One week has passed up here in Flagstaff and, yes, the wind is still howling. Luckily, my sleep has improved the last couple of nights and my appetite has subsided a little bit. Other than that, not much has changed.
Our first workout at NAU last week was on a rather chilly and gloomy Wednesday morning. I have to admit, I wasn't in a very good mood. We had two sets with about 15 minutes recovery in between. The first set: 400, 600, 300, 200 all at 15 pace. The second set was 8x200 with a change of pace. Having only been at altitude a couple of days, the workout looked pretty daunting at 7000ft of elevation. However, the first set was surprisingly smooth. 57.6, 1:25.5, 42.9, 26.9. Feeling really relaxed. I remember thinking "maybe this won't be so bad..."
Then came the second set. First one in 26.5, uh oh. 27 high x 3. Halfway there. 27 high, this is starting to hurt. 27 mid, 3/4 of the way there, the last 2 are going to hurt, bad. 27 low. One more. 28.3, dying horribly in the last 50m. Lots of pain. Done.
I can't remember the last time I actually had to lie on the track suffering after a workout. Until Wednesday. I tried sitting, but that wasn't enough. I had to go into the fetal position with my lungs burning for a few minutes before deciding to move again. It wasn't pretty. At least it was a solid workout.
Saturday we drove down to Sedona for the workout; elevation: 4500ft. Yes! Back to some more oxygen, warm weather and sunshine. I didn't think the workout seemed too hard. It was fairly short, with 1x 800m as the first set, 20 min recovery and then 5x300m. The 800 we were looking to hit 1:51-52 and then run 1500m pace for the 300's.
GMart had the first lap of the 800 and then I was taking over through 600-650 followed by Nate to finish it off. We wanted to come through in about 55, but I had to pick it up a bit to go by him and we were about 54 flat. I decided to just keep it rolling and we ended up at about 1:20 mid through 600m. Feeling remarkably good. We continued closing well as Nate went by me and until the last 80m it felt pretty relaxed. The last 50m definitely hurt but when I stopped my watch as I crossed the line, I couldn't believe it; 1:48.9.
My first thought was Holy #%$! 1:48!? Awesome. Then I remembered we had a second set and wasn't so happy. Either way, running that in practice (we talkin bout practice!?) is a pretty good sign! Things are coming around...The second set still went really well as I ran 43.0, 45.1, 44.0, 42.2, and closed in 40.0. Not a bad day at the office.
We have a tough week ahead of us with 3 workouts this week as well as a couple of power sessions. We'll be up in Flag for the first two and then down in Sedona again on Saturday.
In the meantime, more NHL playoffs. I only wish Pierre McGuire had really gotten the Montreal Canadiens GM job. It would have doomed their franchise for another decade and finally rid us of having to listen to him every night. Ohh, what could have been...