As I mentioned in the last post, I’ve been prepping for the first team workout and was feeling a little nervous about where I stood fitness-wise. Going into this week, I decided to keep my training as normal as possible. Sunday, I got an easy 8 mile run in averaging 8:24, which is a lot slower than I’d like to be but I’ve been conservative on those longer runs. On Monday, I decided to get in a nice 7 miler and started off pretty easy but ended my 7th mile with a 7:15 split and 7:45 average for the whole run. I completely surprised myself, considering the last mile was uphill and I really did not expect a run at that pace to feel easy right now. My shins were a bit achy which was my biggest concern since the next day would be the workout.

Monday night, the dinner before the workout, I had Pad Thai. I consider that a pretty reasonable “carbo-load” dinner (and one of my personal favorites), plus a ton of Gatorade. I was pretty nervous but completely put the 7 mile run behind me. This year the girls team had a different workout from the previous years. Rather than a LT (Lactic Threshold), we had mile repeats at The Course. Finding this out made me feel a lot better since I am more confident when it comes down to my strength right now with rests in between. The part that got me was that we didn’t know how much we would have and our starting pace was expected to be at 6:20. For most people, this should be a no brained pace, but I have been struggling in the speed department and have only run a 6:40 in my previous tempo. 

For the first mile, I decided to start in the front and help pace it since I knew that would keep me with the group. Aliya and I brought the group out at about 6:05 pace since the half-mile is down hill and the second half is all up. Surprisingly, I felt really good during this first set. At the top of the hill I got a little tied up but finished in 6:10. The second set was a little more flat and I decided I would be more likely to stay with the group if I tucked in behind the front group. This part of The Course is always the hardest for me, so I wanted to make sure I worked through every part of it. Again, the last quarter mile I got tied up but yet again got 6:10. For the final repeat I started feeling the fatigue catching up to me. Because I was pacing my group, it motivated me to power through the set, which I finished off with a 6:12 mile. 

I felt extremely proud of my work, especially this workout being my longest one in about a year. Getting through the workout and the pain itself brought a lot of confidence in me. My biggest concern at this point are my shins. During the workout, I made a last minute decision to use my tempo shoes to ensure I could run the given time. My shins felt a little shot after the workout and this morning, but after getting my first run in and icing they’ve started feeling better. 

Now, on to the trek to Mammoth!

Just Keep Running XOXO

Ashlee Powers