There is currently no snow on the ground in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. No snow. On the ground. In fact, Lehm and I were able to pound out a steady 12 down at Hyland today, December 20th, 2011. Ree-gosh-darn-diculous.
Before we started this whole training cycle, we were trying to come up with some sort of contingency plan in case we needed to escape for awhile in December to put the finishing touches on the training cycle. This was when the plan would call for the long, marathon-paced, grind it out kind of running. The stuff that really puts the tiger in the cat. Like the 15 mile pace run with surges we ended up doing in Minnesota this past Sunday.
We most definitely did not want to have to do it on the treadmill. One of the options was to drive to Duluth and fly to Phoenix for $44 one way on Allegiant. For what we have needed to accomplish, and for whatever reason the weather, and more importantly the footing has been about as ideal as we could have ever hoped for at this point in the year in this state. And specifically on Sunday we needed it to be exactly how it was outside so I thank the Good Lord for that.
So we ran 12 miles at a very good pace. And then threw in another 30 minutes of surging. I can best describe my reaction to the workout as feeling the way it should feel in a marathon build-up at this point - fairly difficult, but easily able to maintain the agreed upon speed limit. I left the workout believing that if I was able to run a marathon, on fresh legs, 4 weeks from that day that I would be confident trying to maintain the pace. Not sure if that will happen or not, but the confidence to do so is there and that's very important to me. Also, it wasn't easy to the point where I felt completely sharpened which I don't think you would want 4 weeks out anyway. A couple more workouts at this type of intensity, and then a good 2 weeks of freshening the legs and we will be good to go.
We have a doctor's appointment on Friday to check in on little Doris Mae. She loves hearing Ryan Adams played when we make up in the morning. I tune it in on Julie's iphone and place the speaker on her belly, and the little gal just goes bonkers in the womb. Pretty cool stuff if you ask me. I think she already has fantastic taste in music.
Three more days until Festivus. Tis' the season.
Here are our splits from Sunday's run for the first hour of running. There will be documentary-style footage coming up of a lot of the training we did over this Olympic Trials cycle. Stay tuned.
4:54, 4:59, 5:00, 5:00, 4:57, 5:00, 4:57, 4:56, 4:55, 4:57, 4:58, 4:56... 59:33 at 12 miles then 30 minutes of top-secret style surging. I will not divulge the recipe....a definite game-changer though.