Morning Workout on the Cross-Country Course
20 min w/u, 2x2K @ fast on the flat, 10 min jog rest, 1x3K on upper loop @ whatever I could do.
2K: 6:56 (mile @ 5:34)
1000m jog, stretch,
2K: 6:37 (mile @ 5:22)
1000m+ jog, stretch,
3K~ on the upper loop in 10:54
35 min c/d
After feeling like my chest was about to explode in the 5K last Wednesday, I was a little worried about this workout. One, I have not run on the cross-country course in a while; Two, I have not run under 5:30 pace for over a couple minutes in a really long time; Three, I was running with the women's team who have been training for 6K since August. I was more than a little worried.
The plan was to run the women's workout (2x2K at fast) and then add a 3K on the end around the outer loop. The outer loop of the MSU cross-country course is a 400m flat, 500m hill, a gradual up/down hill for the majority of the course until you get the last 400ish meters were it gradually flattens out. It is beautiful, rough on the legs, and gives the advantage for downhill runners like myself.
I did my warm-up around the outer loop just to get used to the footing and the hill. I stretched well and toed the line with the others, I heard a rumor that the front ladies were running sub-5:30 pace. I wasn't confident my legs could handle it being the sub-par 5K I ran only a few days early.
Then we took off. The first 400m was way fast and rough on the legs, but soon after I found a rhythm in the front pack, surprisingly the first interval was not difficult, I hung tough and finished in 6:56, not bad for 6 months of marathon training. We took a long break and I used the time to jog a loop of the field. I needed the extra time to stretch and prepare myself mentally for what was to come.
The second interval was suppose to be faster than the first. I heard something like "77 through the quarter" and "5:15 through the mile". I doubted I could run a quarter at 77 let alone a 2k. And so we took off and once again, I found myself in the front pack through 800m in 2:42 and 1600m in 5:22. My legs gradually got tighter as the pace continued to get faster. People began to drop off rapidly as Renee jumped out to push the pace. With about 200m to go I found another gear, and closed the gap to finish in 6:37, tired but not worn out. I still had 3k to go.
I jogged another full loop and headed to the start line. The start had not been mowed, and the grass was long and thick for about the first 400m, I did my best just to keep the pace up before I hit the hill. The first 400m did a number on my legs and I proceeded to trudge my way up, trying to keep my legs moving fast. Once I got to the top I really started moving trying to make up for the slow start. My lungs were screaming but my legs felt strong, and before I knew it I only had 400m left. I finished in 10:54, ran 5 miles home for my cool down and called it a day. One more successful workout and plenty more to go. My legs seem to be adjusting well to the change of pace.