I haven't run a competitive race in months, prompting me to incorporate workouts designed to get me ready "just in case" something comes up. Sure enough, last week I received an email inviting Americans to run the Incheon Marathon- so I decided to enter the 10K.
Five weeks ago I started out with a 2-mile time trial, just to get the feel of warming up and what sort of pace I could maintain. On two consecutive Saturdays I ran 11:46 and 11:47- but both were very hard and way out of my comfort zone.
The 3rd week I chose to run 3 miles on turf and turned in an 18:01- slowing down 10 seconds per mile made a HUGE difference. Next I reverted back to my old stand-by- 800 meter repeats. Again on turf I was very satisfied averaging 2:57 for 8 with 60 sec recovery
Finally, yesterday I had hopes of running 4 x 1 mile under 6 min on turf, but the weather (high winds) did not cooperate. Fortunately I have the option of using the 10 lap indoor track on Camp Humphreys, so went inside and ran 4 x 1 mile in 5:56, 5:55, 6:00, and 6:02 with 5 min recovery. This was a great workout, since I estimate each mile is probably 5-6 sec slow due to tight turns.
Clearly I am in decent shape, but the news is not all good. I've been experiencing knee discomfort for about 2 weeks - giving me trouble during warm-ups and early in workouts. I think it started following a few sessions on the bike, but now it's becoming a significant issue, even giving me trouble in the pool! Usually this kind of thing clears up on it's own, so hopefully this is no different. The plan is to see if I can get through this week, then back off.
Finally, I seem to be struggling more than usual the day following the longer high intensity workouts, a sure sign that I should consider more run recovery days. It's taking me longer and longer (more than a mile) just to get my legs feeling halfway normal. Not much fun.