Thursday, August 6, 2009

Back on Track (Literally)

I made it to the track last night. I ended up starting quite late in the evening. The issue the past few days has been heat and humidity. I had a couple hours of running, but when I first tried to head out around 5:30 it was still 78 degrees and about 50% humidity. Now I know all you Easterners and Southerners are crying me a storm, but here in California this is the equivalent of a 90-90 day in DC. We do get some heat here (after all, Los Angeles is really a desert), but we aren't used to the humidity. At all. We think anything over 30% humidity is pretty stifling. So what do we do about it? We complain! And yes - you all can play the world's smallest violin for us.

I ended up starting my run about 7:45. Things had cooled nicely, and there was a nice sea breeze blowing. I was out slogging around the track until 9:15 - long after dark. I broke out the headlamp around 8:30 so I could see in front of me (while the local High School track is open to the public, it is not lighted).

Stats on the run - 3.25 mile warm up, 5 X 800 intervals at 10K pace with 400 rest, 1 mile warm down for a total of 8 miles. Unlike the last time I did an interval workout (back on July 14th) I had no problems with the warm up. But, the consistency of my intervals though left a little to be desired:

Interval 1: 4:20 (8:40 pace)
Interval 2: 4:17 (8:34 pace)
Interval 3: 4:13 (8:26 pace)
Interval 4: 4:18 (8:36 pace)
Interval 5: 4:18 (8:36 pace)

Also, unlike the last time I ran intervals, I was able to get my heart rate into VO2Max range, spending a total of 15 minutes up over 90% of max. I followed up with a slow warm down mile. The only problem was getting my heart to slow down. It would have been ideal to attain a 75% of max rate, but things kind of settled in between 82% and 85% of max. And it seemed like regardless how slow I went, the heart rate wouldn't drop any further. So I wrapped the session up and came dragging into the house about 9:30 last night - starting an all out search and destroy mission for my dinner! Bottom line was even though this workout required more effort than my last interval session (maybe taking a week off has something to do with that?), it was still a quality workout. Paces and heart rate targets were met.

On tap for tonight - an easy 12 miles around the back bay. The weather is supposed to start cooling today - in fact by tomorrow we aren't supposed to break 70. Ah. To live in Southern California (yes - I'm rubbing it in).


  1. Humidity sucks. It's weird how taking time off can affect your running - when I took the week before my HM off I felt pretty good, but I still wonder what I would have done had I met all my workout goals. Glad to see you're back on "track"!

  2. Glad the track workout went well. I am seriously considering buying a headlamp too. I saw one somewhere for a good deal but didnt get it because I think my dad has one but not sure if it works - its prolly from the 70s. I would have to re-wire that thing!

  3. The heat makes running so heavy. awesome runs!

  4. Fine, be that way. Rub in in with your low humidity, cool temps. JK I know it is hot for everyone right now, even if it is relative. It's all what you're used to. Great job on the intervals, just think how fast you'll be in cooler temps!

  5. Complain away! I'm right with you :) Nice job though and glad you are so punny AND back on track.

  6. Glad to hear you are back! The workout looks good!

    Humidity here in Buffalo so far has not been that much of an issue-- compared to last summer-- it's been really cool this year, which us runners love!

    BTW thanks for the shout out below in your post about philly cheese steaks versus beef on weck-- loved it-- sorry I missed it earlier!

  7. Wow- great intervals at the track! And you have your beautiful weather back now too! Life is good isn't it? ; - )

  8. nice job on the intervals!

    but wahhhh 78 degrees. it's easily 20 degrees warmer here you know ;) so shut it! :)

  9. I hear ya with this weather.

    Do you think your intervals were at all impacted by running somewhat blindly around the oval? I know my headlamp running doesn't illuminate as well as I sometimes wish and that impacts my gait, concentration and everything else that goes into speedwork. Just wondering.