Mon: Tempo: 8 miles: Random 8 miler with Mill Mtn: Couldn't be much happier with this tempo. Sure, I would have liked to see it come in 45 seconds faster to make it in under an hour, but it was spot on with a very similar route I did 2 weeks before the Blue Ridge Half last year. Click HERE for the comparison data. I believe this further confirms the trend of me being in slightly better shape now than I was a year ago!
Wed: Intervals: 8 miles: Hood Laps: This was a very encouraging speed work session. Plan was to circle the block 16 times, alternating between pacing in the 6's and 8's. I didn't do this workout last year training for 2011 Blue Ridge, so I don't know how it might have stacked up, but comparing it to several points from back in the summer and fall when I was training for Richmond it looks very good. Most notable, for the first time, is that I made it to lap 9 before I started dropping the pace AND then, after 2 laps, I started hitting the target paces again for 2 more laps. All in all, I only hit 11 of 16 target paces, but for this course that's a huge win!
Thurs: Recovery: 4 miles: Stewarts Knob Trail: Ranger Style: Much happier with this run than with the same run last week. Just like last week this was the middle section of a 10-4-10 brick. I kept my intensity low and just looked for a comfortable zone to run in. The first mile off the bike was annoyingly slow, but running the remaining 2.93 miles at a sub 9 pace is right on target with what I expect from myself on a recovery day.
Sat: Long: Random 10 Miler with Mill Mountain: Not the best training run, but after using Friday as a rest day I just wanted to push my limits with duration and hold back on intensity. I ended up doing a 20-10-20 brick and it pushed me to the point of exhaustion. I probably could have done better if I had stayed on asphalt, but the trails were very inviting so I ended up with about 4 asphalt miles and 6 trail miles total. Totally spent!