Mike and Steve came out this morning and ran with me in my Snow Flurry 5 mile tempo over the Winter Classic 8k course. At the end of each marathon cycle, I like to run an 8k race roughly two weeks out from my marathon. Since I couldn't find an 8k locally, I opted for a 5 mile tempo and was really glad for the help from Steve and Mike. I cannot say enough what it means to run with group vs. doing a solo effort.
The weatherman said we might get some snow today. Having some snow fall during the tempo would have been nice. And while I did drive through some snow heading to McAlpine, the snow completely missed us during the workout. I guess it was just wishful thinking by calling it the Snow Flurry 5 mile tempo.
After a 2 mile warm up, we gathered at the WC8k starting line. With a node of heads that each of us was ready, we headed off. Mike jumps out fast and gaps Steve and me by 20 yards. We catch up to Mike a little past the ½ mile point. From there, I reach the first mile in 5:58. I have to duck under the caution tape. At 9 AM, there was a "Run for Jen" 5k taking place and they have the course marked up for it. I covered the second mile in 6:01. I felt like I was starting to tighten up a bit. To keep things in check, I focused on slowing my breathing and trying to relax. The 3 mile was much better – 5:54. Knowing I only had 2 miles left, my plan materialized on fly to maintain a steady pace to the end. Mile 4 was covered in 5:56. Mile 5 went by in 5:59 and my overall time was 29:49.
We regrouped at the 5 mile point and headed back to Old Bell for a 2 mile cool down. We met up with Megan near the Old Bell entrance. I dropped off Mike and Steve, and then I ran with Megan for a short distance before ending my workout at 10 miles.
In retrospect, this workout went better than I expected. With Monday's mile repeats and with Wednesday long interval workout during my mid week long run, I have been feeling rather flat the last two days. Warming up I was not setting my expectation too high. However, once I got warmed up and rolling, the miles just seemed to string together. I am keeping my fingers crossed that in two weeks; I can string 26 of these miles together.
Wish me luck,
Sharing on thought at time,
The Cool Down Runner