Last night I returned to the track to test the legs around the oval. The plan called for 6000m worth of speed (1000m MORE than I had done at the previous track workout which ended miserably). Afternoon temperatures in Washington climbed to 97 degrees with "feels like" temps hovering at 100. I downed Gatorade and chugged water all afternoon to get ready. The walk to the track from the metro alone was enough to make one (me) sweat. After a 3 mile warm-up I leaned into heat and started the workout: 4 x 1000m (400m) and 4 x 500m (300m) which went something like this: 3:08, 3:04, 3:01, 3:00 then 1:26, 1:25, 1:26, 1:23. 800s during the Ks were hit in approximately 2:26 and the 400s during the 5s in about 67. I felt sluggish at times and after the reps near the end, I was visibly labored (me hunched over gasping for oxygen). That being said, I tried to stay relaxed and run with the pack. I ran a mile and a half cool down and called it a day (10 miles). The best news of all was that I had ZERO pain and ZERO discomfort both during the workout and after the workout. This is a HUGE step in the right direction. In fact, this might be the single best training day for me in all of 2011. Running a workout without pain seems to be the last step in getting back to normal. As Coach Jerry noted (quoting Ford) "perhaps the long national nightmare is over".
I took Thursday off, instead of trying to ruin a good thing, but plan to run the next three days so that I get a 6-day week in.
On Monday, I ran a cold, windy, rainy 8 miles in Rapid City, SD. I actually wore a long sleeve and a hat, quite different than conditions back east.
On Tuesday I ran 8 while checking out the Father's Day 8k course alongside Chuck and Patrick. Lots of start-and-stop and it was quite hot.