First thing in the AM -- I woke, dressed, had my coffee and headed out for the last hard run before the race.
The scheduled track workout looked, to me, like way too much to be attempting during the same week as a marathon. But, my coaches are the professionals. So, I stopped questioning their knowledge and solicited friends. They were nice enough to agree to join me and we headed to a local Junior College to do what was on schedule.
Wow! This workout was *just* what the doctor ordered in terms of confidence building.
Wake and have coffee. 15-20 minutes warm-up easy run to the track (uphill).
4X1000 -- splits: 5:22; 5:17; 5:20; 5:14 (walked recovery of 200m per interval)
4X200 -- splits: 45; 45; 44; 43 (walked recovery of 200m per interval)
15 minutes easy run back (downhill). Then another few minutes walking.
Why is this such a great workout?
Well, for starters, I could *talk* through the 1000's. That's right. Talking. Easily. Not breathing hard at all. At paces that are 30-45 seconds/mile faster than target race pace. Brilliant. All of a sudden, the marathon pace looks and feels like a cakewalk. I'll weigh in after the fact, of course, but much to my surprise, the workout that I was worried may be too tiring actually was quite easy and raised my confidence to a level that's never happened before a marathon.
And the 200m pick-ups? Nothing like running at a sub 6 minute mile pace (even if only for 1/8 of a mile) to convince you that you are in better shape than you've been in quite some time. In other news, I *sincerely* enjoyed telling F to hit 40s on her 200m intervals. Sweet, fast F. Yup. She did it, no problem. 5:40 mile pace on all 4 intervals -- lady is *FAST*. Should be interesting to see how training for a half while she's training for a full at SFM treats me. I expect my fitness will be challenged and pushed. And I look forward to it.
The great AM track workout alone would be enough for a great day. But I also get to add that I made it home in time for a good yogurt, blackberry, milk, banana smoothie. Oh, and I had several productive work calls, a great on-site visit with a client, and, E had agreed that I should have a steak dinner to get my iron stores up before the race. (I assure you, I had to twist his arm heavily to get him to go to Dittmer's while I toiled away on legal issues related to his Company. Okay, not really.)
Upon arrival at home after the long work day, I followed the awesomely perfect recipe we've concocted over the years and made glorious filet mignons for me, E and D (425F, garlic clove embedded, butter layered, salt and pepper), plus a side salad and boiled miniature artichokes (6/$1 at the local farmer's market on Sunday! Deal of the century!).
At first bite of the perfectly cooked filets, the boys declared me a genius. I, of course, politely agreed.
To prove the point, I took the steak/butter/garlic/salt/pepper drippings, added onions, and made millet with the leftover artichoke water. We now have at least 2 pounds of delicious beefy-artichoky millet for side dishes. Like the title says, it was a great day. And the millet will prove this going forward...