Thursday, March 10, 2011

Upper Bear Creek Road - Tempo

Very nice tempo run on Evergreen's Upper Bear Creek Road on a near-perfect spring-like morning.  Also got in a late-morning dog jog at Elk Meadow Open Space.

Time:  1:35 (run #1); 30 minutes (run #2)
Distance: 12.3 miles (run #1); 2.6 miles (run #2)
Effort: Hard and Easy
Body: Good
Weather: Sunny and warm

Hooked up with Steve F. and Mara in the a.m. at the Wulf Rec Center.  We jogged the mile from the rec center to the Evergreen Lakehouse as a w/u, then set off up Upper Bear Creek Road at an easy 8-9 minute pace.  The plan was to run to the five-mile post, then tempo back to the lake.

The jog up was easy, but my legs felt flat. I was not looking forward to the tempo run back.  Mara turned around at about 4.5 miles and Steve and I continued to the post.  After a quick bio break, Steve hit his watch and off we went.

As we got up to a 6:15 pace, I started thinking "Uh-oh."  6:15 felt fast...hard.  After about half-mile, my breathing eased up and I settled into pace, as Steve and I strode down this scenic road side-by-side. Still, things felt harder than they should have as we passed the two-mile mark.  Somewhere in here, though, things started clicking.  My legs suddenly felt solid under me, the breathing was steady, but measured and the pace was holding.

We caught Mara at about the 3.5 mile mark and kept chugging along. I gapped Steve a bit in the last mile and just focused on maintaining pace back to the lake. The last little uphill next to the golf course hurt a bit, but I held on fine.

The miles looked like this: 6:10; 6:11; 6:14; 6:04; 6:00.

After re-grouping, we did a one-mile c/d back to the rec center.

I was pretty happy with this run.  It's been a couple weeks since I've done such a high-quality, structured run. Most runs of late have been longish and steady mountain runs. I enjoy the latter much more, but know there's a lot of benefit to be gained by the former. Definitely need to add more quality in the weeks ahead.

Late morning, I grabbed the dog formally known as the Dog to be Named Later, now named Maya (My-Yuh), and did an easy 2.6 mile dog jog in the eastern part of Elk Meadow Open Space.

14.9 miles on the day. 850 feet o' elevation gain for both runs.

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