 3:02, 2:53, 3min rec.
2x500m in 1:31, 1:32, 3min rec.
13min jog

So, not the same kind of volume today, that’s for sure. I managed to run 34:15 at Park Lafontaine four days after that workout. Looking further back in the log, at the end of September I did 8x900m with 1min rest all at about 3:05. That’s more like a workout.

Does this mean a return to racing? For now, no. I’ll get through this Lenten thing, hopefully with no more days off (10 more days to go!), and then I’ll see about starting some actual training. I’ll try another “workout” next week, maybe just try a few more 900m intervals.